Amber Heard Says Johnny Depp Tried to Control Her Career

Heard told the jury that Depp kicked her to the ground while on an airplane after berating her about doing scenes with James Franco.

Actor Amber Heard sat in front of a jury in a Virginia courtroom Thursday for her second day of testimony, where she detailed how her ex Johnny Depp allegedly controlled her career, dictating what roles she could take, what clothes she could wear, and what scenes she could act in. 

It’s Day 15 of the Depp-Heard trial, which started after Depp launched a $50 million defamation suit against Heard 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 countersuing Depp for $100 million in damages. 


On Thursday, Heard shared details about the control that she says Depp inflicted on her.  

“Every time I got a script, it was: How I was dressing? What kind of behavior I had? Did I have a sex scene? I started saying, ‘No, I won’t take the sex scene’ or ‘I’ll take the part where I dont play that kind of character,’” Heard told the court.  

“It was a constant battle.”

Heard alleged that jealousy and control had, at times, turned physically abusive and recounted the now infamous 2014 incident where Depp allegedly kicked her on a plane. Heard said Depp was angry with her for working with actor James Franco and accused her of having a past “thing” with Franco. 

“He had already been upset with me and accused me in many arguments about not telling him about scenes that I had, if I had a kissing scene, any sort of romantic scene,” Heard said, adding Depp accused her of withholding information. 

Shortly after the argument, Heard had plans to fly to Boston, where Depp would join her on the plane before the couple flew to Los Angeles. She said she reached out to Depp’s team to make sure the conflict had already diffused. “I was nervous because he was so upset with that conversation, I assumed he had passed out and he had sobered up the next day,” Heard said. 

But as Heard was waiting in the plane on the tarmac in Boston, she said Depp walked up. “I knew every cell of my body knew something was wrong,” she told the court. She said he reeked of alcohol and weed, and his gestures were “aggressive.”


That’s when Heard alleged that Depp started to interrogate her about her work with Franco and asked sexually explicit questions about their scenes, including whether Heard was “wet,” and called her a “slut.” 

Heard said she then got up slowly to walk away before Depp allegedly kicked her in the back. She also said Depp’s security and assistants were on the plane but did not come to her aid.  

“I just feel this boot in my back. He kicked me—in the back. I fell on the floor,” Heard said. “You could hear a pin drop on that plane. You could feel the tension, but no one did anything, and I felt so embarrassed that he could kick me to the ground in front of people, and more embarrassing I didn't know what to do about it.”

Heard repeatedly shared incidents of Depp’s alleged jealousy and control that started early on in their relationship. 

“I had to bargain every time I’d get a script,” Heard said. “It would be, you know, ‘I thought you weren't taking another job.’”

She said Depp would say, “You don’t have to work, kid. I can take care of you. My woman doesn’t have to work.” 

Heard told the jury that she ended up sending Depp her scripts and pictures of the outfits she was wearing on set. She said she felt her “gut tighten” every time she read a romantic or sexual scene: “I knew it was going to be an issue,” she said. 

While Heard was working in London in 2013, she said she asked Depp for permission to go to a show with her fellow cast members, which allegedly angered him. She said he threatened to call off their engagement and called her “naive” and “foolish” for thinking people would invite her out platonically. 


During her testimony, the Aquaman star again spoke of how Depp’s substance use affected the quality of their relationship—a mainstay of the trial. Heard has repeatedly said that Depp would use substances, lash out, then apologize to Heard, and promised to abstain from drinking and using drugs. That’s when their relationship would improve, before the cycle started all over again, Heard said.  

Heard’s testimony has included details about an alleged “cavity search” and the first time she alleges Depp hit her. Heard and Depp both accuse each other of abuse. 

Depp’s team has pointed to Heard’s mental health as a source of turmoil in the relationship. Depp repeatedly alleged he was abused and also said that Heard severed one of his fingers after she threw a bottle at him in 2015. But some evidence shows Depp messaging his doctor, saying he cut his own finger. 

He previously told the court he lied “because I didn’t want to disclose that it had been Ms. Heard that had thrown a vodka bottle at me and took my finger off.”

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