Amber Heard has used her final moments on the stand before she is cross-examined by Johnny Depp’s lawyers to claim her ex abused her from early in the relationship and that she thought she could be killed during the couple’s honeymoon.
“I hadn’t even spoke about the sexual abuse within my marriage…I didn’t want to talk about that ever,” Heard said on Monday (Australian time), alluding to further abuse allegations.
The actress also defended her actions in hitting her then-husband and gave her version of events about one of the bizarre revelations to come out of the sensational trial – the “poop in the bed” story.
In an emotional day in court following a week-long break, Heard returned to the witness stand in the American state of Virginia where jurors are considering duelling defamation claims by the former spouses.
Depp’s lawyers are expected to begin questioning her on Tuesday morning.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $US50 million ($73 million), saying she defamed him when she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse.
Heard has counter-sued for $US100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.
Here’s the latest.
Heard’s honeymoon terror
Heard adjusted her original testimony, claiming that she now recalled that she was abused earlier in their relationship.
“I’m embarrassed to say I think I would have liked to believe that the period of time in which I fell in love with Johnny, in which we fell in love and he was sober and he wasn’t violent to me, lasted longer than it did,” Heard said.
Therapy notes helped her pinpoint abuse dating back as early as 2012 rather than 2013, she alleged.
One of the most frightening incidents she referred to was a night during the couple’s 2015 honeymoon onboard the Orient Express.
In a sleeping car on the train, Heard said, Depp slapped her across the face and repeatedly slammed her body against a wall.
He then took his shirt off and wrapped it around her neck, she told the jury.
“That’s how I woke up the next morning,” Heard said.
“I woke up with it still around my neck and a giant knot on the back of my head.”
She said she thought he could unintentionally kill her.
“He was squeezing my neck against the railway car for what felt like a very long time,” she said.
Heard said they had a loving relationship when Depp was sober but that he often turned violent when drinking or using drugs.
In another instance, Heard described a “week of hell” in which Depp allegedly punched her and threw her into furniture when she was offered a role with James Franco.
Heard defends hitting Depp
The Pirates of the Caribbean star testified earlier that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship.
Among the evidence showing Heard had been violent is a recording in which she can be heard telling Depp she was “hitting” him not “punching” him.
“I was hitting you. I was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched,” Heard says on the tape.
Depp, who alleges Heard had punched him with a closed fist, responds, “Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched.”
“You’re fine,” Heard says.
“I did not hurt you. I did not punch you. I was hitting you.”
Addressing this recording during the court hearing, Heard admitted to starting a physical fight and said Depp had done the right thing by leaving the room.
She said the violence occurred while she was defending herself while hiding in a room and trying to stop Depp coming through the door.
“I hit his arms, his body as he was trying to prevent me from closing the door,” Heard said.
“I knew what he would do to me when he got to the other side.”
She claimed Depp would “proactively” punch her and that she would “reactively” hit him in defence.
Heard told the court her ex would create self-inflicted injuries – including burning his face with a cigarette – while screaming at her during their arguments.
That story contradicts Depp’s previous testimony that Heard extinguished a cigarette on his face.
“In fights he often would cut his arms or hold his knife to his chest or draw blood superficially,” Heard said.
The faecal matter
Among the other allegations against Heard is a disturbing claim that she had defecated on Depp’s side of the marital bed after a fight on the night of her 30th birthday.
While a security guard has given evidence the actress admitted to “prank”, Heard has blamed her pet dog, Boo.
Photographs of the “poop” in question have circulated around the internet (save that search for after breakfast) – with internet users noting a dog as small as the Yorkshire terrier may not be able to produce a mound of that size.
Heard claimed their pet had lifelong “bowel control issues” after eating a bag of Depp’s marijuana.
“First of all, I don’t think that’s funny,” she said.
“I was not, also, in a pranking mood…my life was falling apart.
“I had just been attacked on my 30th birthday by my violent husband, with whom I was desperately in love and knew I needed to leave…it was not really a jovial time, and I don’t think that’s funny…that’s disgusting.”
Behind the trial
The legal case hinges on a December 2018 opinion piece Heard authored that appeared in the Washington Post.
The article never mentioned Depp by name but his lawyer told jurors it was clear Heard was referencing him.
Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything”.
A new Pirates movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, a Harry Potter spin-off.
Heard’s lawyers have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the US constitution’s first amendment.
On Monday, Heard told the court: “All I have is my integrity”.
“I didn’t want this to go to a prosecutor. I didn’t want this to hurt Johnny. I don’t want this to hurt Johnny,” she said.
She added that Depp had publicly called her a liar and was “forcing” her to prove she wasn’t lying.
Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labelled him a “wife beater”.
A London High Court judge ruled he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.
Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.