Key moments in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial

Actor Johnny Depp puts his hand to his heart, acknowledging supporters, during a break in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, May 18, 2022. Image: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are suing each other for defamation, each claiming they were abused before and during their roughly two-year marriage. Heard’s team rested the defense case on Tuesday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday.

Below are key moments in the trial so far:


  • Depp testified that he never hit Heard or any other woman. He said she was the one who became abusive and “bullied” him with “demeaning name calling.” “If I stayed to argue, eventually, I was sure it was going to escalate into violence, and oftentimes it did,” he said.
  • The pair offered differing accounts of an early 2015 argument in Australia, where Depp was filming a fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. Depp said Heard threw a vodka bottle that severed the top of his right middle finger. The actor said he went into shock and used blood from his injury to write messages to Heard on the wall. Heard denied injuring Depp and said she was the one harmed that night. Speaking through sobs, she told the jury that Depp sexually assaulted her by inserting a liquor bottle in her vagina. “I was scared,” she said. “I had just married him.”
  • A few months later, Heard said, Depp broke her nose and ripped out chunks of her hair during another violent encounter.
  • Heard’s attorneys introduced photos that they said showed injuries after various arguments, including scars on her arm that were visible as she posed on a red carpet, and redness and swelling around an eye. A Depp lawyer showed images from public appearances around the time of their fights. The photos appeared to show no injuries, and Depp’s attorneys suggested Heard edited photos to make the redness more pronounced. Heard said she never edited the photos.
  • Depp testified that feces were found in the couple’s bed in 2016. One of his security guards said Heard told him it was “a horrible practical joke gone wrong.” Heard denied any involvement and suggested one of the couple’s dogs was responsible.
  • Heard’s lawyers introduced text messages in which Depp called Heard a “filthy whore” and said he wanted her dead. Writing to actor Paul Bettany in 2013, Depp said: “Let’s drown her before we burn her” and “I will f*ck her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead.” DC


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