Amber Heard claims relationship with Johnny Depp characterised by his 'uncontrolled violence'

ITV News US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports on Amber Heard's opening words to the defamation trial with her ex-husband Johnny Depp

Amber Heard claimed her relationship with Johnny Depp was characterised by his "rage and uncontrolled violence", as she took to the stand in the defamation case brought against her for the first time.

She told the court Depp would grab her by the hair then scream in her face, and would also slap her, punch the wall next to her head, and throw things around the house.

Depp has denied all allegations that he has ever assaulted Heard.

The actress also said Depp's alleged abuse differed depending on what drug he had taken.

"Johnny on speed was different to Johnny on opiates, Johnny on opiates was different to Adderall and cocaine Johnny," she told the trial.

Heard added she knew she should leave Depp the first time he hit her, but she couldn't bring herself to do it.

“I knew I couldn't just forgive him, right, because that means it will happen again. Like, I've seen the health class videos,” Heard told jurors through tears as she took the stand in Depp's libel lawsuit against her.

“I was heartbroken," she said.

Ultimately, though, she couldn't bring herself to break up.

She walked away after being slapped, but a few days later Depp came back with an apology, a few cases of her favourite wine, and a promise he'd never do it again, Heard testified.

“I wanted to believe him, so I chose to,” she said.

What else was said at the trial on Wednesday?

  • Heard also described a trip to a trailer park where she and Depp had travelled to with friends to partake in "laughy" drugs.

  • After an altercation with a female acquaintance, Heard alleged that Depp grabbed the woman's wrist and threatened to break it.

  • Heard said Depp wasn’t making sense when she took him back to their trailer. She claimed he ripped her clothes before accusing her of hiding drugs and inserting his fingers into her vagina as a cavity search.

  • Heard says Depp was hiding alcoholic drinking by drinking it in coffee cups.

  • She testified his children were upset by his behaviour.

  • In an altercation that followed, she said Depp slammed her against the wall and said: “I can f****** kill you”.

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Taking to the stand, she told the trial: "This the most painful and difficult thing I’ve gone through for sure. I struggle to have the words to describe how painful this is.

"This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything, (to) hear people that I knew – some well, some not, my ex-husband with whom I shared a life – speak about our lives in the way that they have."

Depp is currently suing his ex-wife for libel after she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post describing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse."

Published in December 2018, the article doesn't mention Depp by name, but his legal team have said he was defamed nonetheless - as it refers to accusations she made at their 2016 divorce proceedings.

Actor Johnny Depp in court while listening to testimony by ex-wife, actor Amber Heard. Credit: AP

What has gone on in the trial so far?

Heard's turn on the stand followed a testimony from a psychologist, hired by her lawyers, stating the 36-year-old suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to the psychologist, claims of PTSD followed multiple acts of abuse, including sexual violence perpetrated by Mr Depp - something he, and his legal team refute.

Depp spent four days on the stand earlier in the trial, testifying he never struck Heard and that he was the abuse victim.

He said he was punched and struck by her on many occasions, and that she threw things at him. He described Heard as having a “need for conflict.”

Psychologist Dawn Hughes, in her testimony Tuesday, acknowledged that Heard at times perpetrated physical violence against Depp, but said it paled in comparison to violence she suffered, which left her intimidated and fearful for her safety.

The trial continues to pick up public attention as it settles in for its fourth week.

The trial, is now in its fourth week, continues to capture public attention. More than 100 people were lined up Wednesday before 7am - the proceedings don't begin until 10am - outside the courthouse for the 100 seats made available in the courtroom.

Most of whom are Depp supporters and fans.