Amber Heard is done at the helm. Faced with the rolling fire of the cross-examination conducted by Johnny Depp’s lawyers, the American actress will never really have been destabilized on Monday and Tuesday. Presented as the instigator of the many disputes with her ex-husband, and often the first to strike, Amber Heard assured that she had only “defended herself”.
“Mr. Depp isn’t the first partner you’ve assaulted, is he?” “, insists Camille Vasquez, one of the actor’s lawyers. “I have never assaulted Mr. Depp or anyone with whom I had a romantic relationship, ever,” replies Amber Heard. “Many times I had to use my body to defend myself, and that included hitting where I could if it allowed me to escape (…) if it meant a swollen face rather than a broken nose.” But she denied ever being “the first to strike”.
“Yes, I initiated this fight”
Johnny Depp’s attorney was referring to Amber Heard’s 2009 arrest at Seattle airport when she was accused of grabbing the arm of ex-girlfriend Tasya van Ree. But the latter had assured that the accusations were “exaggerated”, and the charges had been dropped.
Amber Heard, however, seems to contradict her own statements. In one recording, the jury heard her say to Johnny Depp: “I hit you, I didn’t punch you. Yes, I started this fight, you’re a fucking baby. “At the bar, she assured that Depp was trying to force the door of the room in which she had taken refuge.
Since the start of the trial, the seven jurors have seen numerous photos of injuries that Amber Heard attributes to Johnny Depp: bruises under the eye, nose and arm, and a swollen lip. But on the stand, she was forced to admit that she had not photographed her arms and feet, which she claims were slashed by shards of glass. And that she had not consulted a doctor after Johnny Depp allegedly raped her with a bottle of alcohol in Australia. Johnny Depp’s lawyer again accused her of having “photoshoped” certain images to intensify the redness of the marks. Amber Heard, she assured that it was only an effect of the yellow light of the bathroom.
A witness corroborates certain elements
For the first time, the jury heard a defense witness, iO Tillett Wright, a friend of Amber Heard. In a recorded deposition, he explained that he had often mediated during the couple’s arguments. And if he never saw Johnny Depp hit Amber Heard, he said he called the police fearing for the safety of his friend. According to him, Johnny Depp accused him on the phone of having defecated on his bed. Wright first thought it was a joke. He says he heard Depp yell, “You think I hit you? How about I take your hair off? The witness said he then heard “the phone drop and (Amber Heard) scream”.
According to Wright, Johnny Depp also told her on his wedding night that he could now “punches” Amber Heard without “nothing anyone can do about it.” He also claims to have seen in person the damaged scalp of his friend, her “swollen” lip as well as “fine cuts on her arm” when she returned from Australia.
His testimony could weigh in the minds of the jury: to win his defamation case, Johnny Depp must convince the seven jurors that he has never been violent towards Amber Heard. “If the jury finds that Johnny Depp was abusive, even once, physically, verbally or emotionally, then the editorial [dans lequel Amber Heard se disait victime de « violences conjugales »] is not defamatory”, explained to 20 minutes US attorney Sara Azari. The debates are due to continue on Wednesday and last until May 27.