Amber Heard is detailing her point of view over audiotaped heated arguments between her and ex Johnny Depp amid a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits that resumed Monday after a week-long break. According to Heard, they were initially recording each other for therapeutic purposes.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation for allegedly false domestic abuse accusations she made against him that he said hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, for $100 million.
The highly-publicized trial has been live-streamed on the Law & Crime Network YouTube channel and other outlets from a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, since mid-April.
Heard explained the reason the couple began recording each other was in order to get to the “heart” of their communication issues in a therapeutic fashion. She added that her use of the word “couch,” as heard in a previous audiotape played for the jury, was meant as a “safe word,” indicating “truce.”
In one audio recording, allegedly after a much-discussed trip to Australia in March 2015 — in which Depp’s finger got cut off — Heard could be heard alleging Depp’s abuse with drugs causing a “different version of him” to emerge.
The Australia trip in question is the one where Heard alleged Depp apparently chopped off his own digit one day after allegedly sexually assaulted her. However, Depp claims Heard is the one who sliced off his finger when she allegedly threw a bottle at him.
The introduction of audio recordings into the relationship in itself apparently became a subject of arguments, too. One tape seemed to depict Depp raising his voice amid an argument about the pair recording each other without the other’s permission.
Heard testified that Depp allegedly became “irate” at seeing a sex scene in a movie Heard was in. However, Heard said the filmmakers used a body double for the scene without telling her beforehand.
Heard also testified about an audiotape where she seemed to be heard admitting to hitting Depp and starting a physical fight. In the tape, she makes a distinction between hitting and punching. However, Heard claimed she was talking about a time when she hit Depp in self-defense.
“There’s two different situations that we’re referencing in this fight. Two different altercations between Johnny and I, involving the door. The first of which, which we first start talking about, where I’m talking about hitting him, I am talking about…what that conversation is about is about the disparity…the disparity between Johnny and I in our physical fights. The disparity of how he would proactively punch me and I would have to resort to reactively hitting him. I am talking about the difference between a punch, which Johnny did often, and me having to hit him in my defense.”
Previous testimony by Heard indicated Depp had allegedly slapped and punched her on multiple occasions and twice sexually assaulted her.
While Heard maintains she was abused by Depp, Depp claims just the opposite: he was abused by her and not the other way around.
Depp’s lawsuit against Heard centers around an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, in which she describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp isn’t named in the article, Heard made prior allegations of abuse against Depp in 2016, which he claims is referenced in the piece.
In addition to Heard wrapping up her direct testimony on the stand this week, she is expected to undergo cross-examination by Depp’s team soon thereafter. Heard also has several other witnesses lined up, including her sister Whitney Henriquez, actor Ellen Barkin, and Depp himself. This will be the second time Depp has taken the stand after he previously testified on behalf of himself and was cross-examined by Heard’s team.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or if you believe someone you know is being abused, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline. The hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE or spoken with online via the hotline’s website. Mobile phone owners can also text “START” to the number 88788.