Disclaimer: There is triggering information in the following article. Readers’ discretion is advised.
In 2009, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met during the filming of The Rum Diary. After dating each other for 2 years in what was often dubbed a tumultuous relationship, the duo got engaged.
On February 3, 2015, the duo got married in a private ceremony. However, the next year, Heard filed for a divorce, claiming Depp abused her physically, by throwing a phone at her and bruising her.
In August 2016, they decided to settle their abuse case out of court. And as part of their divorce, she received a settlement of $7 million, which she announced that she will donate. However, reports later emerged that she donated only part of the total amount. The couple eventually got divorced in 2017.
I became a public figure representing domestic abuse and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.
In January 2020, recordings, in which Heard admitted to ‘hitting’ Depp with pots, pans and vases, resurfaced on a popular news website, DailyMail. In the taped conversations, which the couple made back in 2015, she was heard saying:
I’m sorry that I didn’t, uh, uh, hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched. I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you. You are such a baby. Grow the fuck up, Johnny.
On April 27, 2018, Dan Wootton, The Sun’s executive editor published an article with the headline “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film? “, hinting at the allegations of domestic abuse on the actor. He, however, tweaked the headline later.
In July 2020, Depp sued the renowned website along with its executive editor for calling him a ‘wife beater’. However, in November 2020, the UK court found the tabloid’s claims to be ‘substantially true’ and the actor was denied an appeal.
In response, the actor took to his social media handle on November 6, 2020, and mentioned how the court’s ‘surreal judgement’ would not change his fight to tell the truth, in a post.
On April 11, 2022, the trial for his defamation case against his now-former wife began in Virginia. As the actor took the stand first on April 19, he testified about his terrible experiences growing up with an abusive mother, his battles with substance abuse and his rough relationship with his now ex-wife.
He said that he used to have arguments with his ex-wife during their relationship but also said:
Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms Heard in any way nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.
In the court proceedings, various proofs, in the forms of video recordings and text messages, were furnished by both sides. Some of the major findings of the proceedings include recordings of Heard mocking Depp about being a man and a ‘victim’ of domestic abuse, Depp referring to Heard in an uncivilized manner on various text messages with friends, and therapist and doctors’ testimonies proving that both Heard and Depp were part of a toxic relationship.
Other witnesses expected to take the stand in the coming weeks include Elon Musk, and actors James Franco and Paul Bettany. The trial is scheduled to end on May 19, 2022.