On Thursday, Amber Heard took the stand for the last time in the much-memed and -dissected Heard-Depp defamation trial. As the prosecution, Heard was the final witness in the six-week trial and used her time on the stand to address the humiliation that she’s endured as a result of this ordeal. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million, claiming that a Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote about the alleged sexual and psychological abuse she suffered at the hands of Depp caused the Fantastic Beasts actor to lose out on acting contracts. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million for defamation over a statement where Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, called Heard’s claims of emotional trauma an “abuse hoax.” The trial has metastasized into a cultural phenomenon where throngs of people rush to YouTube comment sections, Twitter, and TikTok to share their many thoughts on the proceedings, rally behind Depp, and lip-sync scenes from the trial. “It’s been agonizing,” Heard said. “This is humiliating for any human being to go through. Perhaps it’s easy to forget that, but I am a human being.”
In the rebuttal to her counterclaim against Depp, Heard told the jury that she’s suffered publicly as a result of Waldman’s statements. Heard testified that she lives in fear. She described the discourse on social media as a Depp-coordinated “campaign echoed every day on social media” that has “elicited millions of people,” which puts both herself and her child in danger. “I am harassed, humiliated, threatened, every single day,” Heard said. “People want to kill me every day. People want to put my baby in the microwave, and they tell me that.” Depp was stoic as Heard made statement after statement about her day-to-day life. Following her relationship with Depp, she established physical boundaries with her friends and intimate partners so that she doesn’t have a panic attack where she relives the trauma that Depp allegedly inflicted. “I’m not sitting in this courtroom snickering,” Heard testified.
In an emotional moment, Heard emphasized that she just wants to move on from her relationship with Depp and the barrage of threats she has since received from his supporters. “I just want Johnny to leave me alone,” she asserted while holding back tears, a phrase she has repeated throughout the trial. When asked about what she hopes to reclaim after the trial is over, Heard said that she hopes to reclaim her voice. Speaking through tears, she explained that she has a right to tell her story and own her truth. “I have a right to my voice and my name. He took it long enough. I have a right as an American to talk about what happened to me.”
During a cross-examination, Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, insinuated that the trial has been difficult for Heard because of her “lies.” She then accused Heard of leaking a video of Depp slamming cabinets to TMZ and alerting the paparazzi about her trip to the Los Angeles County courthouse in May 2016 to file a domestic-violence restraining order with a bruise on her face. Calling the trial “the Johnny Depp show,” Heard denied the allegations. Vasquez rebutted Heard’s testimony with a list of witnesses who have spoken on behalf of Depp, including the “out of the woodwork” statements made from Depp’s ex-girlfriend Kate Moss. “I know how many people will come out and say whatever for him. That’s his power,” Heard responded. “He is a very powerful man and people love currying favor with powerful men.”
“He promised me global humiliation,” Heard told the court.