On her first day giving evidence, Amber Heard says Depp threatened to kill her multiple times and that he controlled her, having his doctor prescribe her medications to “sedate” her.
On the 10th day of the libel trial against The Sun, Amber Heard took to the witness stand for the first time to give evidence. Though Johnny Depp sued the newspaper for calling him a “wife-beater,” the trial quickly escalated to become a stand-off between Depp and Heard over the narrative of their failed marriage.
Heard said in front of the court that Depp threatened to kill her multiple times and in her witness statement that Depp created a persona he called “the monster” and would blame his acts of violence on that persona.
Heard and Depp married in February 2015 and around that time, they allegedly argued over the marriage contract. Heard said that no one asked her to sign one but that she would have agreed to if asked.
Depp told Heard his sister, Christi, had concerns about him having a prenuptial agreement. Heard said that the argument actually stemmed from Depp accusing Heard of having an affair with a co-star. He "didn't want to be the bad guy, so he would make it about other people," she said. "Johnny would say that's what Christi wants.”
Heard maintained that Depp did not want a prenup, despite told otherwise by Depp's barrister. Heard said Depp told her "time and time again" that he would "rip it up" and that the only way out of their relationship "was death."
Depp’s insecurities, jealousy, and fears of Heard having affairs became significant challenges in their relationship, according to Heard. "It caused so many fights… He had the feelings — I had problems with those feelings," she said.
Earlier on in the trial, the court heard and discussed allegations that Depp yelled obscenities about Heard’s co-star James Franco on a plane ride from Boston to New York. He suspected the two had an affair. Depp’s jealousy was "one of the biggest triggers in the relationship," said Heard.
When questioned, Heard admitted that she took MDMA and mushrooms a few times while she was in a relationship with Depp, but denies taking cocaine or excessively drinking. She maintained that she never had an eating disorder, a history of substance abuse, or a problem with liquor.
The court read from Heard’s medical reports, which describes her addiction to cocaine. Heard refuted, saying "the note does not reflect my personal history."
According to Heard, Depp’s doctor, Dr. Kipper put her on a long list of medications. She alleged Depp wanted “to keep [her] sedated.” The only medication Heard was on for most of her adult life was Provigil, which treats sleep disorder. Last Wednesday, Kevin Murphy, Depp’s house manager, said Heard became “increasingly volatile” when she mixed alcohol and Provigil.
They referred Heard to a transcription of an exchange between her and Dr. Kipper, who asked Heard why she thought her relationship problems stemmed from Depp’s drug use when she took drugs herself. Heard said before the court that the doctor had incorrect information, and she does not fault medical professionals for "for what Johnny told them."
An earlier witness, security officer Starling Jenkins, told the court he drove Heard to the Coachella and saw her vomit in the car park. Heard denied his account before the court and said he confused her with her sister.
In her statement, Heard accused Depp of being “controlling.” One example of his behavior was when he took Heard’s car for repair and had his staff drive her instead; Heard said she did not have her car for over three years.
Though Heard was financially independent, Depp footed the bills of her car repairs because he requested to, and he had the means to pay the large sum, said Heard.
When they asked Heard whether she had a problem controlling her anger and had outbursts of rage, she replied, "there were times when yes, I lost my cool with Johnny."
A medical note from August 2014 states that Heard experienced “increasing anxiety,” to which Heard said she got nervous about being alone while Depp worked away. "I was nervous about being away from him while he was working because that always caused fights," she said.
Another medical note referenced an incident in September 2014 that described Heard as "irritable, loud and angry." This was around the time when hackers posted Heard’s personal photos online without her consent. Heard said Depp blamed her for the incident and that she was “extremely distressed.”
Several previous witnesses, most of which were Depp’s personnel, said that Heard was the one who started most arguments. Heard denied this and said the employees did not see their fights. "I don't want to call anyone a liar but I'm saying they weren't there,” she said.
In Heard’s witness statement, she said, "as I talk about in this statement, some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far. He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship."
Heard talked about Depp being “the monster” before the court, referencing her first statement in which she said Depp created a persona he named “the monster” on which he would blame his violent actions.
In her statement, Heard said, “one thing that is important to know about Johnny at the outset is that he has a unique ability to use his charisma to convey a certain impression of reality”.
Her statement continued, “he is very good at manipulating people. With me, at least early in our relationship, he was able to express contrition after acts of violence. He would blame all his actions on a self-created third party instead of himself, which he often called 'the monster'”.
"He would speak about it as if it was another person or personality and not him doing all these things. I started to do so as well, referring to ‘the monster’ to describe him during the worst periods of his violent and abusive behavior, especially the violent incidents that took place while he was abusing drugs and alcohol”, the statement concluded.
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