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The biggest bombshells from the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial so far – Entertainment Weekly News

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Intimate details about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's volatile relationship, including domestic and substance abuse allegations, have been made public amid the former couple's defamation lawsuit. 
Depp is suing Heard, his ex-wife, for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote chronicling her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Though Heard never mentions Depp by name, his lawyers argue that references to their client (and Heard's previous abuse allegations following their 2017 divorce) are clear and have damaged Depp's career and reputation. Heard filed a $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations false.
With four weeks down and two more to go, Depp has completed his time on the stand. Heard began her testimony last week and will retake the stand when the trial returns from a weeklong break on Monday, May 16. Closing arguments will be on Friday, May 27; like the rest of the trial, the conclusion will be aired live on CourtTV and Law&Crime Network. Until then, revisit some of the biggest bombshells from the trial so far below.
Depp and Heard have both accused each other of physical and verbal abuse throughout the trial. Depp alleged that Heard has punched, kicked, thrown items at him, and severed the tip of his finger (more on that later) amidst their turbulent relationship, while Heard alleged that Depp has hit her, slammed her against walls, pulled out patches of her hair, and sexually assaulted her while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Dr. Laurel Anderson, Depp and Heard's former couples therapist, categorized the relationship as mutually abusive in a pre-recorded deposition shared in court — an analysis that has proved divisive. Some experts say that mutual abuse is a myth and that Depp and Heard's dynamic was one of reactive abuse, with power imbalances in which Depp had the upper hand. Other experts say that abuse is not always perpetrated solely by one person and that there isn't always a power imbalance.
Heard's first witness, a psychologist and interpersonal violence expert named Dr. Dawn Hughes, for example, denied that mutual abuse occurred between Heard and Depp, explaining that she witnessed "very clear psychological traumatic effects" during her evaluations of Heard as a result of "intimate partner violence." On the other hand, Dr. Darcy Sterling, a relationship therapist and clinical social worker, previously told EW, "Both partners were egregious in their behaviors, and neither seems to realize their culpability. Things are always easier to make sense of when one person is clearly a victim and the other a perpetrator… In my 27 years of practicing as a therapist, the vast majority of relationships I've seen show problems in both partners."
Audio recordings, videos, text messages, and email exchanges have been shared as evidence in court over the last four weeks. In an audio clip, Heard admits to hitting Depp, calls him a "baby," and says no one would believe he's a victim. In a video, Depp is seen slamming kitchen cabinets and appears to be behaving erratically. Photographs seemed to show both actors with bruising and injuries allegedly inflicted on each other. Other photographs showed drugs like cocaine laid out on tabletops, while still more depicted Depp allegedly passed out from drinking in excess. (Depp testified that Heard's characterization of his substance use was "grossly embellished" and that she used drugs as well.) And graphic text exchanges were presented featuring conversations between the couple and some of their famous friends, like Paul Bettany, Marilyn Manson, and Elton John, on Depp's side. Texts the actor sent to Bettany about "burning" and "f—ing" Heard's rotted corpse, which were made public during Depp's 2018 lawsuit against The Sun, were once again presented. (Depp testified that he was "embarrassed" about the text exchanges, attributing his vocabulary to dark humor.) Elsewhere, text exchanges between Depp and Heard that alluded to domestic violence were also presented.
"Just thought you should know that there exists a book titled Disco Bloodbath. That's all…." Depp texted to Heard in one message, prompting her to reply, "We need that book! Is it about last Friday night, by any chance?" Depp replied, "How can you make me smile about such a hideous moment??? Yes, it is… Funny bitch. I f—ing love you." Another text from Depp read, "I feel pushed… I push back… I feel hurt… I will hurt back… A fight commences, I WILL fight back!!! And obviously, so will you!!!"
Back to that infamous severed fingertip. One event that has been repeatedly dissected throughout the trial centers on an argument that occurred in Australia in 2015. Living together in the country while he filmed Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Depp alleged that Heard effectively cut off the tip of his middle finger when she hurled a broken liquor bottle at him following an argument about a prenuptial agreement. (Depp alleged Heard was upset that he broached the topic of obtaining one in Australia, while Heard alleged that it was Depp who didn't want to get one.)
Per Depp's testimony: "My hand is on the edge of the bar and she threw the large bottle and it made contact and shattered everywhere. I didn't feel the pain at first — what I felt was heat and something dripping down my hand. I looked down and realized that the tip of my finger had been severed. I was looking directly at my bones sticking out and the meaty portion… blood was pouring out." He added, "I don't know what a nervous breakdown feels like, but that's the closest I've ever [felt to it]. Nothing made sense. I knew in my mind and my heart that this is not life. No one should have to go through this."
In her testimony, Heard alleged that an intoxicated Depp threw her around, shoved her against the refrigerator, and bashed her against a wall. "It [was] so easy for him to throw me around," Heard said, adding through tears that Depp shoved a liquor bottle "inside of me over and over again," and "said he would kill me." Of the aftermath, she said, "I remember being in the bathroom. I remember retching. I remember I couldn't control my bladder. I remember there was some blood on the floor." Heard also said Depp wrote messages on the walls and furniture with his bloodied, severed finger: "Things to the effect of 'go-getter,' 'whore.' Calling me easy, calling me a slut," she said.
Heard testified that with Depp, there was a "revolving door of accusations" of cheating. The actor, she said, often accused her of sleeping with friends, ex-partners, and costars, including James FrancoBilly Bob Thornton, and Eddie Redmayne. "He hated, hated James Franco," Heard said. "He was accusing me of secretly having a thing with him in the past since we had done Pineapple Express together." Heard alleged that Depp discouraged her from acting. Heard claimed she bargained with Depp to be able to star in Magic Mike XXL, a movie with a predominantly male cast. She said he "reluctantly agreed," partly because it did not feature extensive sex or kissing scenes. "I wasn't going to play a sexualized character. I wore minimal makeup."
Depp admitted he was suspicious that Heard was cheating, testifying that "occasionally, yes," he felt insecure when she befriended costars. Heard's lawyer also presented an audio recording of Depp telling Heard, "I become irrational when you're doing movies. I become jealous and f—ing weird and we fight a lot more."
Heard testified that she suspected Depp of cheating on her shortly after their 2015 wedding. "He was texting this woman that he had had a relationship with on and off kind of at the beginning of our relationship, so I recognized the name," Heard testified. "But the date was right after the wedding. I saw that he had gone to her house after we had gotten married. Upon touching down in Los Angeles, I think it was the next day he went to this woman's house that he has this sexual relationship with… I remember being so mad at him for cheating on me. It just felt like everything came crashing down."
Depp's severed fingertip is not the only bizarre anecdote to emerge from the defamation trial. The actor accused Heard of leaving human feces on his side of the bed following an argument in 2016.
When Depp's bodyguard showed him a photo of the feces, Depp told the court: "My initial response to that was, I mean… I laughed. It was so outside. It was so bizarre and so grotesque that I could only laugh." Depp said he approached Heard about a divorce not too long after. "I figure she understood as well as I did there was no way back," Depp testified. "I also felt she would understand it was the best thing for the both of us." He said when Heard brought up the feces, she "tried to blame it on the dogs." He added, "They're teacup Yorkies. They weigh about 4 pounds each. The photograph that I saw — I lived with those dogs for many years. It was not the dogs… I didn't feel like I deserved that kind of treatment."
The Yorkies were brought up again in Heard's testimony last week. Heard alleged that Depp once grabbed one of the Yorkies and held it out of a moving car window. "He grabs this teacup Yorkie [named] Boo out of the window of the moving car, and he's howling like an animal while holding the dog out the window," Heard testified. "And everyone in the car — I'll never forget it — everyone just froze. No one did anything. It's this eerie moment where he's howling and holding this animal out of the car window. More than that weird memory, I have a memory of everyone just kind of not really reacting to him."
Ahead of this week's hiatus, each legal team released opposing statements. "As Mr. Depp's counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver 'the performance of her life' in her direct examination," a spokesperson for Depp said. "While Ms. Heard's stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp's recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made. His truth — the truth — is the same no matter the environment in which it is has been presented. The upcoming cross examination from Mr. Depp's team will be most telling, and will certainly highlight the many fallacies Ms. Heard has now attempted to pass off as fact throughout her convoluted testimony."
A spokesperson for Heard said, "Mr. Depp's defamation claim is falling apart so rapidly that his counsel are turning from prosecutor to persecutor. If Mr. Depp was truly innocent, why has he repeatedly apologized to Ms. Heard and promised to put the 'monster away for good'? One of Ms. Heard's disappointments is Mr. Depp's inability to distinguish fact from fiction — a malady which appears to have spread to his legal team. That same team is so panicked they are fighting tooth and nail to prevent compelling evidence and photos from being introduced… Mr. Depp's behavior in this trial has been as pitiful as it was in their marriage. Apparently, they feel they must double-down on their demonstrably losing two-part strategy: distract the jury and demonize the victim."
Depp's defamation trial against Heard resumes May 16 at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT.
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Anand works as a work from home journalist based in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Anand had contributed content for various websites and also worked as a chief technical editor for ASPAlliance.com. He also contributed content for several print magazines like DevPro (formerly asp.netPRO) and his headshot appeared on the front page of the July 2006 issue of the magazine.