FALLS CHURCH, Va. (CBS/AP) — Actress Amber Heard testified in court Thursday that Johnny Depp slapped and kicked her on a flight out of Boston eight years ago. Heard was back on the witness stand to defend herself against her ex-husband's libel allegations.
Depp is suing Heard for libel over an op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse." His lawyers say he was defamed by the 2018 article even though it never mentioned his name.
The May 2014 plane ride from Boston to Los Angeles has already come up at trial. According to Heard, Depp was jealous and irate that she was making a movie with actor James Franco that included a kissing scene.
"He hated, hated James Franco," she said.
As soon Depp stepped into the private plane, he began berating her about Franco, she said. She got up and walked away, but Depp followed her. At one point, he slapped her, Heard testified. Later, she said, he kicked her, and not one person on board intervened on her behalf.
"I felt this boot in my back," she said. "I fell to the floor. And no one said anything. No one did anything. You could have heard a pin drop. I just remember feeling so embarrassed."
Depp, who testified earlier in the trial, described the incident differently. He denied that he'd drank excessively before getting on the plane, and said Heard initiated an argument and pursued him until he felt compelled to hide in a bathroom.
But jurors heard a recording Heard made toward the end of the incident, in which it sounds like Depp is howling and babbling incoherently. And the jury has seen a text message Depp sent his friend Paul Bettany shortly after the flight, in which he says he's going to "properly stop the booze thing" because the flight got "ugly." He also texted Bettany saying, "I'm admittedly too f——- in the head to spray my rage at the one I love for little reason as well."
Heard has testified that she was physically and sexually assaulted on multiple occasions by Depp, typically when he was drunk or high on drugs. Depp has denied ever hitting her, but Heard's lawyers have said his denials lack credibility in part because he can't remember what he's done when he blacks out.
Depp has said Heard greatly exaggerates his drinking, and that he tolerates his liquor well. Friends, family and employees of Depp have taken the stand and backed up his contention.
But Heard said that's part of the problem: She said Depp has a team around him that cleans him up when he gets sick, and enables him to go about his business without acknowledging the consequences of his drinking.
Heard is expected to be on the stand all day Thursday in Fairfax County Circuit Court. Earlier in the day she testified about Depp's detox efforts after filming the Whitey Bulger biopic "Black Mass" in Boston in 2014, saying "it was hell." She said they spent between a week and 10 days in the Bahamas after Boston.
"It was for the first few days, OK. Peaceful," Heard said. But she said that changed and his moods changed rapidly. "He'd be mad at me, then he'd want to hug. He cried a lot, then he wanted to have sex, a lot — which is not like Johnny at all."
His moods changed as the detox continued, and he frequently became angry at her, she said.
"He slapped me across the face, but he did it while crying. It was the weirdest thing, just crying, saying no woman had ever embarrassed him like that; no woman had ever made him feel like that. I heard that for the rest of the trip, too, on repeat," she said.
Heard said she shouldn't have been there, helping him during his detox, and that the medical professionals didn't tell her not to. "I had no idea what that was going to look like or be like. And it was hell. We're on an island; I'm trying to take care of him and he was hallucinating. He's screaming at me for things I'd said – when I hadn't said anything," she said.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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