The female actor who played a lead role in the 2018 fantasy film Aquaman claimed Depp’s addictions would turn him into a “monster” who would repeatedly hit her, rip out her hair, and choke her. She also claimed that her husband almost suffocated her.
Heard, 32, made the remarks in response to a $50 million defamation lawsuit that Depp, 55, had launched in Virginia against an opinion editorial Heard had published in the Washington Post back in December 2018. She claimed in the op-ed to be a victim of domestic violence and although the article did not state exactly who had abused her, Depp said he was implicated as the perpetrator. He dismissed any suggestion that he abused his wife as a “hoax.”
“I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats. For months I rarely left my apartment and, when I did, I was pursued by camera drones and photographers on foot, on motorcycles, and in cars,” Heard wrote in the article. “I want to ensure that women who come forward to talk about violence receive more support … we can work together to demand changes to laws and rules and social norms—and to right the imbalances that have shaped our lives.”
Heard revealed to the court that she first started dating Depp in early 2012.
“About a year into our relationship, I began to witness Johnny abusing drugs and alcohol … on some occasions, when Johnny simultaneously used both illegal narcotics and prescription medications, I have had to get him medical attention,” she said in the documents obtained by The Washington Post. “Whenever he was using, I worried for both of us. He would become a totally different person, often delusional and violent. We called that version of Johnny ‘the Monster.'”
Depp would often forget his “delusional and violent” behaviour after sobering up, she claimed. However, she believed his many promises that he would change and improve.
“I was wrong,” she said.
One morning in May 2014, the couple boarded a private flight from Boston to Los Angeles. Depp, who already seemed to be drunk and holding a bottle of champagne, confronted Heard about a romantic movie scene she performed with James Franco one day earlier.
“Johnny began to throw objects at me. Instead of reacting to his behavior, I simply moved seats. That didn’t stop him. He provocatively pushed a chair at me as I walked by, yelled at me, and taunted me by yelling out the name ‘James Franco,'” Heard said. “I stood up and Johnny kicked me in the back, causing me to fall over. Johnny threw his boot at me while I was on the ground. Johnny continued to scream obscenities until he went into the plane bathroom and passed out, locked in the bathroom for the remainder of the flight.”
Shortly after the couple were wed in March 2015, Heard confronted Depp in Australia about his decision to spend three days taking the drug ecstasy.
“The argument heated up and Johnny pushed me, slapped me, and shoved me to the ground before I retreated to a locked bedroom,” she said. “By nightfall, Johnny had hit me multiple times, shoved and pushed me to the ground, choked me, and spit in my face. Johnny then handed me a liquor bottle that he was drinking from, and asked me, ‘What are you going to do?’ I threw the bottle on the floor. Johnny responded by starting to throw cans and unopened glass bottles at me.”
She described the most horrific and frightening moment of the three-day ordeal to be Depp holding her by the neck and slamming her against the countertop.
“I struggled to stand up as he strangled me, but my arms and feet kept slipping and sliding on to the spilled alcohol and were dragged against the broken glass on the countertop and floor, which repeatedly slashed my feet and arms,” she said. “Scared for my life, I told Johnny, ‘You are hurting me and cutting me.’ Johnny ignored me, continuing to hit me with the back of one closed hand, and slamming a hard plastic phone against a wall with his other until it was smashed into smithereens.”
Depp cut off his fingertip while breaking the phone and allegedly spent the whole night writing messages to Heard on the walls, using a mix of his own blood from his severed finger and an oil-based paint.
“Johnny also urinated all over the house,” she said, adding Depp had to be hospitalized while she had a “busted lip, a swollen nose, and cuts all over my body.” She claims to still have scars on her arms and feet from the incident.
In another incident in December 2015, Heard accused Depp of picking a fight with her at their Los Angeles apartment. She claimed that he slapped her, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her from the stairwell to the office, living room, kitchen, bedroom, and guest room.
“In the process, he pulled large chunks of hair and scalp out of my head,” she said. “Johnny kept hitting me, and each time he knocked me down, I chose to react by simply standing up and looking him in the eye. Johnny responded by yelling, ‘Oh, you think you’re a f—ing tough guy?’”
Depp then allegedly head-butted Heard in the face, causing her nose to bleed.
“I told Johnny I wanted to leave him, and that I would call the police if he ever touched me again. When I began to walk away toward the guest apartment, he responded by pushing me, then grabbed me and pulled me from one room to the next, gripping me by my hair,” she said. “He grabbed me by my hair, slapping me in the face, and screaming at me something like, ‘I f—ing will kill you, I’ll f—ing kill you, you hear me?’ There were chunks of my hair everywhere and indentations in the carpet where I was dragged.”
Heard continued to live with Depp until May 2016 when Depp allegedly threw a phone at her face.
“He wound up like a baseball pitcher and threw the phone in my face as hard as he could. I yelled, ‘You hit my face,’ and started to cry … Johnny grabbed my hair and started to slap, shake, and yank me around the room while I continued to scream,” she said.
Heard was married to Depp for just 15 months before filing for divorce in May 2016. The divorce was finalized in January 2017.
“Many people called me a liar (without ever hearing my story), I was dropped from a global fashion brand’s upcoming campaign, I lost a part for a movie in which I had already been cast,” she said. “People I have never met or spoken to threatened me with violence. I received so many death threats I had to change my phone number on a near-weekly basis.”
Lawyers acting for Depp denied that their client has ever abused Heard.
“Her allegations against him were false when they were made in 2016. They were part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career,” they said. “[The] implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser is categorically and demonstrably false.”
Attorney Eric M. George, who is advising Heard, previously said in a statement the defamation lawsuit was a “frivolous action” to “silence” her.
“She will not be silenced. Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior,” George said. “While he appears hell-bent on achieving self destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team.”