Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial: What has happened so far?

The massively public trial defamation trial between Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard is in full swing, and despite it being absolutely everywhere, it’s hard to keep up.

Depp is suing his ex-wife, 35, for libel after she penned an op-ed in the Washington Post, with the headline: ‘I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change’.

The actor is seeking damages of $50 million (£39 million) in the suit; he was not named in the article.

Meanwhile, Heard is counter-suing Depp for libel and is seeking $100 million (£78.5 million) in damages after Depp labeled her a liar.

Lawyers for Heard argue that her article is protected by the first amendment of the US constitution, and there is also evidence that Depp physically and sexually abused her.

Depp insists he never struck Heard.

The trial is fully public, with audiences being given a front-row seat to the affair and each day bringing new chaos, revelations, and claims.

So, what has happened so far in the trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard?

Depp labeled an ‘obsessed ex-husband hell-bent on revenge’

The trial began with Depp and Heard’s respective lawyers laying out their case, with Heard’s lawyers claiming Depp was an ‘obsessed ex-husband hell-bent on revenge’.

They told the jury they were being asked to decide only if Heard’s article was free speech, protected under the first amendment, and warned they would see ‘who the real Johnny Depp is behind the fame’.

Depp’s lawyers argued the allegations were completely false and the actress was ‘preparing to give the performance of a lifetime’ during the proceedings.

Camille Vasquez, representing Depp, said the actor would ‘go to his grave knowing that whatever he does there will always be people who believe he abused a woman’.

During the first day of the trial in Virginia, Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft detailed an alleged three-day ‘hostage’ situation that took place between the former couple in Australia in 2015. 

Bredehoft told the court: ‘He has her jammed up against the bar. He has hurled bottles and bottles at her. He has dragged her across the floor on the broken bottles. 

‘He has punched her. He has kicked her. He has told her he’s going to fu**ing kill her, and he fu**ing hates her. He’s pounding at her, pounding at her. And then, he penetrates her with a liquor bottle.’ 

At this point, Depp, 58, shook his head at the serious allegations as if to say ‘no’. 

The first of Depp’s messages are read to the court

A friend of Depp’s became emotional on the stand as he claimed the actor’s relationship with heard and the legal dispute had ‘wrecked’ Depp’s life.

Artist Isaac Baruch, who has known Depp for 40 years, said Heard was spreading a ‘malicious lie’ and cried as he said Depp’s life was ‘ completely wrecked by all of this stuff.’

He claimed he had never seen bruises or injuries on her despite ‘inspecting’ her face: ‘I don’t see a cut, a bruise, swelling, redness.’

Under cross-examination by Heard’s lawyers, the court heard some gruesome messages sent by Depp to Baruch.

In one message, from 2016, Depp messaged Baruch saying he ‘hoped that Amber’s rotting corpse is decomposing in the f**king trunk of a Honda Civic.’

Baruch was asked whether he recalled Depp calling Heard a ‘c**t and saying it was her fault?’, to which he replied: ‘It’s written there I see that.’

Baruch read a part of a message from Depp which read: ‘That c**t ruined such a f**king cool life we had for a while.’

Amber Heard ‘gave as good as she got,’ couple’s therapist claims

The third day of the trial saw therapist Lauren Anderson tell the court via video link that Depp had previously told her Heard ‘gave as good as she got during fights.

Clinical psychotherapist Anderson had seen the couple on multiple occasions and said Depp struggled to keep up with Ms Heard’s ‘jackhammer style of talking’ during their sessions to the point where he ‘didn’t have a voice’.

She said they engaged in ‘mutual abuse’, claiming Heard told her ‘she felt she had to hit him back if he hit her so she always did.

Later, another friend of Depp, Gina Deuters, took the stand to answer questions on Depp’s use of drugs and alcohol.

She said she had seen him use marijuana, cocaine and alcohol but had never seen him be angry or violent following their use.

However Deuters was ejected from the court and the jury told to strike her testimony, after she admitted she had been watching clips of the trial online.

More messages sent by Depp about Heard are read out

The jury were shown an explicit text that Depp allegedly sent to his nurse Debbie Lloyd as part of an apology, after he refused to see her or anybody else that day. 

After apologising for not seeing her and explaining why, he added: ‘If you like you can give me some morphine to see if my tongue and penis touch. All my love, J.’ 

The jury were also shown a pre-recorded deposition from Dr David Kipper, who treated Depp for opioid addiction in May 2014. 

Kipper was asked about texts he had received from Depp, including one where, reportedly in reference to Heard, he described her as ‘as full of s**t as a Christmas Goose.

‘I’m done. NO MORE!!!! Constant insults released from a malicious evil and vindictive c**t!!!!! You know what’s far more hurtful than her venomous and degrading educational ranting??? Her hideously and purposely hurtful tirades and her goddamn shocking treatment of the man she was meant to love above all.’

The Fantastic Beasts star continued: ‘Here’s the real deal mate…her obsession with herself is far more important. She is so f*****g ambitious!!!! She’s so desperate for success and fame. That’s probably why I was acquired, mate. She has hammered me with what a sad old man has been I am.

Depp takes the stand

Depp himself testified as he told the jury he had never hit Heard, ‘nor have I ever struck any woman in my life’ and brought the case to court as he had a ‘responsibility’ to clear his name.

The actor described Heard’s allegation as ‘heinous and disturbing’ as ‘nothing of the kind had ever happened.’

Depp also said that he ‘felt a responsibility’ to stand up for himself and his children – Lily-Rose and Jack – who had allegedly been exposed to the allegations while they were at school.

In his testimony, he spoke about his late mother, Betty Sue Palmer, who he described as ‘violent’ and ‘cruel’ towards him as a child, and said he had been physically abused by her.

He described his own substance abuse as never being ‘for the party effect.’

‘It’s been for trying to numb the things inside that can plague someone whose experienced trauma.’

Depp said Heard had ‘grossly embellished’ his ‘substance abuse’ and said he is ‘not some maniac that needs to be high or loaded all the time.’

Heard accused of severing Depp’s finger

Depp was again on the stand for the second day in a row when he accused Heard of severing part of his finger when she allegedly threw bottles of vodka at him while on the Australia trip that had been described as a ‘hostage’ situation by Heard.

He said one bottle ‘made contact and shattered everywhere’ and when he looked down he saw ‘the tip of my finger had been severed and I was looking directly at my bone sticking out.’

‘Blood was just pouring out and… I don’t know what a nervous breakdown feels like, but that’s probably the closest I’ve ever been. Nothing made sense.’

Addressing heard’s claims that he had written on the walls with his own blood, he agreed he ‘started’ to write about the ‘lies that I had caught [Heard] in’ on the walls.

He claims he lied about the cause of his injury, telling hospital staff he had ‘smashed it in these large accordion doors’.

Depp added: ‘I lied because I did not want to disclose… that it had been Ms Heard that had thrown a vodka bottle at me and then took my finger off. I didn’t want to get her in trouble.

More texts read out – ‘Let’s burn Amber’

More shocking texts sent by Depp about his wife were heard by the court on the seventh day of the trial, with the actor having allegedly sent several disturbing message to friend Paul Bettany.

‘In one message, on June 11, 2013 – before they were married – he penned: ‘Let’s burn Amber!!!’ while the one following was ‘Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!’

In the next post, Depp sent Bettany, he wrote: ‘I will f**k her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead.’

In a later series of messages, sent after a flight from Boston to LA in 2014 – where Heard alleged that he was abusive and drunk – he vowed to ‘properly stop the booze’.

He described himself as an ‘angry agro engine in a blackout’ who was ‘screaming obscene’ things, adding that he’s ‘admittedly too f**ked in the head to spray my rage at the one I love for little reason as well, I’m too old to be that guy but pills are fine.’

Depp had claimed he had never struck Heard or any other woman, but sent one message in 2013 where he said he would ‘ smack the ugly c*** around before I let her in’.

Heard apparently admits to hitting Depp in secret recording

Later in the day, the jury heard audio recordings of Depp and Heard talking about a fight in which she allegedly admitted to ‘hitting’ him. The recording was allegedly taken by Depp.

In one part, the Aquaman actress is heard saying: ‘I didn’t punch you. I’m sorry I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap. I was hitting you, it was not punching you.’

She added: ‘You didn’t get punched. You got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this, I didn’t punch you. I did not f***ing deck you. I f***ing was hitting you.

‘I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was. You’re fine. I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you. I’m not sitting here bit**ing about.’

Heard then called Depp a ‘f***ing baby’ and told him to ‘grow the f**k up’.

Jury shown a clip of Depp furiously slamming cabinet doors

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Members of the jury were shown video and audio footage of one of the actor’s allegedly violent episodes as a clip taken by Heard saw Depp slamming doors and throwing items.

At one stage he appears to hurt himself as he shouts ‘motherf***er’ and kicks out at pieces of furniture.

He’s also seen pouring himself a large glass of wine in one clip before appearing to become angry after discovering he was being filmed by Heard.

In court, Depp again denied hitting Heard but said he had ‘assaulted a couple of cabinets’.

He added that he was ‘having a bad time’.

‘ I don’t know what with regard to, but being illegally recorded by your chosen other is quite fitting with the rest of the photographs and tape recordings. She tried to hide it from me and laughed and smiled at the end. That was the most interesting part.’

Another audio recording featured Depp threaten to cut himself with a knife, with Heard repeatedly pleading with him not to.

Meanwhile, yet another message sent by Depp was read out to the court – this time to Elton John, with Depp describing his ex-wife and mother of his children ‘a French extortionist c**t’.

Heard accused of lying as she details alleged physical abuse

Heard’s lawyers detailed the alleged physical abuse she suffered under Depp, and claimed she used Milani’s All In One Correcting Kit to cover alleged injuries 

Her lawyer, Benjamin Rottenborn, stated she kept the product in her purse at all times to ensure her bruises were never visible to the public.

However the company itself hit back with a now-viral TikTok stating the product in question was not launched until 2017, after the couple had split.

It’s possible that early samples were available before this, however the brand hasn’t confirmed whether that was the case.

A friend of Heard’s defended her lawyers, saying they were ‘using an example of the kind of makeup that she used’.

They added that ‘it’s a sad day when a makeup company uses that as an opportunity to make light of what victims of domestic violence have to do to hide the results of the abuse they endure.’

The trial continues.

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