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From graphic texts to a severed finger, here are some of the stand out moments from Depp v Heard week two


By Sarah Gill
23rd Apr 2022

Sean Thew / AP Images

From graphic texts to a severed finger, here are some of the stand out moments from Depp v Heard week two

Before the court adjourned after the second week, Johnny Depp is cross-examined in this high profile defamation trial.

They say there are three sides to every story, and this celebrity defamation case will be a game of he-said-she-said until the jury makes a decision on the truth.

Since the trial began with opening arguments on April 12, the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial has been watched live by many on the Law & Crime Network’s Youtube channel.

Defamation by implication

Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million on the grounds that the actor’s reputation and career suffered following an opinion piece written by Heard in 2018 for the Washington Post, though he was not explicitly named. In the piece, entitled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”, Heard wrote that she was a victim of domestic abuse and Depp’s counsel are arguing that this constitutes “defamation by implication”.

Heard is counter-suing Depp for $100 million, arguing that he and his legal team defamed her in their statements that her allegations were an “abuse hoax”. She claims that Depp “authorised and conspired” with his counsel in order to “attempt to destroy and defame Ms Heard in the press”.

For a full account of what went down in the Fairfax Circuit Court during the first week of the trial, have a look at our ‘Depp v Heard: week one’ recap.

While the case is grounded in defamation, subsequent allegations of abuse have been made on both sides. Heard has made claims that Depp engaged in “verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse” while they were married. Throughout the trial, Depp has testified that he was a victim of abuse at the hands of Heard.

The week began with Doctor Kipper, Depp’s private doctor, listing the disorders with which he has diagnosed him with including primary dopamine imbalance, ADHD, bi polar disorder, depression, insomnia, substance dependence and chronic reflux.

One of Depp’s security guards, Sean Bett, also took to the stand to vow that he had never witnessed physical violence between the couple, but that he saw Depp with “a swollen cheekbone and eyelid”, describing “scratch marks around the nose area, and I believe to the side of his face”.

Depp’s testimony

Johnny Depp takes to the stand to explain to the court why he brought this case against his ex-wife. “Six years ago, quite heinous and disturbing criminal acts against me, that were not based in any species of truth,” he says. “There were arguments and things of that nature but never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.”

Stating his plans to get vindication for both himself and his children, Depp describes his fears that someone would approach his then 14 and 16-year-olds with “the infamous People Magazine cover with Ms Heard with a dark bruise on her face.”

From Cinderella to Quasimodo

“It’s very strange when you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in zero seconds you’re Quasimodo. I didn’t deserve that… I pride myself on honesty and truth. Truth is the only thing I’m interested in, lies will get you nowhere. I’m obsessed with the truth. Today is the first day I can speak about this case.”

Describing the case as incredibly “exposing” for both himself and his family, Depp goes on to detail the ways in which his mother’s verbal bullying and physical violence affected him. When asked to elaborate on how his mother acted with cruelty, he says “the physical abuse was constant… as she walked past you would shield yourself [he mimes being hit at]. We were all shell-shocked.”

Speaking on his history of substance abuse, Depp says it was a way to “numb the ghosts of my youth”, but he believes it was “self medication”. He also said that “the characterisation of [his] ‘substance abuse’ that’s been delivered by Ms Heard is grossly embellished” and that much of it is “just plainly false.”

Going on to pinpoint Heard’s anger, Depp says it seemed like she had “pure hatred” for him and that when it would become violent, “it could begin with throwing a TV remote at my head” or a “glass of wine in my face.”

The severed finger

Speaking on their Australia trip in 2015, Depp claims that following a discussion about prenuptial agreements, Heard “hurled” a liquor bottle at him, and that it smashed behind his head. She then grabbed the second bottle and threw it at him, and while he “felt no pain whatsoever”, he says he then realised the tip of his finger had been severed. “I was looking directly at my bone… sticking out… blood was pouring out.”

“I didn’t want to disclose that it was… what it was… I didn’t want to disclose that it had been Ms Heard… I didn’t want to get her in trouble,” Depp says. The court is also shown a photo of Depp with a bruise on his cheek, following what he describes as a “kind of a roundhouse punch from Ms Heard”.

Vulgar text messages

When Amber Heard’s lawyer Ben Rottenborn began his cross-examination, he read out a series of messages sent by Depp to his friend, Paul Bettany. “Let’s burn Amber,” later adding, “Let’s drown her before we burn her. I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”

In regard to these messages, Depp says that he is “embarrassed and ashamed.. That the heat of the moment and the pain went to dark places… Sometimes pain has to be dealt with with humour, sometimes very dark humour.”

Jurors also were shown a secretly filmed clip made by Heard that showed Depp smashing and kicking kitchen cabinets at his home in West Hollywood. Another recording heard Depp say, “I become irrational when you’re doing movies… I become jealous and f***ing crazy and weird, you know, we fight a lot more.”

When Depp’s cross-examination was coming to a close, he stated that he had lost “nothing less than everything” and that he will carry these allegations “for the rest of [his] days”.