For the better part of three days, Amber Heard has told a Virginia jury harrowing accounts of physical abuse and rape by her ex-husband Johnny Depp. On her first day of cross-examination, Depp’s counsel did not flinch from intense interrogation, contrasting Heard’s allegations of brutal assault with her glamour shots that were taken a short time later.
Early in her questioning, Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez played a recording of Heard appearing to taunt her client.
“Please tell people it was a fair fight, and see what the jury and judge will think,” Heard said on the tape. “Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them Johnny Depp, ‘I Johnny Depp, a man, am too a victim of domestic violence.'”
After being read those words back to her, Heard shot back: “I was saying it to the man who beat me up, yes. I thought it was preposterous.”
“And the man you beat up numerous times, right, Ms. Heard?” Vasquez pressed.
“I could never hurt Johnny,” Heard responded.
“You’re here in this courtroom because Mr. Depp finally told the world that he is the victim of domestic violence,” Vasquez said.
“I know that he is suing me and has sued other people or corporations that have said that as well,” Heard responded, pointedly alluding to Depp’s failed defamation lawsuit in the United Kingdom against The Sun, a tabloid that ran an editorial calling him a “wife-beater.”
In 2019, Depp sued Heard over her Washington Post op-ed the previous year describing herself as a survivor of domestic violence. Heard countersued after Depp’s lawyer characterized her allegations as a “hoax.”
Throughout Heard’s often-emotional testimony, Depp sat expressionless at the plaintiff’s table. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor kept his tilted head down, his eyes behind tinted glasses and facing a computer screen in front of him. Sometimes, Depp appeared to exchange jokes and comments with his attorney Benjamin Chew.
Vasquez described Depp’s lack of engagement with Heard as the fulfillment of his words to her in 2016, shortly after Heard first publicly accused him of domestic violence.
“We wont have to see each other again,” Depp said in the recording. “Don’t take my fucking glasses off. You will not see my eyes again.”
After Vasquez asked if Depp kept that promise to her, Heard replied: “As far as I know, he won’t look at me.”
“He can’t,” she continued.
The tension remained thick from there, as Vasquez launched into a series of questions about Depp’s routine habit of wearing large rings on every finger. Heard agreed that he wore those rings regularly, and she accused him of beating her repeatedly in the face. Depp’s attorney suggested that, if her allegations were true, that jewelry would have left an imprint.
Depp’s lawyer then rattled off Heard’s various allegations of assault. In March 2013, Heard testified, Depp hit her several times in the face. Heard acknowledged that she did not seek medical attention, other than mental health therapy.
When the couple was in Russia to promote The Lone Ranger, Heard claimed, Depp whacked her in the face so heard that her nose was bleeding. She said that she did not realize it until Depp’s then-security guard Jerry Judge told her about the blood. Judge, who was Depp’s loyal, lifelong bodyguard, died in 2019, and he did not corroborate Heard’s account.
In another alleged incident, Heard claimed Depp hit her so hard in the face at the Met Gala that she thought he broke her nose in 2014. Depp’s lawyer showed the jury photographs taken at an all-star comedy tribute the next evening to Don Rickles, who posed with the couple. A smiling Heard showed no visible bruising. Rickles died in 2017.
Questioning got contentious, as Vasquez interrogated Heard’s claim that Depp sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle. The attorney asked Heard whether she had medical records showing that she bled from her vagina, as she alleged. Heard replied that she didn’t seek medical attention.
As the first day of cross-examination drew to a close, Vasquez pressed Heard on her statement that she would donate her $7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Testimony from an ACLU representative established that she’s paid the group a fraction of that amount, and a portion of that was contributed in her name by billionaire Elon Musk, whom Heard dated after divorcing Depp. Heard insisted that she viewed a “pledge” of money and a “donation” as synonymous, and she said that she has yet to fulfill it because of her mounting legal expenses. Her cross-examination continues on Tuesday.
(Screenshot via Law&Crime Network)
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