Heard was called to testify on the 14th day of the defamation trial that has been underway in Fairfax, Va. Depp has sued her for $50 million, alleging that she destroyed his career by alluding to her domestic abuse allegations in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post.
Early in her testimony, Heard made it clear that she did not want to be there, saying that the trial has been among the worst experiences of her life.
“This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything,” she said. “This is the most painful and difficult thing I have ever gone through.”
Heard also testified over the course of four days in the United Kingdom in 2020, after Depp sued the The Sun newspaper for calling him a “wife beater.” The Sun prevailed in that trial, as the judge ruled that Heard’s allegations were “substantially true.”
Depp is looking for a second chance to redeem his reputation. In his own testimony two weeks ago, Depp maintained that Heard had repeatedly struck him, and that while he had yelled at her during their relationship, he never struck back. Depp’s attorneys also argued that Heard’s opinion piece, in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” cost him his role in the sixth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise — which would have netted him $22.5 million.
Heard told jurors that she met Depp when she was cast in “The Rum Diary,” and they began their relationship on the press tour for the film in late 2011. She said they bonded over obscure poetry and literature and that, at first, it was a “whirlwind romance.”
“When I was around Johnny I felt like the most beautiful person in the whole world,” she said. “He made me feel seen like a million dollars.”
But early in the relationship, she said that Depp became possessive and controlling. She said she would not tell him about auditions she was going on and that he made harsh comments when she wore a low-cut dress. She said that sometimes he would have a “blow-up” and would smash things, throw a glass, flip over a table or punch the wall.
She also recounted the first time that he ever hit her. She said she was sitting on the couch and asked about a tattoo on his arm. He said the tattoo read “Wino.” She began to laugh, she said, and he slapped her across the face. She laughed some more, and he slapped her again. Then, she said he slapped her a third time and she ended up on the floor.
“I knew it was wrong and I had to leave him,” she said, becoming emotional on the stand. “That’s what broke my heart. I didn’t want to leave him.”
Heard’s testimony is expected to continue for the next several days. Her attorneys have already previewed her testimony, saying she will accuse Depp of repeatedly sexually assaulting her, choking her and slamming her against walls.