UPDATED: The Most Shocking Moments From The Depp-Heard Trial So Far

One of the ugliest celebrity divorces to ever come out of Hollywood has to be that of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. After meeting on the set of The Rum Diaries in 2009, the pair started dating in 2012. In 2015, they tied the knot, but the actress filed for divorce a mere 15 months later. What followed was an incredibly public he said/she said filled with so many twists and turns, it would give M. Night Shyamalan whiplash.

There were tabloid photos, leaked audio recordings, and stories of messages written in blood. Heard filed for a restraining order and made allegations of physical abuse. Depp denied this and accused his ex-wife of being a perpetrator of domestic violence, not a victim. In late 2016, they settled out of court. Heard walked away with an incredible seven million, Depp took a significant career hit, and the rest of us thought the legal battles were over.

Alas, we were all wrong. In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in which she spoke about being a victim of abuse. While she didn’t overtly name Depp in the piece, the implication was clear. Depp responded with a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the actress and Heard subsequently counter-sued for $100 million.

Now, nearly four years later, the trial has finally started in Virginia. And it’s being televised so that every sordid detail will be aired to the masses. We’re two weeks into what is set to be a six-week trial, and already there’s been bombshell after bombshell. Here are some of the most shocking moments we’ve seen so far.

Judge Penney Doesn’t Play Around

Presiding over the trial is Judge Penney S. Azcarate, and from what we’ve seen so far, she doesn’t mess around. Eve Barlow, a journalist and close friend of Amber’s, was kicked out of the courtroom after it was discovered that she was texting and posting information about the trial on social media. That was a violation of a court order; thus, she’s been barred from the trial by the honorable Judge Penney.

Milani Would Very Much Like To Be Excluded From This Narrative

Amber’s attorney made a seemingly innocuous claim during their opening arguments, saying that no one ever saw bruises on the actress because she covered them with makeup. The lawyer then held up Milani’s All In One Correcting Kit, identifying it as the product Heard used to cover the bruises. But Milani Cosmetics wasn’t having it. The company responded, taking to TikTok (why TikTok, though?) to respond that the concealer in question, the All In One Correcting Kit, wasn’t even released until after their divorce was finalized.

A Severed Fingertip

On the stand, Depp testified that Heard threw a glass bottle of vodka at him in 2015 while the pair was in Australia. The glass shattered and severed the tip of his middle finger. He went on to say that he felt like he was having a “nervous breakdown” and began writing on the walls with his blood. Three surgeries were required to fix the damage.

Multiple photos were shown to the jury, one of which shows the actor lying on a stretcher. In court, Depp stated that a mark on his cheek was from a cigarette Heard burnt him with. At the hospital, Depp claims he chose not to tell the doctors what happened to try and protect her, a survival tactic that is not at all uncommon amongst victims of abuse.   

Revenge Is Best Served As A Steaming Pile of Shit

You might have seen #MePoo trending on Twitter recently, and this is why. After getting into an argument during Heard’s 30th birthday party, Depp claims that when he wanted to go back to their shared home to retrieve his belongings, Heard had left “human fecal matter” on his side of the bed. Yep, you read that right. She allegedly took a shit on the bed—there’s even a photo to corroborate this.

“About The Lowest Point” In Depp’s Life

Much has been made of Johnny Depp’s substance issues during this trial—the defense has been making it a point to portray the actor as someone who abuses both drugs and alcohol. Although he did testify, Depp hasn’t denied this, “The characterization of my quote-unquote ‘substance abuse’ as described by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished, and a lot of it is just plain false.” In fact, during one portion of his testimony, he spoke about opiate addiction, saying he decided to fly to his private island to detox.

While it’s crazy to think this man owns his damn island, the most shocking part came next. Depp described a moment when Heard withheld his medication, telling him it was “not time” to take them. Depp said the moment was about the lowest point in my life.”

A Litany Of Texts, Videos, And Audio Clips

Johnny Depp’s cross-examination was absolutely excruciating to listen to. Not only did the defense repeatedly bring up his drug use, but there was also a barrage of incredibly disturbing text messages, video clips, and audio recordings brought in for evidence.

First, there were the text messages. In one exchange with actor Paul Bettany, Depp wrote, “I will fuck her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead.” Other messages see the actor calling her a whore and using the c-word to describe his ex, Vanessa Paradis. When asked about these, Depp stated that he wasn’t proud of his vulgar language but insisted he uses dark humor and venting.

The jury was also shown a video clip of Depp slamming cabinets and repeatedly cursing. When he realizes Heard is filming him, he storms out of the kitchen. On the stand, Depp noted that while he did “assault a couple of cabinets,” he never physically harmed Heard. He also mentioned that he was, in fact, being illegally recorded.

But perhaps the most challenging thing to hear was an audiotape in which Johnny is attempting to self-harm. As he listened to it in court, Depp appeared tearful and broken. It’s not hard to imagine the pain of having some of your worst moments displayed to the public.

Heard’s Attorney Objected To His Own Questioning

On a less grave note, one of Amber Heard’s attorneys, Adam Nadelhaft, tried to object to his question on Monday. At the same time, he questioned Depp’s house manager, Ben King, about the 2015 fight, which resulted in Depp’s finger being severed. (King testified that he later found part of Depp’s finger.) Nadelhaft asked King, “You didn’t know what could cause damage to Mr. Depp’s hand while you were there on March 8, correct?” King responded that a doctor told him that one of Depp’s fingers was injured. Nadelhaft cut in with an objection, saying King’s response was “hearsay.” “Wait—you asked the question,” the judge replied before instructing Nadelhaft to move on to the next question.

There are still several weeks left of the trial, which began on April 12 and is expected to last about six weeks. Along with Depp’s defamation allegations, the seven-person jury also considers Heard’s countersuit, which she filed in 2020. Depp’s testimony concluded on Monday, and Heard is expected to testify.

Battle of the Experts

Amber Heard has claimed to suffer from PTSD as a result of being in an abusive relationship with Depp. That claim, then, opened the door for Heard to undergo psychological evaluations as part of the trial.

Dr. Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist hired by Depp’s legal team, testified about her evaluation of Heard. She concluded that Amber did not have PTSD, but that she “grossly” exaggerated symptoms of PTSD. Additionally, she diagnosed the actress with Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder, both of which are characterized by dramatic, unpredictable, or overly emotional behaviors.

Amber Heard’s team, however, hired a forensic psychologist of their own who gave a much different testimony. Dr. Dawn Hughes reported that after her evaluation, she diagnosed Heard with PTSD (and only PTSD), saying she believed the actress experienced intimate partner violence from Depp.   

What’s in a Name?

You know those people who say, “I’m just so bad with names?” Well, apparently one of Amber’s attorney’s, Elaine Bredehoft, is one of those people. During her direct examination with Dr. Hughes, she mistakenly referred to the expert as “Dr. Curry.” Twice!

While it was certainly a big whoopsie, I suppose it’s understandable given that both women are expert witnesses in the trial. But then Elaine did it again. With Amber. That’s right, when it was Heard’s turn to take the stand, Elaine mixed up her first and middle name, calling the actress “Laura Amber Heard.” Whoops!

Revolving Door of Famous “Friends”

During her testimony, Heard accused Depp of being a jealous partner, saying there was a “revolving door of accusations.” Depp accused Heard of cheating on him with a flight attendant, one of her female friends, and her co-stars James Franco and Eddie Redmayne. (Franco and Redmayne have not commented on the accusations.)

According to Heard, Depp’s jealousy also impacted her career—Depp didn’t want her to take any role with nudity, on-screen kissing, or sex scenes.

Wino Forever

Speaking about the alleged physical abuse, Heard claimed that the first instance was in relation to one of Depp’s more famous tattoos. She asked him about his Wino Forever tattoo—you know, the one that used to read “Winona Forever”—and when she laughed, he allegedly slapped her.

Now, I have no idea what happened between them, but I find it a little hard to believe that Amber didn’t know that Johnny famously changed Winona to Wino after his (very public) breakup from actress Winona Ryder.  

Kate Moss and Stairs

During his testimony, Johnny Depp claimed that Amber Heard was the perpetrator, not the victim, of domestic violence, alleging that she would frequently hit him. Heard, however, stated that she only struck him once. According to her, they were in the middle of a heated argument on the top level of their penthouse when her sister, Whitney, got in between them. Afraid that her sister would be pushed down the flight of stairs, Heard punched Depp in the face.

While telling this story on the stand, Heard stated that in that moment, the only thing she could think of was “Kate Moss and stairs” alluding to an rumor involving Johnny Depp and the supermodel, whom he dated in the 90s.

Australia Allegations

There are a few things in this case that both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard agree on. One of which is that Depp lost the tip of his finger in 2015 while the pair was in Australia. Their versions of what led to the severed finger, though, are very different.

Depp’s story is that Heard threw a liquor bottle at him during an argument and his finger was severed from the shattered glass. Heard, however, stated that Depp cut his own finger off. She described the incident, saying that Depp was the one throwing bottles of liquor that night. Over the course of their fight, he grabbed her by the neck, ripped off her nightgown, and dragged her across the broken glass.

Then, in a particularly horrifying allegation, she claimed that the actor used a liquor bottle to sexually assault her. Afterwards, she went upstairs, took two sleeping pills, and barricaded herself in the bedroom. When she woke up a few hours later, she found that Depp had cut his finger and written demeaning messages on the walls with his blood. 

It’s worth noting that a brief audio clip was played for the court where Depp appears to say “I’m talking about Australia, the day I chopped my finger off.” An email from Depp to his doctor was also shown in court, in which he wrote, “I have chopped off my left middle finger as a reminder that I should never cut my finger off again!!” The audio clip is hard to decipher, though—Depp insists he said “I got my finger chopped off”—and other leaked audio clips seem to tell a different story. 

TMZ Drama

During Depp’s rebuttal, former TMZ employee Morgan Tremaine was called to the stand. And boy, was TMZ upset about that. In fact, the day before, TMZ had filed an emergency motion to block him from testifying, citing the need to protect the privacy of their sources as the reason. Ultimately, their motion was denied.

Without actually naming her, Tremaine all but confirmed that the video of Depp slamming kitchen cabinets was leaked by Heard. TMZ was also alerted about the restraining order Heard filed in May 2016, along with the fact that she would be at the courthouse with a bruise on the right side of her face. Again, Tremaine never named his source, but the implication was pretty clear.

But perhaps the wildest part of Tremaine’s testimony came during his cross-examination. When attorney Elaine Bredehoft asked if he was seeking his “15 minutes of fame,” he replied that he wasn’t and, without missing a beat, stated, “I could say the same thing by taking Amber Heard as a client.”

Surprise Witness: Kate Moss

Along with Morgan Tremaine, several other surprise witnesses were called during rebuttal, including Kate Moss. Appearing via a video link, the supermodel testified that, despite what Amber Heard said previously, Johnny Depp never pushed, kicked, or threw her down any stairs over the course of their 4-year relationship. It seemed Depp’s team was unable to ask about anything other than that, so it was a rather short testimony, clocking in at about three minutes or so.

Yes, Marlon Brando Is Dead

As part of Heard’s defense, multiple expert witnesses were called, including psychiatrist David Spiegel. Dr. Spiegel testified that Depp displayed characteristics of substance abuse disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. He also gave an analysis of Depp’s cognitive status, saying he believed the actor had deficits in both processing speed and memory.

It’s important to note, however, that Dr. Spiegel did not actually personally evaluate Depp. Instead, he based his opinion on court testimony, various interviews given by Depp, and his movie performances. Specifically, he mentioned that Johnny Depp reportedly had all of his lines fed to him through an earpiece when filming the last Pirates movie.

But it was his cross-examination by attorney Wayne Dennison that really got people talking. After pushing back on the assertion that Depp was fed his lines through an earpiece (according to his sound engineer, it was actually music), Dennison asked, “Do you know whether Marlon Brando used an earpiece?” Dr. Spiegel then replied, “Isn’t he dead?” Johnny Depp’s reaction—the equivalent of a face-palm emoji—seemed to speak for all of us.

A Full Circle Moment

Closing arguments took place on May 27, 2022. A date that, as Mr. Depp’s attorney, Camille Vasquez, pointed out multiple times, was exactly six years after Amber Heard first made allegations of domestic violence. Six years to the day.

In an equally odd moment, multiple phones began going off in the courtroom as Ms. Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, was giving his closing argument. According to Judge Azcarate, it was an Amber Alert. An Amber Alert. You just can’t make this stuff up.

On Friday, May 27, the six-week trial came to a close, and the case was officially handed over to the jury. Depending on which side wins, the jury will determine what financial damages to award, but regardless, their decision must be unanimous.

After deliberating for two and a half days, the jury came back with their verdict on Wednesday, June 1. They found Heard to be guilty of defamation on all three statements published in the 2018 op-ed. Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (which was reduced to $350,000 based on Virginia state laws). As for Heard’s counterclaim, they found Depp liable for one of the three statements made by his former attorney, Adam Waldman. They awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages and $0 in punitive damages.

Images: JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

UPDATED: What’s Going On With Ezra Miller & Why Haven’t They Faced Consequences Yet?

It’s been little more than two weeks, but it seems like all the commotion around ‘Slap Gate’ is finally starting to die down, just in time for a new celebrity controversy to break through. And the latest star to come under fire is Ezra Miller.

The actor, who uses they/them pronouns, was in We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Their esoteric fashion choices on the red carpet have also made them a style icon in recent years. But arguably, they’re best known for their role as the Flash in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), appearing in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and, Justice League. And a standalone movie, The Flash, is slated to hit theaters in the summer of 2023.

As if being part of one huge Warner Bros franchise wasn’t enough, Ezra was also cast in Fantastic Beasts. You might remember a different Fantastic Beasts star better, though: Johnny Depp. Whether or not you saw the films, there’s no doubt you were well aware of Johnny Depp’s inclusion, and subsequent exclusion, in the series. The star famously “resigned” from his Fantastic Beasts role in 2020 upon the studio’s request. This resignation, along with Disney’s dismissal of the actor from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, came after Depp lost a libel lawsuit against a British newspaper that accused him of being abusive toward his ex-wife, Amber Heard. In a true full-circle moment, Amber Heard is also a part of the DCEU—she played Mera in Justice League and again in Aquaman. Which brings us to the current controversy surrounding one Ezra Miller.

On March 28, Ezra was arrested in Hawaii for disorderly conduct after a karaoke bar altercation that involved them yelling at a woman singing, grabbing the microphone from her, and then lunging at a man playing darts. The very next day, things took a turn for the worse when a local couple filed a restraining order against Ezra alleging that the actor broke into their home, stole from them, and threatened to kill them.

The incident is making plenty of waves—from fans taking to Twitter to petition the actor’s replacement in the DCEU to conflicting reports about Warner Bros’ reaction (according to Rolling Stone, executives held an emergency meeting and agreed to pause future projects with Ezra; a source from the studio later denied this claim).

This isn’t the first time Ezra has demonstrated problematic behavior. Back in 2020, a video surfaced showing them grabbing a woman by the throat, choking her, and pushing her to the floor. Earlier this year, in January, they posted an Instagram story inexplicably threatening a specific chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. And prior to their recent arrest, police in Hawaii were called on them 10 times in the month of March.

So, yeah. People are talking. With Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore hitting theaters everywhere this month, that’s not exactly surprising. But the conversation around Ezra Miller has expanded in recent days; it’s no longer an issue of this actor facing public backlash but of all actors who’ve faced backlash.

The latest installment of Fantastic Beasts sees Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, the character formerly portrayed by Johnny Depp. It’s not the first time an actor has been replaced on account of widespread controversy (see Kevin Spacey, Lori Loughlin, and Chris D’Elia), but it caused quite an uproar when it happened with #JusticeForJohnny trending on Twitter. Fans were equally upset with Warner Bros when Amber Heard wasn’t fired from her role in the DCEU despite the domestic violence allegations against her.  

Now, with Ezra Miller’s scandal unfolding, plenty of comparisons between them and Johnny Depp/Amber Heard are being drawn. And of course, people are finding a way to bring Will Smith into the conversation as well. His fallout after the Oscars has been widespread and enormous, as a number of his upcoming projects have reportedly been either pulled or put on hold.

So, it begs the question: why hasn’t Ezra faced similar consequences? 

Despite the fact that not every scandal is the same, it’s a valid question. Johnny Depp was effectively blacklisted from Hollywood even though he’s denied the claims of abuse, even going so far as to sue his ex-wife for defamation. Will Smith was condemned following the infamous slap and banned from the Oscars for the next decade. But the conversations about Ezra seem to show far more compassion and empathy.

Why? Is it, as some have suggested, an issue of race? A matter of publicity? Will Smith and Johnny Depp are both bigger names whose media coverage was vastly greater than Ezra’s. Or, is it a matter of money? 

Personally, I suspect the latter. When Johnny Depp was recast in the franchise back in 2020, filming had started, but the actor had only completed one scene. Replacing him might have delayed the schedule, but it didn’t completely sink the project. As for Will Smith, a number of his films have reportedly been put on hold, but for the most part, they’re in pre-production.

Meanwhile, The Flash has already been filmed; to recast and reshoot now would likely cost a fortune. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had its world premiere in London at the end of March; pulling it entirely would be an incredible loss for the studio.

Thus, his disparate treatment could simply be a matter of timing and the bottom line. But one thing’s for certain: Ezra Miller can’t afford another controversy. Otherwise, his future projects might be canceled in a flash.

UPDATE 4/25: Just a few weeks after a restraining order was filed against them, Miller was arrested in Hawaii for second-degree assault. On April 19, the actor was at a private residence. When they were asked to leave, they allegedly became angered and threw a chair at a woman, leaving her with an injury on her forehead (for which she refused treatment). The arrest, Miller’s second, came less than a week after the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. 

Images: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Universal Music Group

Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Are Back In Court, & The Details Are Wild

Celebrity divorces and breakups happen all the time, and usually, things are pretty straightforward. There might be some disputes about money or custody, or even a cheating scandal, but really, we usually don’t hear too many messy details. But some divorces are beyond messy, and the fallout from Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship is honestly unbelievable at this point. Depp and Heard had been married for just 14 months when, in May 2016, Heard filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against Depp, alleging that he was physically and verbally abusive. This set off a mind-numbing chain reaction of conflicting accusations and legal actions, with too many twists and turns to even attempt to recap.

But this week, more than four years after Heard’s initial divorce filing, the couple is once again facing off, this time in a London court. That’s right, this is STILL happening—not even a global pandemic can get these two to bury the hatchet. In the latest round of drama, Johnny Depp is suing The Sun, a British newspaper, for calling him a “wife beater” in 2018. Depp claims that this description, based on Heard’s accusations, is false and libelous.

Due to social distancing protocols, the trial is taking up five different courtrooms at once, which really just begs the question—could we not do this via Zoom? Five courtrooms feels a bit dramatic, but then again, everything about this case is dramatic. Over the last few days, Johnny Depp has taken the stand to testify, speaking about a wide range of events that occurred during his marriage and before, and sharing some details that are beyond strange.

He began his testimony on Tuesday with prepared statement, in which he denied Heard’s claims that he “had been this horrible monster,” and in fact said, “I am now convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking and then destroy what remained of it.” Dark. Depp called the notion that he would hit a woman “inconceivable,” citing his Southern upbringing and his deep respect for women.

When asked about his notorious drug usage, Depp acknowledged that by age 14, he had tried “every drug known to man”, and that he has long used drugs to “numb the pain,” but he denied having a “nasty, angry side.” The drugs came up again when talking about one specific alleged incident that happened at Heard’s LA apartment in 2013. A photo from the morning after a “nasty fight” shows a table covered with whiskey and a “crossbones-decorated pill box marked ‘property of JD.'” Johnny Depp admitted the box “probably” contained cocaine (cute that he keeps his drugs in a pirate chest), and that on the morning in question, he was “definitely partaking of the cocaine and whiskey.” Heard’s sister Whitney came to the apartment that morning, and she says the place was a disaster, and that Heard “was very red and had obviously been crying.” Depp, on the other hand, says he doesn’t “recall the level of destruction Whitney describes.”

The defendant in this trial, The Sun has questioned Depp about a multitude of incredibly specific events, nearly all of which Johnny Depp has denied outright. The Sun attorney Sasha Wass asked Depp about one alleged incident, when Amber Heard said she laughed at one of his tattoos—it originally said “Winona Forever,” but after his breakup with Winona Ryder, he had it altered to just say “Wino Forever” (relatable). Wass alleges that Heard’s laughter at the tattoo was met with “disappointment” and “anger” from Depp, and in response, he “slapped her more than once, because after you slapped her the first time, she didn’t react, she just eyeballed you, she just stared at you, and that made you more angry, and you slapped her again.”

Depp called this description of events “patently untrue,” and said he does not “recall any argument about any of my tattoos.” He also denied a claim that during another argument, he “dangled Heard’s teacup Yorkshire terrier, Pistol, out of a moving car”, saying, “That is not my idea of fun, although my sense of humor is rather skewed.”

One particular incident that’s been a hot topic of contention between Depp and Heard allegedly occurred at their Australian villa in March of 2015. Depp ended up on a stretcher with a partially severed fingertip, but their accounts of how this happened couldn’t be more different. According to a written statement from Johnny Depp, “Amber severed my finger with the second of two thrown vodka bottles at me,” and in the same incident, he claims she stubbed out a lit cigarette on his cheek.

Amber’s version of events is completely different. In a previous statement to The Post, she said that Depp “mutilated himself in a booze- and drug-fueled jealous rage when he smashed a telephone against a wall and a piece of plastic from the phone severed his digit.” After that, Heard’s camp alleges that Depp “used his finger stump to scrawl accusations of infidelity by Heard in blood and blue paint on the walls and a mirror at their villa.” Yes, they are literally saying Johnny Depp used his bloody finger like a marker to write “STARRING BILLY BOB EASY AMBER” on the wall (that’s Billy Bob Thornton, whom Amber Heard has denied cheating on Depp with). These two stories are so wildly different, but somehow, we still have no idea which version is more accurate.

The accusations of Amber Heard’s infidelity are a recurring theme in the trial, and another incident involved Depp accusing her of sleeping with her costar James Franco. According to Wass, Heard alleges that Depp called her a “slut and a whore”, in addition to kicking and slapping her, because he thought she was having an affair with Franco. In court, Depp admitted he was “uncomfortable” with her being around Franco, and though he denied the allegation of being physically abusive, he conceded that he may have called Heard “a go-getter slut and a whore.”

One important moment in the trial so far came when Depp was shown a text message to actor Paul Bettany, in which he said that he had gone into a “blackout, screaming obscenities and insulting any (person) who got near.” After looking at the text, Depp admitted that “I may have done things that I have no memory of.” Still, he maintained that he is “certainly not a violent person—especially with women.”

While the focus of this current trial is on Johnny Depp’s behavior, it’s important to remember that overall this isn’t a one-sided situation—these two have spent the last four years leveling accusations at one another, and at this point it’s impossible to know what’s even true. Last year, Depp sued Heard for $50 million, accusing her of defaming him in a Washington Post op-ed about their relationship, and he has also claimed that Heard was physically abusive toward him. Basically, I’m glad I’m not the judge making decisions about this case, because who even knows what to think?

Images: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com