Amber Heard alleges Johnny Depp threatened to kill her during ugly spat on a yacht

Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Content warning: the article contains descriptions of alleged domestic abuse that some readers may find disturbing.

Actor Amber Heard is alleging Johnny Depp threatened to kill her during an ugly spat on a yacht with Depp’s family, amid her testimony at a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits between the ex-spouses and celebrities.

Depp is suing Heard for defamation for $50 million for alleged false domestic abuse claims she made against him that he says hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, for $100 million.

The trial, unfolding in a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia, is being live-streamed on the Law & Crime Network YouTube channel.

Heard said the fight allegedly occurred during a trip to the Bahamas, with Depp and his children, in order to have a final hoorah with the yacht, which he was planning to sell to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

Heard alleged Depp was worried she would reveal to his children that Depp was drinking again. Heard also alleged he was upset he had to sell the yacht, to begin with.

Heard alleged that when Depp had jumped off the side of the boat and into the water, something the family members were taking turns doing in a playful way, the way he threw his body into the water was “scary” to her. Depp’s daughter allegedly started to cry, so she said she comforted her. But then Depp allegedly accused her of “kind of telling on him” about the drinking to his kids.

After that, according to Heard, Depp allegedly asked his daughter to leave the room and confronted Heard.

“He basically was accusing me of doing this thing, of making them aware of…that he was drinking again,” she said. 

“And he slams me up against the sidewall […] We were in the bedroom this whole time…but up against the wall of the cabin. And slams me up by my neck and holds me there for a second and tells me that he could f**king kill me. And I was an embarassment. I made him feel sick.”

Heard went on to say that she felt more hurt by Depp allegedly calling her an embarrassment and name-calling than by the alleged death threat, which she thought of as “hyperbole.”

Earlier in her testimony, Heard testified that the trial thus far has been the most painful experience of her life. She also detailed the alleged sexual abuse she said she experienced by Depp and shared a photo of what appeared to be her bruised arm that she alleged was caused by Depp’s physical abuse.

At the center of Depp’s current lawsuit is a Washington Post op-ed that Heard penned in 2018, in which she describes herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard doesn’t name Depp in the article, but Depp claims the piece nevertheless implied him as the abuser. Heard made previous domestic abuse allegations against Depp in 2016, something he says is referenced in the article.

A major focus of the trial has been the topic of domestic violence, with Heard maintaining she was abused by Depp, but Depp claiming just the opposite: he was abused by her, and not the other way around.

Last week, Depp wrapped up his four-day-long testimony, with Tuesday representing Depp’s team resting its case.

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.