Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard: the shocking trial’s wildest moments

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Johnny Depp, and ex-wife Amber Heard have been squaring off in a bombshell civil trial that opened in Virginia 12 days ago, accusing each other of physical and emotional abuse.


Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post, alleging that she was a victim of domestic abuse. The piece did not specifically name Depp.

Attorneys for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star say her false allegations derailed his career and turned him into a pariah in Hollywood. Heard countersued for $100 million accusing him and his former attorney of conspiring to “destroy and defame” her. 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard appear in court April 12, 2022, in Fairfax, Va. 
(Brendan Smialowski/various sources/AFP)

The couple’s brief marriage detonated in 2016 when Heard, sporting a bruised face, filed for a restraining order at a Los Angeles courthouse as a gaggle of reporters and photographers swarmed. 

The divorce was finalized in 2017, with Heard receiving a whopping $7 million payout for the 15-month union. But the mutual mudslinging has continued in full force, with both actors becoming better known for their toxic marriage than their movie roles. 

Johnny Depp testifies April 21, 2022, at his $50 million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
(Jim Lo Scalzo)

The civil trial left off Thursday with Depp wrapping up his third day on the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia. The “Black Mass” actor’s cross-examination is expected to continue Monday. But he isn’t the only A-lister who could testify. 

Heard’s legal team may call her ex-lover, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and her “Pineapple Express” co-star James Franco, according to a witness list.

Explosive sexual assault claim

In a stunning escalation, Heard claimed publicly for the first time that Depp had sexually assaulted her during their brief marriage. Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, said that Depp violated the actress during a three-day drug-induced blackout in Australia in 2015.

Actress Amber Heard listens in court April 18, 2022. 
(AP/ Steve Helber)

“Amber did suffer sexual violence at the hands of Depp,” he told a panel of seven jurors in his opening statement. “You will hear in the most graphic and horrifying terms about the violence that she suffered. You’ll hear that straight from her.”

Depp’s team has vehemently denied he ever sexually assaulted her. 

“These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber’s allegations in 2016 and only advantageously surfaced years later once she was sued for defamation,” a spokesperson told Fox News Digital. 

The marriage counselor

The couple abused each other during their vicious quarrels, a marriage counselor testified in a videotaped deposition.

“With Ms. Heard, he was triggered, and they engaged in what I saw as mutual abuse,” said Dr. Laurel Anderson. “I know she led on more than one occasions and started it.”

Actor Johnny Depp and then-wife Amber Heard at the premiere of “Black Mass” in 2015.
(Reuters/Fred Thornhill TPX)

Heard told Anderson that she had hit, socked and thrown a can at the “Sweeney Todd” star on various occasions. She said he also hit her.

“It was a point of pride to [Heard] if she felt disrespected to initiate a fight,” the Los Angeles doctor said.

During the couple’s therapy sessions, which began in October 2015, Depp had difficulty having a voice, according to the clinical psychologist. 

“Ms. Heard had a jackhammer style of talking,” she said. “He was cut off a lot.”

The infamous defecation incident

After another blowup with Heard on her 30th Birthday in April 2016, Depp said he fled their Los Angeles home.

He planned to return to pick up a few items while Heard was at Coachella, but his security warned him against it and showed him a photograph of their bed.


“On my side of the bed was human fecal matter,” Depp testified. “I laughed. It was so outside, it was so bizarre and so grotesque that I could only laugh.” 

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard at Rodeo Austin at the Travis County Expo Center March 9, 2014, in Austin, Texas.
(Suzanne Cordeiro/Corbis via Getty Images)

Depp has previously accused Heard or one of her friends of defecating in the bed. But Heard has denied it, blaming the feces on her teacup Yorkies.

“I lived with those dogs for many years,” Depp said. “That did not come from a dog. It just didn’t.”

Johnny Depp’s severed finger

Depp told jurors on direct examination that his ex-wife hurled an enormous bottle of vodka at him, smashing his hand and severing the tip of his right middle finger.

The pair were in Australia, where Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie and had a vicious fight in 2015 over a postnuptial agreement he had asked Heard to sign.

“What I felt was heat. I felt heat and I felt as if something was dripping down my hand,” Depp recalled. “I looked down and realized the tip of my finger had been severed. I was looking directly at my bones sticking out.”

A combination of evidence photos showing Johnny Depp with a cast on his finger he says was severed by Amber Heard during a brawl in 2015. The photo on the right shows the actor in a hospital bed with an alleged cigarette burn on his cheek getting treatment for his injured finger.
(Evidence photos)

Depp said he suffered a nervous breakdown and used what remained of his finger to scrawl messages in a mixture of blood and paint on the walls.

A photo of the actor at the hospital shows him with a round mark on his cheek. 

“Ms. Heard had taken my cigarette from the ashtray and stomped it out in my face,” he recalled, as his lawyers showed the panel gory photos of his injuries.

Heard’s lower lip trembled, and she looked as though she was on the verge of tears during her ex-husband’s testimony. The “London Fields” actress has denied slicing the tip of Depp’s finger and claimed that he brutally beat her in a drug-fueled rage on the trip.

Shocking texts 

Depp admitted on the stand that he texted pal Paul Bettany about drowning and burning then-girlfriend Amber Heard.

In this Jan. 2, 2016, file photo, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp arrive at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, Calif.

“After you said, ‘Let’s drown her before we burn her,’ you said ‘I will f— her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead?’” Rottenborn asked Depp of the June 11, 2013, message.

Depp echoed a similar sentiment in a 2016 text to his friend, Isaac Baruch. “I hope Amber’s rotting corpse is decomposing in the f—ing trunk of a Honda Civic,” he wrote. 

Breakfast of champions 

Jurors were shown a photo of Johnny Depp’s morning sustenance taken in Amber Heard’s house in Los Angeles in March 2013.

Laid out on a table are two glasses of whiskey and four lines of cocaine next to a box with a skull and crossbones and Depp’s initials on it.

“You’d sometimes drink whiskey in the morning?” Rottenborn asked during cross-examination.

“Isn’t happy hour any time?” replied Depp, who has admitted to trying every drug known to man by the age 14.


In another photo, snapped by Heard, Depp is shown passed out on a sofa with a pint of melted ice cream on his lap.