Testimony ended Thursday in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation case with Heard telling jurors that she suffers minute-by-minute harassment, including death threats, and daily trauma requiring special “rules” in her life to prevent anxiety attacks.
“My friends have to live with a set of unspoken rules about how they can touch me,” the 36-year-old Aquaman actor told the court in what amounted to the final reel of the hearing in the long-running case.
Heard said she just wants “Johnny to leave me alone”.
In Heard’s last appearance in the witness box, she was asked what it had been like for her during the trial and having to face accusations by Depp’s press agent that her claim of abuse by the actor was a “hoax”.
“I am harassed, threatened, humiliated… every single day,” Heard said. “People want to kill me and they tell me so. Every day. People want to put my baby in the microwave. They tell me that. Johnny threatened – promised me – that if I ever left him, I’d make him think of him every single day that I lived. ”
In tense cross-examination from Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez, Heard was questioned about an alleged tip-off to the showbiz gossip site TMZ before she appeared in a Los Angeles court to file a restraining order and a video she took of Depp slamming kitchen cabinets and pouring a “mega pint” of wine.
In both instances, Heard testified, she did not know who had sent the information. On Wednesday, a former TMZ reporter, Morgan Tremaine, testified the site had been tipped off and had been “trying to capture Amber leaving the courthouse and an alleged bruise on the right side of her face”.
In another exchange, Vasquez challenged Heard about an apparent lack of bruises on her face in several photographs taken soon after an alleged incident in which Heard described Depp beating her.
Heard testified that she was wearing makeup, firing back: “If [the photo] was taken as you represented, then obviously there is a bruise on my face. It’s covered by makeup, as per usual. ”
Heard’s attorneys asked her if she’d ever faked bruises and or altered photos documenting abuse allegedly inflicted by Depp during their relationship.
“Absolutely not,” Heard said.
Asked about her reaction to the claim that she’d perpetrated a “hoax”, she said Depp “promised me he would ruin me. He’d ruin my career and take my life from me. Death was the only way out – and if I got out, this is what he’d do to me. He promised me global humiliation, ”she said.
“The harassment and the humiliation, the campaign against me that’s echoed every single day on social media, and now in front of cameras in the showroom – every single day I have to relive the trauma,” Heard said, fighting back tears. “Perhaps it’s easy to forget I’m a human being.”
Heard, who has been booed by spectators on the street as she enters and leaves the courthouse, said she hopes the lawsuit will allow her to regain her “voice”, and said she had the “right as an American” to publish the 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a survivor of domestic abuse.
“Johnny has taken enough of my voice,” she said. “I have the right to tell my story.”
Heard has testified to more than a dozen incidents of physical abuse she claims she suffered at Depp’s hands. Depp claims she was the abuser in the relationship and has denied ever striking her.
Lawyers for both sides will deliver their closing arguments on Friday and jurors will be given deliberating instructions by Judge Azcarate.