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06th May 2022

Amber Heard’s week of harrowing testimony from cocaine cavity searches to claim she’s acting on the stand

Charlie Herbert

Warning: this article contains details of alleged sexual violence and assault

Amber Heard delivered harrowing testimony – Depp’s team called it acting

Cocaine cavity searches, sexual abuse with a bottle, violent outbursts, and a lot of talk of affairs with other A-listers, Amber Heard’s turn on the stand has been harrowing this week, and in stark contrast to that of her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, who often amused the court under questioning.

Depp’s lawyer’s called Heard’s testimony – in response to Depp’s $50m (£38m) defamation case – the “performance of her life”, but she was clearly shaken as she recalled the alleged trauma.

Here’s what you missed this week when Depp left the stand Tuesday, and Heard got the chance to tell her side of the story in a case where she is counter-suing Depp for $100m (£79).

Johnny Depp allegedly did a ‘cavity search’ for cocaine and ‘penetrated’ Heard with a bottle

The most serious allegations Heard has made against Depp are that on several occasions he physically and sexually abused her.

The abuse claims first came up on Tuesday, when psychologist Dr Dawn Hughes became the first witness to take the stand on Heard’s behalf.

Dr Hughes had examined Heard over almost 30 hours of appointments, and made a number of damning revelations about Depp in the relationship, alleging that he would force Heard to have sex with him in “drug-fuelled rages”.

Dr Hughes mentioned an alleged ‘cavity search’ that Depp performed on Heard, where he was said to be looking for cocaine, and an occasion when the actor ‘penetrated’ Heard with a bottle.

Heard later broke down on the stand when she detailed both alleged incidents.

“Next thing I remember I was bent over backwards on the bar, I was staring at the blue light,” she told the court. “My back was on the countertop. I thought he was punching me. I felt this pressure on my pubic bone and I could feel his arm moving. It looked like he was punching me. I could just feel this pressure.

“I don’t remember what I said, I just remember being really still, not wanting to move. I remember looking around the room, looking at all the broken bottles, broken glass and I remember not wanting to move because I didn’t know if it was broken, I didn’t know if the bottle that he had inside me was broken.

“I couldn’t feel it, I didn’t feel pain, I didn’t feel anything. I saw so much broken glass I didn’t know if he would know if it was broken or not and I remember thinking please go I hope it’s not broken. I don’t know how that ended. I don’t know how I got off the countertop.”

The actress also detailed the sort of explosion of rage Depp would allegedly fly into when he got jealous, recounting one incident involving a flight attendant on a plane to Russia.

Heard has also spoke of the first occasion when Depp allegedly hit her, and one incident in which she thought Depp may kill her.

Affairs, there was a lot of talk about affairs with co-stars?

Throughout her testimony, Heard has portrayed Depp as a deeply jealous person in their relationship who would get angry when Heard received any male or female attention.

Heard claims that her ex-husband would “explode” after accusing her of cheating on him.

On Thursday, Heard claimed that Depp thought she was sleeping with Eddie Redmayne and director Tom Hooper whilst the three were working on the Oscar-nominated film The Danish Girl together.

Depp himself admitted earlier in the trial that he believed Heard was having an affair with James Franco during their marriage. And other witnesses have testified that they believe Heard may have been in a relationship with Elon Musk whilst she was still trying to reconcile her marriage with Depp.

Heard and Musk did date after her divorce from Depp. She did not speak highly of the union, saying that she “felt nothing” and her “soul was dead“.

Both Musk and Franco are on Heard’s witness list to be interviewed via webcam. However, neither are expected to attend, because under Virginia law non-residents of the state cannot be forced to attend proceedings.

A ‘performance’ or a deeply personal account of abuse?

In response to Heard’s days of testimony, Depp’s lawyers have not held back.

On Thursday evening, a spokesperson for the actor said Heard had delivered “the performance of her life” in her direct examination and claimed that her testimony has “continued to grow new and convenient details”.

They said that the upcoming cross-examination that Heard will undergo from Depp’s team will be “most telling” and will “highlight the many fallacies” in her story.

In response, Heard’s team has said that Depp’s defamation claim is “falling apart so rapidly that his counsel are turning from prosecutor to persecutor”.

They accused Depp’s lawyers of “fighting tooth and nail to prevent compelling evidence and photos” from being shown at the trial.


Amongst all this, Depp’s fans have decided they need to make their feelings known.

More than 3.6 million people have signed a petition for Heard to be removed from Aquaman 2, claiming that the actress has been “exposed as a domestic abuser” by Depp and has “systematically crusaded to ruin” him in Hollywood.

A separate petition has been set up calling for Depp to return to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This has gathered more than 435,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Depp was dropped from the franchise by Disney in 2018. Earlier in the trial, his agent Jack Whigham claimed Depp had an £18m “verbal agreement” to appear in Pirates of the Caribbean 6. 

Disney claim they had already decided to drop Depp before Heard’s Washington Post op-ed that sparked the defamation case, and simply wanted to take the franchise in a “different direction”.

American comic Bill Burr has also waded into the debate as well, saying that people should “publicly apologise” to him if he wins the trial and Paul McCartney recently played a video of Depp during his concert in Seattle.

The trial continues, with both Depp and Heard still to be cross-examined.

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