Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Is Still Trying to Paint Amber Heard as the Real Abuser

Johnny Depp’s lawyer also accused Amber Heard of being the “jealous one” and getting her Aquaman role through him. Heard denied the allegations.
Anya Zoledziowski
Toronto, CA
Actor Amber Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse
Actor Amber Heard testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Brendan Smialowski/Pool photo via AP)

Johnny Depp’s lawyer used love letters, text exchanges, and audio recordings to try and portray Amber Heard as the “initial aggressor” in the actors’ former relationship during her last day of cross-examination Tuesday.

“It’s your testimony under oath that you never struck Depp as the initial aggressor?” said Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, from the Virginia courtroom. 

“You got physical with Mr. Depp often throughout your relationship, didn’t you?” Vasquez asked. “You just couldn’t control yourself, could you, Ms. Heard?”

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Heard replied, “I tried to defend myself when I could.” 

It was one of several accusations Vasquez made on Monday and Tuesday in the $50 million defamation suit filed against her by Depp in response to a 2018 Washington Post op-ed that Heard wrote about her experiences with domestic assault. The piece didn’t name Depp, but the Oscar-nominated actor maintains it’s “plainly” about him and that it cost him his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp for $100 million in damages. 

Vasquez spent the cross-examination trying to prove that Heard was, in fact, the abuser, and that the op-ed was about Depp and subsequently defamed him. Heard maintains that the op-ed wasn’t “just about Johnny,” but rather, about a larger #metoo context.

"When powerful men, in general, do something horrible or something they shouldn't, there is a system in place to protect them, clean up after them, maintain them, keep them afloat," Heard said, adding the op-ed “was not about him."

The lawyer also accused Heard of “extorting” Depp, being the “jealous one” in the relationship, and of getting her role in Aquaman thanks to Depp. 

"Mr. Depp got you that role in Aquaman' didn't he?" Vasquez asked. 

“Excuse me?” Heard said, before saying she got the role by auditioning. 

On Tuesday, several recordings from Depp and Heard’s fights were played and replayed for the jury, including the recording in which Heard admitted to hitting—but not punching—Depp. Heard maintains she was only ever physical out of self-defense, a claim Vasquez disputed. 

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When interrogating Heard about the now infamous 2015 fight in Australia between the pair, Vasquez challenged Heard’s allegations of sexualt assault. Heard told the jury previously that Depp penetrated her with a bottle during the fight, while Depp told the jury Heard severed his finger by throwing a bottle at him. 

"You're the one who assaulted someone with a bottle in Australia, isn't that right, Ms. Heard?" Vasquez asked.

"I didn't assault Johnny in Australia. I didn't assault Johnny ever," Heard responded.

Vasquez also questioned why Heard hadn’t taken pictures of her injuries or sought medical attention following the alleged assaults. 

Love letters written by Heard to Depp in a diary they shared were also presented to the jury, with Vasquez questioning why Heard wrote such letters after being assaulted. 

"When things were good, they were really good," Heard said, adding that the letters were written when Depp was sober. Heard’s team has repeatedly brought up Depp’s substance use and its role in alleged abuse. 

Text exchanges between the former couple were also shared. In one text exchange shared with the jury, Heard begs Depp to respond to her texts—something Heard said she was doing because she didn’t want Depp to use drugs.

“You would harangue him, is that correct?” said Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez. 

“I was trying to stop him from using,” Heard told the court.

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“You were texting him incessantly,” Vasquez said. 

“I would try everything to get a hold of him,” Heard said. “I would try everything to stop the cycle.” 

“And he’s the monster for not responding to you,” Vasquez said. 

The monster is an expression that’s been brought up several times throughout the trial and was allegedly a name for Depp’s substance abuse, according to Heard. 

Earlier in the day, Vasquez also asked why Heard gifted a knife to Depp early on in their relationship. "That's the knife you gave to the man who was hitting you, right?" Vasquez asked Heard after pulling up an image of the knife in court. 

“I wasn’t afraid of him stabbing me,” Heard replied. 

Both Heard and Depp accuse each other of abuse while maintaining their own innocence. A UK court has already decided that Depp likely abused Heard.

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