Johnny Depp v Amber Heard: memorable quotes from the trial

Witnesses testified about a marriage consumed by ‘mutual abuse’, ‘a lot of anger’ and ‘obsessive jealousy’

  • This article contains descriptions of sexual abuse

Laurel Anderson

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s former marriage counsellor, a clinical psychologist, said Heard initiated incidents to stop Depp leaving, stemming from her fear of abandonment.

“It was a point of pride to Heard, if she felt disrespected, to initiate a fight,” Anderson said. “If he was going to leave her to de-escalate a fight, she would strike him to keep him there. She would rather be in a fight to keep him there.”

The couple, Anderson said, engaged in “mutual abuse”.

Shannon Curry

The forensic psychologist told jurors she believed Heard suffered from borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder is a disease of instability, Dr Curry said, marked by “a lot of anger, cruelty toward people less powerful and attention seeking” and behaviors “driven by an underlying fear of abandonment”.

Dawn Hughes

A witness for Heard, clinical and forensic psychologist Hughes testified that the actor’s allegations of emotional and physical abuse were legitimate.

“Looking at the coercive control,” Hughes said, “the obsessive jealousy, the possessiveness, the sexual violence, the choking behavior, the threats to kill, those are all, as I stated, very significant and often found in cases of lethal domestic violence.”

Clinical and forensic psychologist Dawn Hughes on the witness stand.
Clinical and forensic psychologist Dawn Hughes on the witness stand. Photograph: Reuters

Kate Moss

In the closing days of testimony, the supermodel made an appearance via video link. Her name had come up in testimony when Heard recalled a rumor about Depp pushing Moss down a flight of stairs in the 1990s. Moss rejected that description.

“He never pushed me, kicked me or threw me down any stairs,” she said. “There had been a rainstorm and as I left the room I slid down the stairs and I hurt my back.”

Depp, Moss said, “came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention”.

Johnny Depp

Messages sent by the star featured graphic insults of his ex-wife. In one instance, he was asked about a 2013 text exchange with the British actor Paul Bettany which included: “Let’s burn her. Let’s drown her before we burn her.”

Depp v Heard

Depp said he had been sober for much of the relationship with Heard but had relapsed after getting clean from a prescription opioid addiction in 2014. Heard spoke of the “monster” Depp could become when intoxicated.

Seeming to confirm Heard’s description, Depp was revealed to have written: “Amber and I have been absolutely perfect … I have locked my monster child away in a cage deep within and it has worked.”

Depp testified he never hit Heard, saying he “never struck Ms Heard in that way, nor have I struck any woman in my life”.

Instead, he said, he had sometimes hidden in a bathroom in order to avoid physical confrontation.

“It could begin with a slap, it could begin with a shove. It could begin with throwing a TV remote at my head,” he testified. “She has a need for conflict, she has a need for violence. It erupts out of nowhere.”

Jurors were played recordings of fights, including one in which Heard admitted to “hitting” Depp.

“You didn’t get punched. You got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you. I did not fucking deck you. I fucking was hitting you.”

Heard later apologized.

“I’m sorry I hurt you,” she wrote in a letter. “I can get wicked when I’m hurt.”

Heard testified that Depp got violent during their honeymoon in 2015, after an argument over his drinking.

“He would slam me up against the wall,” she said. She said she feared Depp would kill her.

A trip to Australia, where Depp was filming the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, featured prominently in the trial. Depp claimed his wife threw a vodka bottle at him, severing the top of his middle right finger. Heard claimed Depp sexually assaulted her with a whiskey bottle.

“It [was] so easy for him to throw me around,” Heard testified. Depp, she said, shoved a liquor bottle “inside of me over and over again” and “said he would kill me”.

Heard testified that Depp was jealous and accused her of sleeping with friends, ex-partners and co-stars including James Franco, Billy Bob Thornton and Eddie Redmayne. She said she had to negotiate with him to star in Magic Mike XXL. He agreed because the film did not feature extensive sex or kissing scenes.

“I wasn’t going to play a sexualised character,” Heard testified. “I wore minimal makeup.”

Attorneys for Heard played an audio recording of Depp confirming his jealousy.

“I become irrational when you’re doing movies,” he said. “I become jealous and fucking weird and we fight a lot more.”

In her last appearance on the stand, before the case was handed to jurors, Heard described the six-week trial as “horrible” and “humiliating”.

“Perhaps it’s easy to forget but I am a human being,” she said. “As I stand here today, I can’t have a career. I can’t even have people associate with me because of the threats and the attacks that they will have to endure.”


Edward Helmore

The GuardianTramp

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