LONDON – Amber Heard alleged in a British court on Wednesday that ex-husband Johnny Depp threw "30 or so bottles" at her as if they were “grenades or bombs” during a drunken and frenzied assault in Australia in March 2015 that also saw him accidentally sever part of his finger.
Taking the witness box for a third day at the High Court in London during Depp's libel case against a British tabloid, the actress refuted his allegation that it was she who lost her temper and that she had injured him.
Heard has described her stay in Australia with Depp as akin to a “three-day hostage situation," during which Depp was “completely out of his mind and out of control” following a binge on drugs and alcohol. Heard has said that she feared for her life while at the rented property on Australia's Gold Coast during a visit while Depp was filming the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.
The incident is central to The Sun’s labeling of Depp in an April 2018 article as a “wife-beater.” The Sun’s defense relies on 14 allegations made by Heard of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in settings as varied as the rented house in Australia, his private island in the Bahamas and a private jet.
Depp, 57, denies abusing Heard and claims she was the aggressor during their tempestuous relationship. He was present once again to hear Heard’s testimony. He is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over the article.
Depp's lawyer, Eleanor Laws, said Heard had worked herself “into a rage” during her stay in Australia and that she had a habit of just “losing it.”
Heard, 34, said she got "angry at times but not into a rage that would cause me to throw anything at him.”
She acknowledged that she broke one bottle during their second evening together in Australia, testifying that it happened as they argued about the scale of Depp's drinking.
“I regret I did that," said Heard, who also claimed that Depp often credited her for saving him by trying to get him clean and sober.
After she smashed the bottle, Heard alleges that Depp, fueled by alcohol and drugs, started throwing bottles, full enough that they broke a window behind her.
“He started picking them up one by one and throwing them like grenades or bombs,” she said. “One after the other after the other, in my direction, and I felt glass breaking behind me.”
She said he threw all the bottles that were within reach, bar one “celebratory magnum-sized bottle of wine.”
“I would be shocked if Johnny remembers any of this himself, but I was there," Heard said.
Heard also denied severing the tip of Depp’s finger during the alleged bottle-throwing or putting out a cigarette on his cheek during the incident. She said it was something that Depp used to do to himself.
“I was standing right in front of him,” Heard said. “It was deliberate.”
Heard said Depp “screamed” at her while stubbing the cigarette on his cheek that he couldn't feel the pain. She testified that Depp was high on cocaine and MDMA at the time, as well as drunk.
Depp's lawyer, Laws, also accused Heard of lying about an alleged incident of domestic violence in Los Angeles in December 2015, which Heard has described in written testimony as “one of the worst and most violent nights" of the couple's relationship.
In her testimony, Heard alleged that Depp slapped her and pulled out clumps of her hair while dragging her through their apartment, then repeatedly punched her in the head.
Laws said medical notes made by a nurse, Erin Boerum, who saw Heard shortly after the alleged incident, didn't note any bruises, just bleeding on her lip. The lawyer suggested the bleeding resulted from Heard biting her lip.
“Of course not,” Heard responded. “I had two black eyes, a broken nose, a broken rib .... I had bruises all over my body.”
Depp's lawyer also played a short clip of Heard’s appearance on James Corden's “The Late Late Show” the day after the alleged 2015 incident. Laws said the footage showed no injuries on Heard.
“I had tons of injuries,” Heard said, adding that makeup had covered them up.
Melanie Inglessis, Heard’s makeup artist, told the court that she camouflaged the injuries with concealer ahead of the model-actor’s appearance on the show. Inglessis said the concealer was “very effective” at covering up the bruises “because, to my recollection, they were not that dark or that inflamed. ... I don’t remember having trouble covering them”.
The makeup artist confirmed that she attended the London court hearing involuntarily via video link from Los Angeles.
During the first nine days of case testimony at the High Court, judge Andrew Nicol heard from Depp and from several current or former employees who backed his version of events. In his testimony, Depp said he was the one being abused by Heard and that she had a history of being violent against him.
In written testimony released to the court, Heard said that at various times during her and Depp's relationship she endured “punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking.” She said some incidents were “so severe” she was “afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far.” She said he blamed his actions on “a self-created third party” that he referred to as “the monster.”
Depp and Heard met on the set of the film “The Rum Diary,” released in 2011. They married in Los Angeles in February 2015. Heard filed for divorce the following year, and it was finalized in 2017.
Thursday is expected to be Heard’s final day of testimony.