Heard tells court Depp sexually assaulted her during Australia trip

Warning:Graphic content

Falls Church:Actor Amber Heard has broken down in tears on the witness stand as she said her former husband Johnny Depp sexually assaulted her with a liquor bottle and threatened her life during a trip to Australia shortly after the pair were married.

Testifying on Thursday (US time) in a widely watched defamation trial,Heard said she visited Depp on the Gold Coast about a month after their wedding in 2015 when he was filming the fifthPirates of the Caribbean movie.

Actor Amber Heard takes the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Actor Amber Heard takes the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Thursday.AP

On their first evening together,Heard said,a planned dinner at the house where Depp was staying evolved into an argument. Depp,who she said was drinking,pushed her against the refrigerator and held her there by her throat.

Heard said she broke free and retreated upstairs,returning later in her nightgown to find Depp still awake. She said she tried to get him to eat since they had not had dinner,but he was “belligerent” and threw bottles that broke around her.

Depp ripped off her nightgown,leaving her naked,she said,and threw her on a ping-pong table before inserting a bottle into her vagina.

Johnny Depp arrives in court on Thursday.

Johnny Depp arrives in court on Thursday.AP

“He was shoving it inside of me over and over,” said Heard,who shook her head and sobbed as she described the alleged episode. She said she kept thinking that she hoped the bottle was not one of the ones that was broken.

During the assault,Depp repeatedly said,“I’ll f---ing kill you,” she told the jury.

“I was scared,” Heard said. “I had just married him.“

When contacted about Heard’s testimony,the Queensland police service released a statement saying it was “unaware of the allegations in 2015 and has not received a complaint in relation to these alleged incidents”.

Heard said that a few months later,back home in Los Angeles,Depp broke her nose and ripped out chunks of hair in another violent encounter.

Amber Heard has told the court about how her relationship with Johnny Depp deteriorated.

During his testimony,Depp gave a different account of the incident in Australia. He told jurors that Heard was the person who hurled objects,hitting him with a vodka bottle that severed the top of his right middle finger.

His attorneys showed evidence of his hospital visit to have the injury treated.

Depp acknowledged using blood from his finger to write on the wall to remind Heard of “lies” she had told him.

Depp testified earlier in the trial that he never hit Heard and claimed she was “bullying” and the abuser in the relationship,and that she had left him “broken.”

Depp,58,is suing Heard,36,for $US50 million ($70 million),saying she defamed him in an article she wrote inThe Washington Post in 2018 in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. Depp’s lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.

Heard has counter-sued for $US100 million,arguing Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.

In earlier evidence on Thursday,Heard described times she said Depp kicked and injured her when he was jealous.

In one incident,Heard said Depp became upset when he learnt she had kissed actor James Franco for a scene in 2015 movieThe Adderall Diaries.

On board a private plane,she said Depp called her a “slut” and used sexually explicit language to question her interactions with Franco. She testified that Depp smelled like “weed” and alcohol at the time.

Heard said she switched seats several times during the flight and that Depp threw ice cubes and utensils at her. At one point,he came behind her and kicked her in the back,she said. Security guards and staff on the plane did not react,she added.

“I was embarrassed that he could kick me to the ground in front of people,” she said.

Heard has testified that Depp surrounded himself with an entourage of enablers who shielded him from the consequences of his drug and alcohol use.

Heard said Depp’s team cleans him up when he gets sick and enables him to go about his business without acknowledging the consequences of his drinking.

Heard testified that,from 2013,she took photos of Depp while he was passed out. She said she took the photos because Depp couldn’t remember what he’d done while he was drunk and that he had denied what had occurred while he was blacked out.

“He wouldn’t remember,or he would deny it. There was no one to back me up,” she said.

Heard has testified that she was physically and sexually assaulted on multiple occasions by Depp,typically while he was drunk or high on drugs.

Depp has denied ever hitting her,but Heard’s lawyers have said his denials lack credibility in part because he can’t remember what he does when he blacks out.

Depp has said Heard greatly exaggerates his drinking and that he tolerates alcohol well. Friends,family and employees of Depp have taken the stand and backed up his contention.

Heard said a network of minders around Depp helped to cover up his behaviour.

It was during the visit to Australia that Depp failed to declare his dogs Pistol and Boo to customs authorities when he and Heard flew in on his private jet,sparking a row with then-agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce,whogave the couple 50 hours to take the dogs back to the US or they would be euthanised. The couple complied and the dogs were returned to the US.

A state court judge in Virginia’s Fairfax County,outside the nation’s capital,is overseeing the trial,which is expected to last until late May.

Less than two years ago,Depp lost a libel case againstThe Sun, a British tabloid that labelled him a “wife beater”. A London High Court judge ruled he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp’s lawyers have said they filed the US case in Fairfax County becauseThe Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.


National Sexual Assault,Family&Domestic Violence Counselling Line:1800 737 732. Crisis support can be found at Lifeline:(13 11 14 andlifeline.org.au),the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467 andsuicidecallbackservice.org.au) and beyondblue (1300 22 4636 andbeyondblue.org.au).

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