Amber Heard told jurors on Thursday that she has been humiliated by the defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp, and deserves to reclaim her voice.
Heard was the final witness called in the trial, which has been underway for the last six weeks in Fairfax, Va. Both sides rested their rebuttal cases on Thursday. Closing arguments will be made on Friday, and then the jury will begin deliberations, which are expected to extend into next week.
Depp has accused Heard of destroying his career with fabricated allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has also filed a $100 million counterclaim, alleging she has suffered emotional trauma and career damage from claims that she has perpetrated an “abuse hoax.”
On Thursday morning, Heard spoke in emotional terms about seeing her own testimony about sexual assault mocked on social media.
“It’s been agonizing,” she said. “This is humiliating for any human being to go through. Perhaps it’s easy to forget that, but I am a human being. Even though Johnny promised that I deserve this, and he’d do this, I don’t deserve this.”
Both Depp and Heard testified at length earlier in the trial. In the trial’s final days, each side called their respective clients to the stand to give brief rebuttal testimony. When it was his turn on Wednesday, Depp again denied Heard’s allegations. He also said, while the trial has not been easy for anyone, “no matter what happens, I did get here and I did tell the truth.”
In her testimony, Heard said Depp has “elicited millions of people” to wage a campaign against her on his behalf. She said she is “harassed, humiliated and threatened every single day.”
“People want to kill me and they tell me so every day,” she said. “I’m not sitting in this courtroom snickering. I’m not sitting in this courtroom laughing, smiling and making snide jokes,” she continued, alluding to Depp’s demeanor during the trial. “This is horrible.”
Heard said she is “not a saint,” and is not trying to present herself as one. She also said she has a right to tell her story.
“I have the right as an American to talk about what happened to me, to own my story and my truth,” she said. “I hope to get my voice back. That’s all I want.”
Depp filed the lawsuit over Heard’s 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” She did not cite Depp by name, but wrote that she had witnessed firsthand how institutions protect men accused of abuse.
Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, suggested on cross-examination that the reason the trial has been hard for Heard is that, “Your lies have been exposed to the world, multiple times.”
“I haven’t lied about anything,” Heard said.
Vasquez also accused Heard of leaking a video to TMZ in August 2016 that depicted Depp screaming and slamming cabinets. Vasquez also accused Heard of alerting the paparazzi that she was going to be at the Los Angeles County courthouse in May 2016 to file a domestic violence restraining order with a bruise on her face. As she had done earlier in the trial, Heard denied tipping off the outlet.
Vasquez also pointed to the rebuttal testimony from three witnesses who have come forward to speak on Depp’s behalf in recent days, including his ex-girlfriend Kate Moss.
Heard said she knew a lot of people would “come out of the woodwork.”
“I know how many people will come out and say whatever for him. That’s his power,” Heard said. “That’s why I wrote the op-ed. I was speaking to that phenomenon — how many people will come out in support of him and will fall to his power. He is a very powerful man and people love currying favor with powerful men.”