What's Come Out About Johnny Depp And Amber Heard's Relationship

This article contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence, sexual assault, and verbal abuse.

Since their defamation lawsuit arrived in court in 2022, a lot of shocking details have come out about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's relationship. The former couple married in 2015 and divorced a year later amid allegations that Depp was physically abusive to Heard during their marriage, per CNN. When the "Justice League" star wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2018 regarding her alleged experiences as a survivor of sexual violence, Depp sued his ex-wife for $50 million. Heard then countersued him with a $100 million lawsuit

During the legal battle that followed, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star purported himself to be a victim of domestic abuse, claiming that Heard was physically and verbally abusive to him throughout their marriage (via Law&Crime Network). "She would strike out," he claimed, "It could begin with a slap, it could begin with a shove, it could begin with throwing a TV remote at my head."

Meanwhile, Heard maintained her side of the story with her attorney, Ben Rottenborn, alleging that Depp simply wanted to smear his ex-wife's name with the lawsuit, per Rolling Stone. During his opening statement, the lawyer claimed, "He wants to turn this case into a six-week-long public spectacle of the most intimate aspects of their relationship and their marriage." From cheating allegations to words written on the walls in blood, here's everything that's come out about these ex-lovers.

Their relationship started off as an affair

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the set of "The Rum Diary" back in 2009. Sparks appeared to ignite for the pair following the filming of a steamy shower scene. However, despite their obvious chemistry, the co-stars were both in respective relationships at the time. Depp was in a long-term relationship with Vanessa Paradis while Heard was in a domestic partnership with Tasya van Ree, a Hawaiian artist.

Even though they were both in relationships with other people, Depp sensed a romantic connection with Heard. "It felt like something I should not be feeling, because she had her wife, and I had Vanessa," the actor explained in court (via Law & Crime Network.) "I think there was something in the kiss in the shower that was real." The actor confessed that the two then shared an off-screen kiss in his trailer which ignited the affair. 

But it wasn't just the kiss that did it. According to the "Edward Scissorhands" actor, he became smitten with his co-star once he realized they shared common niche interests. He saw her as a perfect match for him. "She seemed to be very knowledgable about old obscure blues music that I listened to," he explained. "She was literate, she was sweet, funny, nice, all those things" However, the actor alleged that all of this changed over time. "Things started to reveal themselves," he claimed.

There was conflict over their daily routine

During his testimony, Johnny Depp recalled that things were great at the beginning of his relationship with Amber Heard. Perhaps, a little too great. Per CNN, he stated, "From what I recall ... she was too good to be true." Per Law & Crime Network, he went on to testify that he considered his ex-wife to be wonderful for the first year and a half of their romance. Pinpointing the exact moment he suspected something may be amiss in his relationship, he described an alleged incident wherein Heard became upset about disruption to their daily routine.

He explained that the couple had a daily ritual wherein Heard would offer him a glass of wine before removing his boots for him. Depp explained that one day Heard was preoccupied with something else when he had arrived home, so he removed his own shoes, allegedly upsetting the "Aquaman" star by doing so. "She said, 'That's my job. That's what I do. You don't do that,'" the actor claimed, according to Insider. "I did take pause, the fact that she was visibly shaken or upset that I had broken her rules or routine," Depp added. The "Sleepy Hollow" star also suggested (via Law & Crime Network) that he then began questioning some of her other behaviors, such as her purported insistence that they go to bed at the same time as each other. 

Lily-Rose Depp didn't get along with Heard

Apparently, Johnny Depp's daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, refused to attend her father's wedding ceremony with Amber Heard. The actor made the claim during his testimony wherein he alleged that not only were his daughter and ex-wife on bad terms but that both his children could see Heard's alleged faults long before he could. "My kids are far more intelligent than I am and they refused to be around her anymore," he claimed in court (via Yahoo! News.) "They didn't like the way she treated me, which was written in a very elegant letter by my daughter, actually, to Ms. Heard."

Lily-Rose once told The Face that her parents raised her to value her privacy as a person in the public eye. However, she was once quite publically vocal in defending her father. In a since-deleted Instagram post (via Variety) from 2016, she highlighted his gentle, affectionate nature and praised his skills as a parent. "He's been nothing but a wonderful father to my little brother and I, and everyone who knows him would say the same." In court, Johnny suggested that being the best father possible was his main and biggest goal in life. Per Court TV, he alleged that his ex-wife would suggest otherwise. "There were several occasions where Ms. Heard would tell me what a bad father I was and that I had no idea how to parent," he claimed. 

The relationship featured instances of violence

In 2020, the Daily Mail published leaked audio recordings wherein Amber Heard appeared to confess to hitting Johnny Depp during a fight. In the clip, the "Donnie Brasco" star can be heard accusing his wife of having punched him, to which she appears to offer blunt clarity for her behavior. "I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you," she's purported to have said on the recording, along with statements wherein Heard appears to belittle Depp with insults. It's worth noting that the audio recording may also insinuate mutual instances of violence. In what sounds like an attempt to make peace, Depp seems to say, "I just couldn't take the idea of more physicality, more physical abuse on each other."

In another part of the conversation, Depp appears to accuse Heard of throwing items like pots, pans, and vases at Depp during arguments. For his part, the "Blow" actor can be heard admitting to having thrown items at her in Australia in retaliation for her having thrown cans at him. During his testimony, Depp suggested that he would often lock himself in bathrooms to avoid her alleged abuse. In the recording obtained by the Daily Mail, both he and Heard appear to reference how he'd remove himself from arguments. "If things get physical, we have to separate," he appears to say. "We must, there can be no physical violence towards each other."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

The mystery of Depp's finger injury

One of the biggest things to have come out about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's relationship involved a severed finger. In 2016, TMZ reported the horrifying news that the "Dark Shadows" star had lost the tip of his fingertip during an argument with his then-wife. Per Heard's account of the incident, Depp was using drugs and alcohol at the time, and his injury was self-inflicted and accidental. She also claimed that he'd dipped what was left of his finger in paint to scrawl accusations of infidelity on a mirror.

On the contrary, Depp alleged that Heard was the one who sliced off the tip of his finger while throwing a bottle of vodka at him. According to People in 2019, the "Cry Baby" star claimed that the fight kicked off when he'd asked Heard for a post-nuptial agreement. In a statement obtained by the outlet, he alleged, "She went berserk and began throwing bottles at me." 

According to TMZ, the actor allegedly didn't receive medical attention for the wound for almost 24 hours, so his fingertip couldn't be reattached. In the statement published by People, he claimed to have received three surgeries to reconstruct his finger and contracted MRSA three times. "I feared that I would lose my finger, my arm, and my life," he said. In 2022, Depp claimed that he'd initially taken the blame for his finger in a bid to protect Heard's reputation, per People.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Crude texts joked about killing Amber Heard

In 2022, dark text messages sent between Johnny Depp and British actor Paul Bettany were revealed which appeared to feature jokes about murdering Amber Heard (via LiveNOW from FOX). The messages were read aloud in court and appeared to show the "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" star writing, "Let's burn Amber." Per Newsweek, Bettany allegedly responded that Depp's then-girlfriend could be drowned like a witch, instead. In response, the actor was shown to have written "Let's drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure that she's dead."

In court, the actor appeared to show regret for the texts but also attempted to highlight the need to understand them within context. The actor alleged (via The Mirror) that the messages were referencing a "Monty Python" sketch about the burning and drowning of witches — potentially referencing a scene from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" wherein a mob of men dress a woman up like a witch, hurl fake accusations at her, and then demand she be burned or drowned to prove their point. "This is a film we'd all watch when we were 10," he suggested. "It's just irreverent and abstract humor."

For his part, Bettany told The Independent that having ten years worth of emails and texts scrutinized by lawyers for the case was a horrifying experience. "All I can tell you is that it was an unpleasant feeling," he said. 

Depp was haunted by an abusive childhood

During the defamation trial, Johnny Depp detailed his tumultuous childhood in which his late mother, Betty Sue, was alleged to have been physically and verbally abusive toward him. Per People, the actor claimed to the court that his mom would frequently throw household things at him such as high-heeled shoes or a telephone. According to Depp, his mother's alleged psychological cruelty could feel far worse. "The beatings were just physical pain," he claimed. "The physical pain, you learn to deal with. You learn to accept it."

The "21 Jump Street" actor went on to compare his relationship with Amber Heard to the one he shared with his mother (per People). When asked why he stayed with Heard, he admitted that it was because his father had stayed in his own abusive marriage. "I didn't want to fail ... I thought maybe I could help her," he said. "... Because the Amber Heard that I knew for the first year and a half was not this, suddenly this opponent. It wasn't my girl, she had become my opponent." During his testimony, the actor noted that his father took the abuse without retaliation. However, after trying to make it work for years, Depp's father did eventually leave the marriage. 

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Did his Winona tattoo cause trouble?

In 2020, Johnny Depp denied accusations that he slapped Amber Heard three times for making fun of his "Wino Forever" tattoo, via Deadline. The alleged incident was said to have taken place in 2013 and was brought up during his libel case against The Sun. Per the outlet, the actor was alleged to be using alcohol and drugs at the time after achieving 160 days of sobriety. Depp maintained his innocence during his defamation trial against Heard (via LiveNow from Fox). "It didn't happen. I've never struck Ms. Heard," he said. "I've never struck a woman in my life. I'm certainly not going to strike a woman if she decides to make fun of a tattoo on my body."

The tattoo in question was dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, Winona Ryder. It initially said "Winona Forever," but was changed when the two broke up in 1993, after dating for four years. In 2020, Ryder wrote a statement defending her ex-fiance against Heard's allegations against him. Published by The Blast, the "Stranger Things" star claimed that Depp had never been violent or abusive towards her in any way and wrote, "The idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved ... He has never been violent or abusive towards anybody I have seen... and I felt so very, very safe with him."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

What was James Franco's involvement?

James Franco and Amber Heard go way back, having starred together in the 2008 comedy "Pineapple Express." The two co-stars were then reunited for the thriller "The Adderall Diaries," which appeared to be in production in 2014. According to Entertainment Weekly, Depp said that he would get insecure about his ex-wife's potential infidelity and time spent with others. That apparently included Franco, as well as Billy Bob Thornton, with whom she filmed scenes in 2013 for the much-delayed mystery film, "London Fields." Per TMZ, Thornton denied that he'd had an affair with Heard.

In an audio recording from a discussion between Depp and Heard, the "Black Mass" actor broached the issue directly and appeared to say, "I become irrational when you're doing movies. I become jealous and f***ing weird and we fight a lot more." According to Page Six, Franco witnessed the bruises that Heard alleged were caused by Depp throwing a phone at her during the 2016 fight which appeared to end their marriage. In 2020, the "Aquaman" star testified that the "This Is the End" star visited their apartment the day after the alleged incident and was shocked by what he saw.

In a video clip from this time published by The Blast, Heard and Franco can be seen standing close together in an elevator. Heard's team argued that this was due to the fact that the actor simply lived in the same building as the couple.

Heard's career was a source of conflict

During Amber Heard's testimony, the actor alleged that Johnny Depp had made attempts to control her Hollywood career, per Entertainment Weekly. The "Pineapple Express" actor claimed that her ex-husband would become incensed when she'd audition for movie roles without his knowledge or permission. She went on to allege that he accused her of having affairs with two of her co-stars, Eddie Redmayne (with whom she starred opposite in "The Danish Girl") and James Franco.

Per the outlet, she alleged that Depp was particularly controlling about the type of roles she was taking. "He said, 'I'm trying to look out for you. You're saying you don't want to be objectified but you're doing it.' It got more narrow and more narrow about what I could do," she explained. However, she proceeded to accept movie roles so she could maintain independence and support her family financially — despite alleged offers from Depp that he could take care of her financially. 

As she claimed to the court, Heard's career was allegedly a constant source of conflict between the two, and she found herself having to defend her job. "Every audition, every meeting, every script I got was a negotiation or a fight," she said.

The scatological incident

In another unsettling claim about the couple, Johnny Depp accused Amber Heard of leaving human fecal matter on their bed following their break up. In his testimony (via Law&Crime Network), Depp alleged that Heard tried to blame the defecation on their 4-pound teacup yorkies, but didn't believe their tiny dogs could have been responsible.

According to Insider, the alleged incident kicked off when Depp was late for Heard's 30th birthday dinner, after attending an important meeting about his finances. The star then accused his ex-wife of becoming verbally and physically abusive against him after her celebrations had come to end. After removing himself from the scenario and leaving the apartment for the night, he returned the next morning to discover the defecation on his side of the bed. "My initial response to that was, I laughed," he told the court. "It was so outside, it was so bizarre and so grotesque that I could only laugh."

Starling Jenkins III, an individual who had worked for Depp as a chauffeur and security guard, testified in court that he'd given Heard a ride to Coachella the day after her birthday, per People. During that car journey, he alleged that the actor told him about what she'd done and described it as "a horrible practical joke gone wrong."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Was Amber hiding injuries or faking them?

Following their breakup, the question as to whether Amber Heard had ever sported visible evidence of her alleged abuse from Johnny Depp was a hot topic. During his libel case against The Sun in 2020, for instance, a stylist who worked with Heard during her appearance on "The Late, Late Show with James Cordon" testified that she didn't witness any injuries on the star — despite her suggestions otherwise, per Daily Mail

In 2022, Heard's attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, argued this was because the actor was applying heavy makeup to disguise any visible damage (via Law&Crime Network). Bredehoft then presented a makeup palette by the beauty brand Milani to stake her case. Afterward, the cosmetics company made a TikTok video wherein they refuted Heard's claim because the palette in question wasn't released until 2017, one year after the couple's divorce. As noted by Newsweek, however, the attorney never claimed that this was the specific palette used by the star at that time. 

Meanwhile, Depp suggested that his ex-wife once faked a bloody nose with makeup. According to Parade, the "Sleepy Hollow" actor claimed that his then-wife applied the fake wound after an alleged physical altercation between the two. As he told it, the "Drive Angry" star left for the bathroom and then returned with a tissue covered in what resembled blood. Depp alleged to the court, "I inspected it pretty closely and realized it was nail polish."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Depp's substance use may have been a problem

During her opening argument for Amber Heard (via Deadline), Elaine Bredhoft also alleged that Johnny Depp's lifestyle choices were key to his allegedly volatile behavior. "The monster would come out when he was drinking and when he would take the drugs," she told the court. During his own testimony (via Law&Crime Network), the Oscar-nominated actor admitted to having used various drugs and alcohol since he was a teenager. However, he claimed to have only become addicted to opiates following an on-set injury. 

Per People, Depp allegedly attempted to get sober during his relationship with Heard. A doctor who had worked with the star claimed that the actor was attempting to detox himself from substances including alcohol, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and the aforementioned opiates. When Depp's sister, Christi Dembrowski, took the stand, she admitted to having texted Heard to say she thought her brother needed help with his misuse of substances. Via AP Archive, she said, "I wanted to help him with the medication he was on ... I wanted to be able to be helpful ... because they (Heard and Depp) were arguing all the time."

In 2018, during a bombshell interview with Rolling Stone, the actor's alleged hedonism and extravagant lifestyle were put under scrutiny. "It's insulting to say that I spent $30,000 on wine," Depp told the mag, in reference to his alleged overspending. "Because it was far more."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Their marriage counselor claimed mutual abuse

Per Court TV, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's marriage counselor, Laurel Anderson, claimed that by her professional estimation, both partners were mutually abusive with one another throughout their relationship. The therapist testified that she thought Depp had previously controlled his outbursts for several decades, but that something in the couple's relationship altered him. "He had been well controlled ... for almost 20-30 years," said Anderson. "and with Ms. Heard, he was triggered."

Anderson also noted that the former couple were both brought up in abusive households, which may have contributed to the alleged behavior on both sides, per Tampa Bay Times. While the couple's therapist revealed that Heard experienced physical abuse from her father, Depp stated in his testimony that his mother verbally and physically abused him. Per the outlet, the therapist suggested that Heard was usually the one to initiate fights because she would rather fight it out than feel abandoned by her former husband.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Sexual assault allegations

In one of the most disturbing claims regarding their relationship, Amber Heard alleged that Johnny Depp had penetrated her with a bottle of liquor in the midst of a row. The "Aquaman" actor wept on the stand as she recounted the alleged assault, which Insider reported took place in 2015. The couple were in Australia at the time while Depp was filming "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."

Per LiveNOW from Fox, Heard claimed that Depp had written slurs about her on the walls and surfaces of the premises in blood and paint after cutting his finger. He then allegedly chased her around the house, tore off her nightgown, and penetrated her using a liquor bottle. She claimed that the attack progressed to punches and that at one point he was kneeling on her back, restricting her oxygen. "I thought, 'This is how I die ... He's going to kill me, and he won't even have realized it."

According to Variety, Heard had previously testified details of the alleged sexual assault during Depp's libel case against The Sun in 2020. Back then, however, her testimony had remained confidential. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).