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HomeInternationalAmber Heard Accuses ‘Belligerent’ Johnny Depp of Sexual Assault

Amber Heard Accuses ‘Belligerent’ Johnny Depp of Sexual Assault

Amber Heard described in graphic detail on Thursday how, she said, her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, beat and sexually assaulted her during a trip to Australia, during which she experienced the worst fear of her life.

Ms. Heard, testifying in the defamation case filed against her by Mr. Depp, said the couple took the trip in 2015, shortly after they were married because the actor was needed for the filming of the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. But, while there, Mr. Depp took MDMA, became “belligerent” and attacked her, hitting her in the face, throwing her across the room, ripping off her nightgown and grabbing her by the neck, she said.

“I’m looking in his eyes and I don’t see him anymore,” Ms. Heard, who sometimes broke into sobs during her testimony, said. “I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

Ms. Heard described the encounter during her second day of testimony in Fairfax County Circuit Court, where she and Mr. Depp are locked in a tense legal battle over just who defamed whom. In his own testimony, Mr. Depp denied hitting Ms. Heard and denied sexually assaulting her, accusing her of being the aggressor in the relationship.

The incident in Australia has emerged as a key point of contention in a trial that has focused on competing, and contradictory, accusations of spousal abuse. At some point during the confrontation, Ms. Heard described, part of the middle finger on Mr. Depp’s right hand had been severed, but the couple has presented differing accounts of how it actually happened and who was to blame.

Ms. Heard, 36, said Mr. Depp, 58, was angry about several issues, including his suspicion that she had been having an affair with another actor and his contention that she had been unkind to his sister. She said his attack escalated from vulgar name-calling to threats and violence. In an argument over his drinking, she said, she had thrown a liquor bottle on the ground.

“That really set him off,” she said.

Ms. Heard testified that during the fight, Mr. Depp threw bottles at her, missing and that later he sexually assaulted her with a bottle. She said that, though she could not see the bottle at the time, she was later able to deduce what the object had been.

According to Ms. Heard’s account, Mr. Depp severed his finger when he picked up a phone from the wall and smashed it into pieces. She said that after the attack she returned to that area of the house and found messages written on the walls and objects in the room, in blood and paint.

During his testimony earlier in the trial, Mr. Depp said his finger had been severed when Ms. Heard threw a handle of vodka at him that had shattered on his hand. He said she had been upset about a meeting she had with a lawyer over a potential postnuptial agreement, and described her following him around the house, screaming obscenities and “hammering me with brutal words.” He testified that when she discovered him drinking, she hurled a bottle of vodka at him, which missed, and then another, which made contact.

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As his hand bled “like Vesuvius,” Mr. Depp testified, he experienced a “nervous breakdown” and used his bloody finger to write on the walls messages that “represented lies that she told me.”Image

During her first day of testimony on Wednesday, Ms. Heard testified that Mr. Depp physically abused her throughout their relationship, recalling that his anger was triggered by suspicions she was being unfaithful, which would not abate despite her repeated denials.

In his testimony, Mr. Depp had denied ever hitting Ms. Heard and accused her of being the person who resorted to violence by punching him, throwing objects at him, and, once, kicking a bathroom door into his head. In court papers, Ms. Heard denied hitting Mr. Depp except in self-defense or in defense of her sister.

Mr. Depp’s suit contends that Ms. Heard defamed him in an op-ed piece in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although the article did not name Mr. Depp, he has asserted that it clearly alluded to their relationship and resulted in significant damage to his acting career.

Ms. Heard countersued Mr. Depp, asserting that he defamed her when a former lawyer of his made statements to the media claiming her domestic abuse allegations were a hoax. The seven-person jury is considering both lawsuits during the trial, which is taking place five years after the couple divorced.

As Ms. Heard described it, Mr. Depp was a controlling presence in her life, intent on having a say over what she wore and what acting jobs she took. She testified that in 2014, he became angry about the fact that she had a romantic scene in a movie with the actor James Franco, leading to a confrontation on a private plane — one of the central incidents in dispute.

On the plane, Ms. Heard said, Mr. Depp smelled of marijuana and alcohol, and he began asking her about the intimate scene with Mr. Franco, calling her a “go-getter” and suggesting that she had enjoyed it. She testified that she had tried not to engage but that Mr. Depp slapped her, threw ice cubes at her, and then kicked her in the back. Eventually, she said, he locked himself in the bathroom and passed out.

The incident led Ms. Heard to contemplate leaving him, she testified.

“I was scared if I left him; I was scared if I didn’t,” she said. “I didn’t feel safe going home.”

But Mr. Depp begged for forgiveness and promised that he was going to get sober, she said.

“I got back with him on the condition that he would uphold his promise to do the treatment, to do the full detox,” Ms. Heard said.

Mr. Depp gave a different version of events in his testimony. He denied having drunk excessively that day, saying he had taken two opioid pills and perhaps had a glass of champagne. Mr. Depp testified that Ms. Heard had been “actively searching for a way to instigate a fight with me” on the plane and was prodding him and heckling him, prompting him to retreat to the bathroom and fall asleep. He testified that Ms. Heard’s account of his drug and alcohol use was “grossly embellished.”

There will be a break in the trial next week; Ms. Heard will resume her testimony on May 16.

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