“I find it hard to find the words to describe how painful this is,” Heard said during the start of her testimony in Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia.
Deb Heard is suing $50 million for an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post in 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.” Although Depp’s name is not mentioned in the article, he claims that it cost him lucrative acting roles.
Heard’s testimony comes 14 days after the trial, weeks after jurors heard testimony about the actors’ explosive relationship, including from Depp himself, who testified over several days that he had never hit a woman and accused Heard of abuse.
Heard and Depp, who met in 2009 and were married from 2015-2016, accuse the other of committing acts of physical violence during their relationship. Both denied each other’s allegations.
Depp’s lawyers rested their case on Tuesday.
Heard testified, “When I was near Johnny, I felt like the most beautiful person in the world. He made me feel like a million dollars.” “I felt really bad.”
The two began seeing each other romantically in 2011. Heard testified that they would spend days together in a “bubble,” reading books and listening to music together, then disappearing.
Attorney Eileen Breedhoft Heard was asked if she remembered the first time Depp hit her.
“I’ll never forget it,” Heard said. “It changed my life.”
Heard said she thought Depp was on cocaine, that there was an old vase of cocaine nearby, and that the two of them were sitting together on the couch when she asked him about a tattoo on his arm and he told her he said, “Winno.”
“I just laughed because I thought he was joking,” Heard said. “He slapped me in the face.” “And I laughed. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought this was a joke. I didn’t know what was going on. I stared at it.”
Heard testified that Depp hit her two more times. She said she tried to get out on her own.
Heard said, “I knew it was a mistake and I knew I had to let it go. It broke my heart. Because I didn’t want to let it go.” “I wish I could sit here and say I stood and walked out of that house and drew a line and stood up for myself.”
Heard said Depp got on his knees, cried and apologized, “I thought I put the monster away.”
It was not clear what year the alleged incident occurred.
Heard said she left shortly after the incident, and that she received texts from Depp apologizing profusely, saying, “I’d rather cut off my hand than put it on you” and that he understood she could never forgive him.
Heard said they reconciled shortly after the accident, and that he promised her he would never hit her again.
I heard, “I thought there was a line he didn’t cross again, and that was it.”
But she described the relationship continuing with the escalation of violence that she believes was offset by Depp’s drinking. Heard testified that Depp was pushing, hitting, and shoving her and the fights escalated quickly.
Heard also detailed an incident in 2013 in which she said Depp did a “cavity search” on her against her will.
Heard testified on Wednesday that she and Depp were with her drug-using friends at a party in a desert lodging area made up of several eclectic trailers, and that when she and Depp returned to their room, Depp began smashing things inside their trailer. Heard testified that he accused her of hiding his cocaine, and began to tear off her clothes and underwear.
“He’d say to me, ‘We’re going to do cavity research, right?'” Like, just thrust his fingers inside me,” Heard testified.
A forensic psychiatrist previously appointed by Heard’s legal team testified that she had determined that Heard had been subjected to sexual violence by Depp.
Depp has previously denied all allegations against him.
Heard described the ups and downs of her relationship with Depp, with periods of lull when the actor was sober.
“He was the love of my life,” Heard said. “But it was also this other thing. The other thing was terrible.”
The psychologist testifies
The first witness called by the defense was forensic psychiatrist Don Hughes, who testified that he believed Heard had PTSD as a result of Depp’s intimate partner violence.
On Wednesday, Depp’s attorney Wayne Dennison played a recording of a conversation between Heard and Depp.
Heard is heard saying in the recording, “I was hitting you; I wasn’t punching you.”
Depp can be heard saying in the recording, “Don’t tell me how it feels to get punched.”
I asked Denison Hughes if she felt the situation captured in this recording was hearing the reaction.
“In that case, if that were true, if she said she hit him first, it wouldn’t have been a backlash,” Hughes said.
“That picture doesn’t reflect a low level of violence, does it?” Denison asked.
“This reflects a serious injury,” Hughes said.
Heard will return to the podium to testify on Thursday.