Amber Heard says Johnny Depp struck her in fit of jealousy over James Franco
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Amber Heard testified on Thursday (May 5) that her ex-husband Johnny Depp slapped and kicked her on a plane after accusing her of having an affair with her co-star James Franco.
"I felt embarrassed," Heard told the jury hearing the multi-million dollar defamation suit filed against her by Depp. "It was the first time that anything like that had happened in front of somebody."
The 36-year-old actress recounted several instances of alleged physical abuse by the Pirates Of The Caribbean star during her second day on the witness stand at the trial being held in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
The 58-year-old Depp filed suit against Heard over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse."
Heard, who had a starring role in the movie Aquaman, did not name Depp in the op-ed, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking US$50 million (S$70 million) in damages.
The Texas-born Heard countersued, asking for US$100 million and claiming she suffered "rampant physical violence and abuse" at his hands.
"He was mad at me for taking the job with James Franco," Heard said, in reference to the 2014 film The Adderall Diaries.
"He hated, hated James Franco and was already accusing me of kind of secretly having a thing with him in my past since we had done Pineapple Express together," she said.
"He called me a slut," Heard added, recounting the incident that took place on a May 2014 flight.
She said Depp, who had been drinking, slapped her across the face at one point and kicked her in the back as she moved to another seat.
Members of Depp's security detail and his assistants were on the plane at the time, she said.
"I fell to the floor," she said. "No one said anything, no one did anything. It was like you could hear a pin drop on that plane. And I remember feeling so embarrassed."
'Like a baby'
Depp, during four days of testimony earlier in the trial, denied ever being physically abusive towards Heard and claimed she was the one who was frequently violent.
Heard also testified about other occasions when Depp allegedly struck her, including one in which she said "I suspected I had a broken nose."
Heard, between bouts of tears, provided details about Depp's extensive drug and alcohol use and his recurring efforts to get sober during their relationship.
She said a bodyguard once had to carry an unconscious Depp in his arms "like a baby" into their rented house in London.
"I remember thinking this has got to be it. I felt encouraged that we were in a new chapter, that Johnny had finally hit rock bottom," she said.
Despite a "million promises to get clean and sober," couples therapy and rehab efforts, Depp would always resume drinking and using marijuana and cocaine.
Depp's lawyers earlier put experts on the stand who testified that he has lost millions because of the abuse accusations, including a US$22.5-million payday for the sixth installment of the "Pirates" franchise.
Depp filed the defamation complaint in the United States after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020 that he brought against The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater."
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, and Heard met in 2009 on the set of The Rum Diary and were married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalised two years later.