FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Amber Heard told jurors Thursday that a campaign of harassment waged against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp left her humiliated and scared for her life by multiple death threats, and a said she just wanted “Johnny to leave me alone.”
Heard was the last witness in Depp’s six-week libel lawsuit against his ex-wife. With cameras in the courtroom, millions of people watched the trial, and interest seemed to grow as the weeks went by and Depp and Heard testified about the ugly details of their relationship.
Online and at the courthouse, Depp fans overwhelmingly dominated the narrative, with groupies lining up overnight to secure one of the few seats in the courtroom and wave to Depp as he enters and spell. Heard was booed by onlookers on the street as she walked in and out of the courthouse.
“The harassment and humiliation, the campaign against me that echoes every day on social media, and now in front of the cameras in the showroom – every day I have to relive the trauma,” Heard said, holding back his tears. “Maybe it’s easy to forget that I’m a human being.”
In cross-examination, Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, told Heard that “your lies have been exposed to the world” and asked her about people who contradicted parts of her accounts.
“I know how many people will come out of the woodwork to support Johnny,” Heard replied.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though he never mentioned his name.
Heard said she hoped the trial would give her voice back and said she had a ‘right as an American’ to publish an article describing her experiences and how they relate to the national debate on domestic violence. .
“Johnny has taken my voice enough,” she said. “I have the right to tell my story.
She said Depp has been obsessed with revenge ever since she filed for divorce and got the restraining order against him. She referenced an earlier testimony in which Depp texted Heard’s disgruntled former personal assistant and urged her to “come and get a stain of purple and we’ll fix it flabby – nice and good!!!”
“Johnny promised me – promised me – he would ruin my life, he would ruin my career. He would take my life,” Heard said.
Depp denied ever hitting Heard and said she was the aggressor in the relationship. Heard testified to more than a dozen separate instances of physical abuse she says she suffered at the hands of Depp.
The last witness on Thursday morning from Depp’s side was a hand surgeon, Richard Gilbert, who said he believed Depp’s middle finger injury could have happened as Depp described it.
The fingertip was severed during a fight the couple had in Australia. Depp says it happened when Heard threw a large bottle of vodka at him. Heard says Depp did it to himself in a drug-fueled rage one night when he also sexually assaulted her with a bottle of alcohol.
Jurors will hear oral arguments on Friday.