Amber Heard says she receives death threats every day over Depp claims
"Aquaman" actor Amber Heard delivered the final testimony in the multimillion-dollar defamation battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp on Thursday, telling jurors she faces daily harassment and death threats since she accused the Hollywood star of abuse.
Heard returned to the stand at the request of her attorneys ahead of closing arguments on Friday.
Speaking through tears, Heard said she has been "harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day" since accusing the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star of physical and sexual abuse.
"People want to kill me and they tell me so every day," Heard said. "People want to put my baby in the microwave." Heard adopted a baby girl in July 2021.
Depp, 58, sued Heard in Virginia for US$50 million and argued that she defamed him when she called herself "a public figure representing domestic abuse." Heard, 36, has countersued for $100 million, saying Depp smeared her when his lawyer said her accusations were a "hoax."
"Johnny has taken enough of my voice," Heard told the jury. "I have the right to tell my story."Depp has denied hitting Heard or any woman and said she was the one who turned violent in their relationship.
"No human being is perfect," he said on Wednesday. "But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse."
The case is expected to go the jury on Friday after each side presents closing arguments.
Heard met Depp in 2011 while filming "The Rum Diary" and the pair wed in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized about two years later.
At the center of the legal case is a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear that Heard was referring to him.
Depp, once among Hollywood's biggest stars, said Heard's allegations cost him "everything." A new "Pirates" movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the "Fantastic Beasts" film franchise, a "Harry Potter" spinoff.
Heard's attorneys have argued that she told the truth and her opinion was protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. They said she also lost work opportunities in Hollywood because of Depp's accusations.
Depp lost a libel case less than two years ago against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a "wife beater." A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.
Depp's lawyers filed the U.S. case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Mark Porter and Jonathan Oatis)