Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Trial

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over claims of libel

More stories from Lauren Alcantar

Most known for his role in Pirates of the Caribbean, actor Johnny Depp met his now former spouse Amber Heard on the set of “The Rum Diary.” Three years after filming, the co-stars announced publicly that they were dating. Quickly after, Depp and Heard announced they had married in 2015 on a private island in the Bahamas. Nearly as quick as their relationship had started, conflict and drama followed. Today, the former spouses are spending their week in a courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia. 

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over claims of libel, or defamation. After Heard showed her support in the Violence Against Women Act and published essays that detailed and alluded to abuse she endured, many believed she was describing the acts of Depp. NPR reported that “Depp is claiming that Heard defamed him in her essay because, his lawyers say, it refers to allegations she’s made elsewhere.” 

The trial began on April 11 but Depp has only testified for three days to date. The testimony has been recorded and live streamed to0 many major news outlets, with clips of comments from both Depp and Heard being circulated on social media. On the first day Depp took the stand, he immediately outlined his motives, claiming “truth is the only thing [he] is interested in.” Depp further explains that he felt the need to testify and refute Heard’s allegations in order to protect his two children, both of which he had with Vanessa Paradis. “I thought it was diabolical that my children would have to go to school and have their friends or people in the school approach them with the infamous PEOPLE magazine cover with Ms. Heard with a dark bruise on her face,” Depp said. 

There was an evident increase in seriousness and conflict on day two of the trial. Depp begins by explaining Heard’s inherent need for conflict, recalling quick changes in temper and violent outbursts. In an audio recording, Heard is heard admitting to hitting Depp. Though she shows remorse, she continuously tries to trivialize her actions. Another instance where Heard claims Depp intentionally head-butted her was brought up to counter this. Depp immediately denied the allegation and explained it was an accident he made while trying to restrain her. As the second day of the trial neared its end, Depp was asked if he had lost anything from these allegations, to which Depp responded “I have lost nothing less than everything.”

Depp brought a lighter attitude to the courtroom on the third day. When asked about his past with substance abuse, he brought a comedic tone despite his hard battle. Also addressed were suspicions of cheating as Heard believed Depp was “insecure” about her relationship with her co-stars. A tape of Depp talking to Heard was presented. “I become irrational when you’re doing movies. I become jealous and weird and we fight a lot more,” Depp said. 

The trial is still being live streamed and is expected to last a month.