Washington, United States:
“Aquaman” star Amber Heard said on Thursday she received thousands of death threats during the “painful” defamation lawsuit between her and ex-husband Johnny Depp.
“I am harassed, humiliated and threatened every day,” said 36-year-old Heard on the last day of testifying at the blockbuster trial taking place in Fairfax, Virginia, near the US capital.
Heard said she has been the target of a social media campaign by “millions” of fans of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star and that she suffers from panic attacks, nightmares and trauma.
“People want to kill me and they tell me that every day,” she told the jury, sometimes in tears and her voice broke. “People want to put my baby in the microwave and they tell me that.
“I regularly, if not daily, receive hundreds of death threats, thousands since this trial began, people mocking my testimony because I was attacked,” the actress said.
“It’s painful, painful, the most humiliating thing I’ve ever had to go through,” she said. “I just want Johnny to leave me alone.”
The six-week trial was attended daily by fans of Depp, some of whom queued for hours at night to get one of the limited seats in the public gallery.
Judge Penney Azcarate threatened to evict spectators at one point during Heard’s emotional testimony.
“If I hear one more noise, I will clear the gallery and we will continue this testimony without anyone in court,” Azcarate warned. “Understood?”
Heard’s testimony came a day after Depp took the stand, saying it was “unimaginably cruel” to listen to his ex-wife’s “horrific” and “bizarre” allegations of domestic violence.
“No human being is perfect, certainly not none of us, but I have never experienced sexual assault or physical abuse in my life,” said 58-year-old Depp.
Depp said he had taken legal action because he needed to address “what I’ve been reluctantly carrying on my back for six years”.
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, was given a restraining order against her then-husband for domestic violence in May 2016.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife beater.” He lost that case in November 2020.
Depp sued Heard in Fairfax over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018, in which she described herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence.”
Texas-born Heard did not name Depp in the piece, but he sued her for suggesting he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.
Heard sued, asking for $100 million, alleging she suffered “rampant physical assault and abuse”.
She said Thursday that her counterclaim was an attempt to reclaim her voice and name.
“Johnny has had enough of my voice,” she said. “I have the right to tell my story.”
Closing arguments Friday
At the trial, which began on April 11, Heard testified on multiple cases of alleged physical and sexual abuse by an intoxicated Depp, including sexual abuse with a bottle while in Australia.
Depp claimed that Heard was the one who was often violent during their relationship and once cut off the tip of one of his middle fingers by throwing a vodka bottle at him.
Both sides have claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.
Heard’s legal team presented an entertainment industry expert who estimates the actress has suffered $45-50 million in lost film and TV roles and endorsements.
An industry expert hired by Depp’s side said the actor has lost millions over the abuse allegations, including a $22.5 million payday for a sixth episode of “Pirates.”
The closing arguments will take place on Friday, after which the case will go to the seven-member jury.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)