An emotional Amber Heard has recounted the first time Johnny Depp hit her after she asked about his ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo that referenced his ex Winona Ryder.
The actress took the stand yesterday for the first time in her bombshell $100million defamation trial as she launched into her defiant fightback following Depp’s claims of domestic abuse.
The 36-year-old tearfully told the Fairfax courthouse in Virginia during her three-hour testimony that she was a regular victim of the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s violent outbursts.
Asked about the first time she was struck by Depp, Heard said: ‘I will never forget it. It changed my life.
‘I was sitting on the couch having a normal conversation. He was drinking. I think he was using cocaine because there was a jar – a jar – of cocaine on the table. There’s music playing, smoking cigarettes and I ask him about the tattoo he has on his arm.’
Depp had a tattoo on his upper right arm that initially read ‘Winona Forever’ as a tribute to his then fiancée in 1990.
But the pair split in 1993 and Depp altered the tattoo to ‘Wino Forever’.
An emotional Amber Heard recounted the first time Johnny Depp hit her after she asked about his ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo
Depp had a tattoo on his upper right arm that initially read ‘Winona Forever’ as a tribute to his then fiancée in 1990
The pair split in 1993 and Depp altered the tattoo to ‘Wino Forever’, which Depp claimed Heard didn’t like
Heard continued: ‘To me it looked like black marks, I didn’t know what it said.
‘I said what does it say. He said it says Wino and I thought he was joking and I laughed. He slapped me across the face and I laughed. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought this must be a joke. Because I didn’t know what was going on.’
Heard said she stared at Depp and laughed, thinking he was going to laugh and say it was all a joke.
‘You think it’s funny b****, you think you’re a funny b****?’ Depp said, according to Heard before slapping her again.
‘He slapped me again. It wasn’t a joke anymore. I stopped laughing. I didn’t know what else to do. He slapped me for no reason.
Depp is suing Heard for $50million, claiming she defamed him and ruined his career after a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a domestic abuse survivor
Heard tearfully told the court that in May 2013 she and Depp were on vacation at a trailer park in Hicksville, California near Joshua Tree where he performed ‘cavity search,’ looking cocaine after he accused her of flirting with another woman
‘Second slap I know he’s not kidding. It wasn’t a joke anymore. I stopped laughing. I didn’t know what else to do. He slapped me for no reason.’
She said Depp slapped her one more time, hard.
‘I lose my balance. I’m all of a sudden realizing the worst thing has happened to me that could possibly happen to you. I wish so much he was joking. It didn’t physically hurt me.’
Heard described the moments immediately after she was slapped.
‘I was sitting there on the carpet, looking at this dirty carpet. I just sat there thinking how much time do I have because god did he just me? No, I didn’t want to leave him, to have the man I was in love with leave. I knew it was wrong and I had to leave him and it broke my heard because I didn’t want to leave him.
‘I wish I could sit here and say I walked out of that house and drew a line and stood up for myself but looking at the dirty carpet trying to will myself to get up and walk out the door. I stood up and looked at him in the eye and looking at him and before I know it he starts crying. I’d never seen an adult man cry.’
She said Depp then began apologizing.
Amber Heard took the stand to describe her whirlwind romance with Johnny Depp before rampant drug use and alleged domestic abuse soured it
‘He’s touching my knees, saying I’m sorry baby, I thought I put the f****r away, I thought I put the monster away. He’s on his knees.
‘I just remember thinking he was crying, he seemed so sorry but I couldn’t forgive him because it means it will happen again. I got up in my car and walked to my car and didn’t say anything.
‘I was heartbroken. I turned the key and drove home.’
Earlier in the trial, Depp said the incident never happened and he said he never hit Heard or any other woman.
He said he would have no reason to hit anyone over his tattoo but alluded to the fact his ex-wife didn’t like the Wino Forever tattoo.
He added that Heard then encouraged him to get a tattoo in honor of her, and he inked the pet name ‘slim’ across his knuckles.
He said: ‘I was doing what he could to bring a smile to her face rather than a frown.’
Heard sobs as she described the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband Johnny Depp
That tattoo has since been changed to ‘scum’ and later ‘scam’ following their split.
Heard also sobbed as she recalled how in May 2013 she and Depp were on vacation at a trailer park in Hicksville, California near Joshua Tree where he performed ‘cavity search’ on her, looking for cocaine after he accused her of flirting with another woman.
‘I remember in the trailer he’s accusing me of lying about it, I’m trying to calm him down. He turned all that rage onto the trailer itself and started smashing things. He picked up something on the table and threw it into the glass cabinet,’ Heard testified.
‘He’s screaming at me and eventually I go back into the bedroom area, he comes into the bedroom area. He was looking for something. I went into the bathroom and as I come out he asked me where it is, and how long I’d been hiding it. I was like what you talking about.
‘(He said) you know what I’m f**king talking about, be honest with me. Where are you hiding it.’
Heard became emotional as she described what happened next.
She said: ‘He starts patting me down, he ripped my dress. He’s grabbing my breasts, he’s touching my thighs, he rips my underwear off and then he proceeds to do a cavity search. He said he was looking for his cocaine, his coke.
Heard cried as she said: ‘He just shoved his fingers inside me. I just stood there staring at the stupid light, I didn’t know what to do. He twisted his fingers around. I didn’t stay stop or anything.’
The argument started because earlier in the night they were sitting around a campfire and a woman next to Heard had taken MDMA and put her head on Heard’s shoulder. Heard had taken mushrooms.
Heard said: ‘Johnny gets really activated, really upset. She thought he was kidding. We all did.’
The woman said, ‘Hey man what are you doing. She giggled and leaned into me more. I knew instantly it wasn’t a joke but she didn’t. He says it again to her, you think you’re touching my f**king girl? That’s my f**king girl. He gets louder and louder.
‘She kind of started to cry but threw up her hand and Johnny grabbed her wrist and twisted it and pulled her into him. (He said) do you know how many pounds of pressure it takes to break a human wrist. He held her and she looked frozen. She’s crying.’
Heard stepped in and talked Depp down and they went back to their trailer.
She said, ‘Johnny tells me I hadn’t been honest with him about my relationship with this woman.’
Heard told the court that the month of March 2013 was ‘really crazy’ and was a ‘revolving door of accusations’ she was having affairs.
She called it an ‘almost never-ending fight with breaks in it.’
She said: ‘What kept me in it was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept waiting for him to get to the point where it’s not supportable and he’s ready to get sober as (when that happened) it was pure joy.’
Heard told the court that she called Depp’s sister Christi who came and helped get him out the house. But as they were driving in their car things took a dark turn.
‘He has the window down. At some point he starts howling out the window and (he grabbed) Boo his dog, a slightly chunkier teacup Yorkie. He grabs Boo and holds Boo out the window of the moving car. He’s howling like an animal while holding the dog out the window.
‘Everyone in the car just froze. No one did anything. I too was torn as to what I should do. I didn’t want to do anything to cause him to drop the dog. It’s this eerie moment where he’s howling…I have a memory of everyone not really reacting to him. No one did anything. I eventually pulled his arms back into the vehicle and got the dog back on the seat.’