Amber Heard took the stand for the first time in her defense against ex-husband Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against her, telling the court that the first time Depp became violent with her “changed my life.”
Depp is suing heard for $50 million over an essay she wrote in the Washington Post in 2018 in which she wrote about becoming a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article didn’t mention Depp by name, but the time period overlaps the time the couple was together.
Depp’s attorneys rested their case on Tuesday, as CrimeOnline previously reported, and the defense began with a forensic psychologist who testified that Heard suffered from post traumatic stress disorder from the abuse Depp heaped on her, a counter to Depp’s psychologist who testified that Heard showed symptoms of at least two personality disorders and appeared to be the aggressor in the couple’s relationship.
After Depp’s attorneys cross-examined the psychologist, Heard took the stand.
Heard told the court that the two had been in a relationship for about a year when she asked him about a tattoo’s meaning, NBC News said. The actor said the tattoo meant “wino,” and Heard said she laughed.
“I just laughed because I thought he was joking. And he slapped me across the face,” Heard said. “And I laughed. I laughed, because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought, ‘this must be a joke.’”
“I will never forget it,” she said. “It changed my life.”
Depp himself had previously testified about the incident and the tattoo, which he got when he was in a relationship with actor Winona Ryder. It had been altered to read “wino.” Depp testified that Heard had laughed at the tattoo but denied hitting her.
On the stand, Heard leaned into Depp’s drug and alcohol use, saying his violent outbursts coincided those times he was drinking or doing drugs. Depp had testified that while he did drink and do drugs, he was never out of control.
“I wanted to want to leave him. I wanted him to get better,” Heard said. “And he expressed to me so many times when he was in that period of getting clean and sober, ‘You saved my life. Baby girl, you saved my life.’ Everyone else is saying that to me, and I believed it.”
Heard testified that Depp’s violent outbursts broke her heart, USA Today reported.
“I didn’t want to leave him … I know you don’t come back from that,” she said. “I know you can’t hit a woman, you can’t hit a man. You can’t hit anybody. I knew it was wrong and that I had to leave him and that’s what broke my heart because I didn’t want to leave him.”
Early in her testimony, Heard described meeting him on the set of “The Rum Diaries” and falling in love.
“When I was around Johnny I felt like the most beautiful person in the whole world,” she said, later adding “I fell head-over-heels in love with this man.”
But Depp began to be controlling as they went on, she said, with Depp taking issue with her clothes and worrying she was cheating on him. Their arguments would get ugly, she said, and Depp would leave, coming back as the “wonderful, almost unreal … unbelievably nice, sensitive, warm generous funny man that I loved.”
Depp had previously testified that he frequently left, or at least tried to, in an attempt to de-escalate their arguments.
“It was always intense. it didn’t become intense, it started that way,” Heard said.
Heard’s testimony will continue on Thursday.
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[Featured image: Actor Amber Heard testifies while ex-husband Johnny Depp listens on May 4, 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Pool Photo via AP)]