Amber Heard has accused her ex-husband Johnny Depp of sexual assault during the opening arguments of a $50m (around £38m) defamation trial. Warning – sexual assault.
Johnny Depp, 58, is suing Amber Heard, 35, for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she accused him of being abusive.
According to The Independent, Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft claimed that Depp sexually assaulted the actress with a liquor bottle while drunk.
Depp was seen shaking his head while Bredehoft made the claim. A spokesperson later denied the assault.
The trial began on Monday (11 April) in Virginia’s Fairfax County district courthouse, and has so far seen Heard accused of calling Depp “old and fat”, and Depp accused of having “dragged her [Heard] across the floor” and “penetrat[ing] her with a liquor bottle”.
Johnny Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez called Amber Heard a “compulsive liar” and “profoundly troubled”.
Vasquez accused Heard of fabricating allegations to boost her career, according to People, and claimed that sexual assault was only added to Heard’s list of allegations because she “panicked” over the “seriousness of what she’d alleged”.
This trial follows a previous libel battle against The Sun in 2020 over an article that labelled Johnny Depp a “wife beater”; after a weeks-long trial in which the court combed through Depp and Heard’s one-year marriage in 2015, Depp lost the case.
The High Court ruled that the paper was able to prove what they reported was true on the balance of probabilities, recognising “overwhelming evidence” that Depp attacked Heard at least 12 times during their relationship.
The actor subsequently resigned from his role on the Fantastic Beasts cinematic series, in which he played the dark wizard Grindelwald, who Dumbledore was in love with.
A spokesperson for Johnny Depp said in a statement to The Independent: “These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber’s allegations in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later once she was sued for defamation after noting in her op-ed that she was a victim of ‘sexual violence.’
“Words are key in a defamation case and conveniently, this allegation only came after that.
“This follows a pattern of her elaborate, erroneous claims which have continued to change and evolve over time for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement.”