“There had been a storm. As I left the room, I slipped down the stairs and hurt my back. And I screamed, because I didn’t know what had happened to me and I was in pain,” Moss said during his three-minute testimony. Depp “ran back to help me and carried me to my room and got me treated.”
“He never pushed me, kicked me or threw me down the stairs,” she added.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million, alleging defamation of a 2018 op-ed she published in The Washington Post in which she called herself a public figure representing domestic violence. Depp claimed the article harmed his career and denied the abuse allegations. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million after Depp’s attorney, Adam Waldman, made several statements to the media describing his claims as false.
Depp, sometimes wearing dark-lensed glasses, spoke for the first time since late April and told the same story as Moss. “Ms. Heard took the story and turned it into a very ugly incident, all in her mind,” he said. “There was never a time when I pushed Kate on a staircase.”
He then denied much of the defense’s case, saying Heard was abusive towards him and his sister, Whitney, whom he described as a “punching bag or a dart board” for Heard. He called his former business manager Joel Mandel, against whom he filed a now settled lawsuit in 2016, a ‘bitter man who ended up with a lot of money that I worked hard for over the years’ . Finally, he said he had not seen any of Waldman’s statements until Heard filed a countersuit against him in August 2020, and claimed he did not know where they had been published and has said they sounded like a “word salad”.
Depp also took issue with Heard’s account of the brutal fight they had in Australia in 2015, in which his fingertip was severed. He dismissed Heard’s claim that he took eight to 10 MDMA pills, saying, “I’m pretty sure I would have died. I think one would die, probably quite quickly. He also again alleged that Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, which shattered and cut off a “piece” of his finger. “I miss it,” he laughs. The defense suggested he was injured.
He also claimed Heard gave him a “minnow” on their 2015 honeymoon on the Orient Express, and his lawyer showed the jury two photos in which he appears to have a black eye. (The defense argued he had a black eye before boarding the train.)
Ultimately, Depp described Heard’s testimony as “horrible, ridiculous, humiliating, ridiculous, painful, savage, incredibly brutal, cruel – and all wrong.” He added that he testified because “I don’t think anyone likes having to open up and tell the truth, but there are times when you just have to, because it got out of hand.”
During cross-examination, Depp made sarcastic comments and often laughed, apparently in frustration, as Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, pointed out inconsistencies in his testimony – such as the fact that he had previously mentioned a phone in the house bar in Australia but denied its existence on Wednesday. When presented with a text message in which he wrote about women, “I need, I want, I take”, the actor suggested that Rottenborn “could have typed it in last night”.
Later that day, Hollywood outlet TMZ filed an emergency motion — which Judge Penney Azcarate denied — to bar its former employee Morgan Tremaine from testifying. The outlet argued that the identity of a reporter’s source should be protected under Virginia law.
Tremaine worked as a field assignment manager for TMZ. He sent a camera crew to a Los Angeles courthouse to capture photos of Heard “leaving the courthouse and [of] an alleged bruise on the right side of his face” after he filed the temporary restraining order in May 2016.
He also received a video clip of Depp slamming cabinets and pouring a tall glass of wine, which TMZ published and the defense entered into evidence in this lawsuit. Tremaine testified that the video in evidence was edited from the original to remove a portion in which Heard is seen sneering at Depp.
While Tremaine said he didn’t know who sent the clip to TMZ, he strongly suggested it was overheard, explaining that the fastest way for the website to receive a video copyright is to get it directly from the person who shot it and owns it. and that they released the video about 15 minutes after receiving it.
Tremaine admitted on cross-examination to watching part of the trial, leading Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, to ask, “That gives you your 15 minutes of fame, doesn’t it?”
“I kind of put myself in the target of TMZ, a very litigious organization, and I’m not asking for 15 minutes here.” Tremaine replied “Although you can speculate. I could say the same, taking on Amber Heard as a client, for you.”
Jurors spent the rest of the day hearing expert testimony, including that of a psychologist called in to refute a defense expert’s opinion that Heard suffered from post-traumatic stress caused by the violence marital; and a digital forensics expert called to suggest that the photos of Heard’s injuries had likely been processed in a photo-editing program, although he could not say for sure that the photos had been altered.
Testimony is expected to end Thursday, with closing arguments beginning Friday morning.