Amber Heard tells defamation trial newspaper article is ‘not just about Johnny’

Amber Heard has said her 2018 Washington Post article is “not just about Johnny”, as she continued giving evidence at a US defamation trial.

he actress said her former husband Johnny Depp was “included” in her descriptions of how institutions protect powerful men accused of abuse.

Depp is suing Heard over the article, which his lawyers say falsely implies he physically and sexually abused her while they were together. He has denied all accusations.

The article was titled ‘I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change’ and was published in December 2018, two years after Heard filed for a restraining order against Depp.

During her second day of cross-examination at the court in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez questioned Heard directly about the alleged defamatory statements made in the op-ed.

Heard admitted that she had publicly accused Depp of domestic violence in 2016, after giving testimony during her application for the restraining order, but said the article was about her experiences after the relationship had ended.

“That was the more interesting thing for me to write about,” she said.

Addressing her description of a large ship being hit by an iceberg and being “patched up” by lots of people, she said Depp had been “included” in the analogy, along with other public figures “being accused as well”.

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“I was talking about a bigger issue than just Johnny…when powerful men do something horrible or that they shouldn’t, how there is a system in place to protect them, to clean up after them,” she told the court.

“This was a reference to not just Johnny but what was happening as a culture when we were addressing a lot of MeToo issues.

“(It was) not just about him, but he is included in that yes…but I wrote this in the context of many men at the time, public figures in the public eye being accused as well.

“So it was a reference in general to a larger phenomenon, not just Johnny.”

Vasquez also questioned Heard about the title of the article that was published and its reference to sexual violence which she published a link to on social media.

“I did not write that,” she said, adding: “I may have (seen it), I just didn’t notice it.”

Asked why she had not asked The Washington Post to change the title, she added: “I didn’t ask them, nor did I think I needed to.”

Earlier the trial was told that Heard have given Depp a large knife as a present during the early days of their relationship.

The actress was subjected to tense cross-examination from Depp’s attorney and was grilled over her allegations that her ex-husband violently abused her on multiple occasions.

Jurors were shown a knife that Heard gave Depp as a gift back in 2012 as the Pirates of the Caribbean actor’s attorney questioned why she would give a weapon to her husband at a time when he was already allegedly abusing her.

Heard claimed that the abuse began early on in their relationship in 2011 before there was “a break” in 2012.

“That’s the knife that you gave to the man who was abusing you?” questioned the attorney.

Heard responded that she didn’t believe he would stab her with a knife.

“I wasn’t afraid of him stabbing me,” she told the court.

The court had previously heard about the knife, which is inscribed with the words “hasta la muerte” – meaning “until death” in Spanish.

Psychologist Dr Daswn Hughes was previously questioned by Depp’s legal team about whether someone who was “afraid for her life” would gift this to their partner.

The doctor told the court that there’s “context” and that she believed Heard bought the knife as “a kind gift”.

“The phraseology is that Mr Depp told her ‘the only way out of this relationship is death’,” Dr Hughes said.

The psychologist said Heard was in “denial” concerning the “ violence in the relationship” at the time.

Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

Depp was not named in the article, which was titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

However Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something that he strongly denies – and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. He is suing for $50m.

Heard is countersuing for $100m, accusing Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

Earlier Heard was grilled over the alleged violent attack where she accused Depp of sexually assaulting her with a liquor bottle.

Depp’s attorney questioning Heard about a violent incident that took place in Australia in early 2015.

The former spouses have both given vastly different accounts of the incident.

Heard previously testified that her then-husband assaulted her with a glass liquor bottle and how she lay in fear that the glass may have been broken inside of her.

“The next thing I remember, I was bent over backwards on the bar, meaning my chest was up. I was staring at the blue light. My back is on the countertop and I thought he was punching me. I felt this pressure on my pubic bone. I thought he was punching me,” she said in early May.

“I could feel his arm moving and it looked like he was punching me. But I could just feel this pressure.”

Heard said she remembered being still, not wanting to move, looking around the room, and seeing broken bottles and broken glass.

“I remember not wanting to move because I didn’t know of it was broken – I didn’t know if the bottle that he had inside me was broken,” she said.

“I couldn’t feel it. I didn’t feel pain. I didn’t feel pain. I didn’t feel anything…I looked around and I saw so much broken glass…I just remember thinking ‘Please God, please. I hope it’s not broken’.”

Depp’s attorney tried to pick apart Heard’s version of events, grilling her about the timeline of the violent incident that night.

“I have never testified to a sequence,” Heard responded.

“He did a lot of things that night.”

The court heard an audio clip of Depp and Heard speaking about the incident in Australia.

In the clip, Depp is heard saying he went into rooms in the house away from his spouse, likening it to a break in a boxing match.

“You weren’t scared of him at all were you?” questioned the attorney.

Heard replied: “This was a man who tried to kill me. Of course I was scared but he was also my husband.”

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