Amber Heard Accuses Johnny Depp of Sexual Assault, Acting Like a ‘Monster’

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Johnny Depp scrunched his face, sometimes touching his lip, as Amber Heard’s attorneys made allegation after chilling allegation of domestic abuse during the opening statements of Depp’s defamation trial — which came to include the new claim that he sexually assaulted Heard with an object. Heard’s lawyers told the jury that she had fallen in love with Depp’s charismatic side and he lured her into his abusive world. At one point in their relationship, when things had taken a turn for the worst, Depp admitted to having “rage like a demon,” according to Heard’s lawyers.

Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse are being aired in court as a result of her December 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post, in which she wrote that there needed to be more support for domestic-violence victims. Heard referred to personal experience in making the argument. She did not name Depp as her abuser in the article; however, in 2016, she had accused him of abuse. Depp filed a $50 million civil suit against her in March 2019, citing Disney dropping him from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise as an example of damage. Depp has vehemently denied Heard’s abuse allegations. He alleged that Heard was the abuser. Heard is pursuing counterclaims against Depp — maintaining that his denials defamed her.

Heard and Depp met while working together on The Rum Diary, started dating a couple years later, married in 2015, and split in 2016. During their tumultuous years together, Depp was frequently drunk and high, breaking into rages amid fits of inebriation, attorney Elaine Bredehoft told jurors. Bredehoft said that once, not long after the two had started dating, Depp slapped Heard repeatedly after she asked about his “Winona Forever” tattoo, which he had altered to say “Wino Forever” after breaking up with Winona Ryder. As Bredehoft described, Heard fell off the sofa and Depp got on the ground next to her. “I thought I had put the monster away for good,” he had allegedly said.

One of the most horrific alleged instances of abuse took place in Australia in 2016. Depp is accused of taking between eight and ten ecstasy tablets, ripping off Heard’s nightgown, dragging her across the floor, and punching and kicking her.

“Then he penetrates her with a liquor bottle — that’s the Johnny Depp you’re going to hear about in this case,” Bredehoft told jurors.

Heard’s team claims that in another alleged incident in May 2016, Depp broke into a rage when he returned home and found excrement in his and Heard’s bed. The couple had two dogs, but Depp was convinced that Heard and her friends — who had been at a music festival — had “conspired to defecate in his bed.”

Heard’s attorneys also mentioned Depp’s relationship with another alleged abuser, “his good friend Marilyn Manson.”

Depp’s lawyers, who presented their opening statement first, portrayed him as a long-suffering husband. Their description of his powerlessness made him sound like the hapless man in any number of psychosexual thrillers. Camille M. Vasquez, in her portion of the opening statement, told jurors: “Ultimately, this trial is about clearing Mr. Depp’s name of a terrible false allegation.”

“She’s a profoundly troubled person who manipulated the people around her — just like she manipulated Mr. Depp,” Vasquez said of Heard. When Depp first met Heard, Vasquez continued, “At first, he avoided her advances, but she pursued him. She wooed him.” Depp fell for Heard, Vasquez narrated: “Over time, the real Ms. Heard began to emerge.” Vasquez said Depp had learned to cope with an abusive woman without resorting to violence, because his mother was abusive. “Mr. Depp started coping with Ms. Heard in the same way he did as a child,” she told jurors. Depp’s lawyer alleged that at one point, not long after Depp and Heard married, Depp wanted to leave an argument and Heard threw a vodka bottle at him — severing one of his fingers.

“Mr. Depp will go to his grave knowing that, whatever what he does, there will always be people who believe he abused a woman,” Vasquez said (Following openings, a spokesperson for Depp responded to Heard’s sexual-assault allegations with a statement echoing his defense: “These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber’s allegations in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later once she was sued for defamation after noting in her op-ed that she was a victim of ‘sexual violence.’ Words are key in a defamation case and conveniently, this allegation only came after that. This follows a pattern of her elaborate, erroneous claims which have continued to change and evolve over time for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement.” )

Inside the courtroom, Depp’s fans were rapt by his appearance. When he entered just after 10 a.m., one fan — who sported a “cry baby” shirt — brought her hand to her mouth as if to gasp. Others whispered to each other and craned their necks to see him. Before opening remarks started, Depp’s fans waiting outside the court said they support him despite everything that’s been in the press. The first Johnny Depp fan at court Tuesday arrived at 3 a.m. One by one, others congregated. By 5 a.m., at least ten were lined up. Some had brought camping chairs. The first attendee had traveled from Portugal; she had few words but voiced a similar sentiment: “I believe him.”

Amber Heard Accuses Johnny Depp of Sexual Assault