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Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Scrutinizes Amber Heard’s Sexual Assault Claims with Questions About MDMA, Carly Simon, and Clunky Rings


Amber Heard confronted on "Carly Simon" message

Of all of Amber Heard’s sordid claims against Johnny Depp, the most alarming accused him of sexually assaulting her with a liquor bottle during a three-day, drug-fueled bender in Australia in March 2015. Depp’s attorney picked apart the most intimate details of that alleged incident during combative cross-examination on Tuesday.

As Heard tells it, Depp smashed a wall-mounted phone practically into smithereens. The broken pieces sliced off Depp’s finger, she claimed. Heard recalled Depp had taken eight to 10 pills of MDMA. At some point, Heard said, Depp got her onto a counter, bent her backward over a bar, held her down by the neck, grabbed a bottle and penetrated her with it.

“These are serious allegations you are making,” Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez noted.

Depp and Heard’s dueling allegations of domestic violence have been playing out in a courthouse in Fairfax County, Va., where the Pirates of the Caribbean star sued the Aquaman actress in 2019. A year earlier, Heard published an op-ed in the Washington Post depicting herself as a victim of domestic abuse, which is the subject of Depp’s lawsuit. Heard countersued after Depp’s lawyer described the allegations as a “hoax.”

When Vasquez press Heard about how a drug-blasted and injured Depp could have handled the logistics of such a horrific alleged assault, Heard replied: “I never testified to a sequence.”

Heard testified that she feared that the bottle may have been broken and that it caused her to bleed.

Showing a jury a picture of two of the bottles in the room, Vasquez even interrogated Heard about the Maker’s Mark on the table, which was intact. Heard introduced a number of photographs about the property damage that night in support of her claims. There was no smashed up phone in the pictures, and Depp’s house manager Ben King said there wasn’t such a phone.

One of those photographs of a mirror strewn with messages in red and black paint. Heard took a picture of that mirror, which included the message: “Call Carly Simon. She Said It Better, Babe,” with a smiley face underneath.

After Vasquez pressed her on who wrote that “snarky” message, Heard insisted that it was Depp. Vasquez unpacked the cultural reference. Simon is a musician best known for her mega-hit “You’re So Vain,” a song about a self-absorbed lover, reportedly inspired by multiple men in the singer’s life. Heard agreed that she took the picture of the mirror with this message, but she took herself out of the frame.

Vasquez turned to a running theme in her cross-examination: Heard previously testified that Depp usually wore large and clunky rings on every finger, and she struggled to remember her ex-husband not wearing them.

“Not all the time, not literally every single ring every single day, but he often wears rings,” Heard said.

“Not often, Ms. Heard,” Vasquez interjected. “Your words are: ‘I’ve never known Johnny not to wear rings on every finger.'”

Heard agreed that was true.

Depp claims that he was the victim of an assault on the night in question, claiming that Heard threw a broken liquor bottle at him—cutting off the tip of his finger.

“You are the one that assaulted someone with a bottle in Australia, isn’t that right, Ms. Heard,” Vasquez charged.

“I didn’t assault Johnny in Australia,” Heard responded. “I didn’t assault Johnny, ever.”

Days earlier, Heard testified that she hit Depp, defensively.

“You weren’t afraid of him at all, were you?” Vasquez asked.

“I have a mixed relationship with Johnny,” Heard replied.

In a journal entry dated August that same year, just months after the alleged assault, Heard wrote: “Why do we fight? Ever… why?! I love you more than anything else. Are we that uncomfortable with being vulnerable? Are we scared? Or is it something else? I don’t know, but I am sure of one that — and it’s that I can’t imagine my life without you.”

Later that month, Heard wrote another entry with an apology: “I’m sorry I shook the wheels so hard — I’m sorry we’ve tested the shocks, brakes to this point, goddamn, I love you, I Johnny.”

Responding to the entry, Heard described it as “another example of me trying to fix it.”

“Fix it by apologizing for your behavior?” Vasquez asked.

Cross-examination is ongoing.

(Screenshot from Law&Crime Network)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on NewsNation, NBC, MSNBC, CBS's "Inside Edition," BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks. His reporting on the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was featured on the Starz and Channel 4 documentary "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" He is the host of Law&Crime podcast "Objections: with Adam Klasfeld."