Tragic Details About Amber Heard

The following article contains references to allegations of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and drug addiction, as well as mental health issues and homophobia.

Amber Heard has certainly come a long way since the doe-eyed rising star of "Pineapple Express," though her stardom admittedly isn't the result of her career trajectory. Back then, no one would be too surprised to hear that Heard's enigmatic face would grace headlines everywhere in a decade's time; likewise, no one could have predicted that she'd generate those headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Ever since her much publicized divorce from Johnny Depp, Heard has been a tabloid mainstay. At the time of this writing in 2022, her reputation is seemingly on the line as she's being sued by her superstar ex in an explosive defamation trial, one which critics argue lays bare the supposed excesses of Hollywood stars and their detachment from the real world. While Heard has said and done some admittedly questionable things throughout the years, she has also been a victim in many ways. In her own words, she has "felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out," per The Washington Post. While there's no denying that some of Depp's fans have been vocal in their bias in his favor throughout the trial, Heard also has her defenders. Ellen Barkin, for instance, claimed in 2020 that Depp was once violent toward her. And whether Johnny stans believe it or not, there appears to be evidence that both parties were allegedly abusive during their marriage.

In addition to her volatile relationship with Depp, Heard has had to endure several hardships throughout her life. These are the tragic details about Amber Heard.

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.

Amber Heard's abusive childhood

During Johnny Depp's 2022 defamation suit against Amber Heard, it was revealed that both he and his ex-wife had abusive upbringings, which reportedly exacerbated what their couple's therapist called "mutual abuse" in their marriage, per ABC News. In Heard's case, her father allegedly beat her on a regular basis. She'd briefly detailed her traumatic childhood in The Washington Post in 2018, writing, "I was exposed to abuse at a very young age." With regards to the remark, Heard later told Wonderland magazine that she had survived multiple traumas throughout her life, the majority of which had not been covered by the press.

Psychotherapist Nancy Carbone speculated on Depp and Heard's relationship in Your Tango, suggesting that her alleged experience with her violent father led to Heard seeking validation from an older man, resulting in her own potentially abusive transgressions. "Making a partner stay and talk when they feel unsafe can scare them off, especially if they feel triggered by an abusive parent," Carbone said. 

Heard's relationship with her father was also mentioned in Depp's 2020 libel trial against The Sun tabloid. Comparing Depp to her dad, she revealed that the Heard patriarch struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and allegedly took out his anger on both his wife and daughter, per Page Six. Heard said of her parents' relationship, "They loved each other but he was very violent to her until the end." Meanwhile, in documents obtained by The Blast, it was alleged that Heard's father once made death threats toward Depp, vowing to shoot him after a dispute.

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 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).

The actor's most intimate photos were leaked

In 2014, myriad celebs — the majority of whom were women — were faced with the trauma of having their private nude photos leaked. Amber Heard was among the victims of the cyberattack. Accordingly, she sought to have an anti-revenge porn bill passed — the SHIELD Act, which stands for Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution. 

Per The Washington Post, she spoke about the ordeal at a 2019 news conference, lamenting that she continued to be harassed over the pictures years later. "My stolen and manipulated photos are still online to this day, posted again and again with sexually explicit and humiliating and degrading headlines about my body, about myself," she said. "I continue to be harassed, stalked and humiliated by the theft of those images."

Writing for The New York Times, Heard said that over 50 of her selfies had been disseminated, some of which had been doctored, and she was subsequently subjected to misogynistic remarks from the general public. She condemned the media for supposedly diminishing the harm caused by having one's most private moments exposed for the entire world to gawk at. Indeed, the leak was often mocked in public forums, given the dismissive moniker of "The Fappening." Heard wrote, "Imagine someone stripping you naked in the middle of a busy street, suddenly exposing you to the leering eyes of strangers. Now imagine that this moment never ends but repeats itself endlessly and that as it does, all you can hear is the crowd shouting, 'You deserved it.'"

Amber Heard alleges that she was sexually assaulted

In 2018, Amber Heard wrote an article for The Washington Post, in which she detailed her experiences of sexual abuse. She revealed that she was first sexually assaulted as a young adult and continued to be abused in her romantic relationships, though she did not explicitly name Johnny Depp as the assailant.

However, Heard confirmed Depp was her alleged attacker when she testified in court in 2022. Per The Guardian, she claimed that Depp stripped her naked and performed a cavity search, looking for cocaine. "This has been one of the most painful and difficult things I've ever gone through," she conceded. According to Heard's legal team, this allegedly wasn't the sole time that Depp sexually assaulted her. Psychologist Dawn Hughes testified that the actor allegedly violated Heard with a liquor bottle, per USA Today. As a result, Hughes claimed, Heard suffers from PTSD. Further testifying that Depp allegedly admitted to the abuse via various incriminating text messages to friends, Hughes also suggested that Depp's supposed actions stemmed from jealousy — constantly accusing Heard of having affairs with both men and women, he would allegedly punish her with sexual violence.

In a 2019 interview with Wonderland magazine, Heard lamented that the focus of discussions on violence against women was on the women themselves as opposed to the men perpetrating abuse. "If men make up a disproportionately large number of the aggressors in all of sexual and domestic violence cases then I challenge how it's a women's issue. That seems like a men's issue to me," she suggested.

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).

She rejected religion after her best friend's death

Amber Heard has made no secret of the fact that she is an atheist. Born into a devout Catholic family, she initially shared her parents' dogmatic beliefs. That all changed, however, when she suffered a tragic loss. At the age of 16, her best friend was killed in a car accident. The incident rocked her world and changed her entire belief system. "That was the hardest blow emotionally that I have ever had to endure," Heard later told USA Today. "Suddenly, you realize tomorrow might not come. Now I live by the motto, 'Today is what I have.'"

Unable to make sense of what happened to her friend, Heard rejected religion. As detailed in Wonderland magazine, she became a critical thinker thereafter, refusing to graduate from her Catholic high school in order to protest what she deemed a repressive institution. Speaking with the Daily Mail in 2010, Heard even likened her religious childhood to an "oppressive regime," believing that her every move was under observation and scrutiny. "I felt trapped at school, and I saw myself as some sort of victim in a George Orwell novel at times," she told the outlet. 

Subsequently, Heard said that her parents were devastated by her rejection of Catholicism. However, the future star tried to explain to them that she deemed the notion of eternal punishment to be inherently harmful to her wellbeing, noting that she didn't need that idea to understand the difference between right or wrong.

Amber Heard's wedding was the loneliest day of her life

There's no denying the dissonance between the lives celebs present to us on social media and what really goes on behind the scenes. Celeb wedding pics invariably show elated couples bathed in a glow of conjugal bliss. Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's nuptials were no exception. Photos published by People show the former couple smiling, looking deeply in love, as the Caribbean sun shone on Depp's private Island. But according to Heard, the day was far from blissful.

In 2020, she revealed that she had to fake happiness throughout the day when she was in fact devastated and alone. This, Heard claimed, was largely due to Depp's alleged substance misuse, as he supposedly prioritized drugs over her on their special day. "He had lost weight and he would disappear into the bathroom for long periods during the wedding," she alleged in court, per the Daily Mail. "He was even more possessive than usual and he was just not making sense a lot of the time. I tried to smile through it and entertain our guests. But I had never felt more lonely in my life."

It seems that the big day was just as unpleasant for Depp, whose own daughter, Lily-Rose, didn't attend the ceremony. Per People, Depp testified in 2022 that there was discord between his daughter and the bride-to-be. However, as reported by the Independent, Heard claimed that she actually protected Lily-Rose from her father's temper when he allegedly made death threats against Heard in an incident that preceded the wedding.

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).

The star reportedly has a history of addiction

Both the 2020 and 2022 trials have seen Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's deepest, darkest secrets divulged for the consumption of the general public. Both sides allege substance misuse from the other. According to Depp, Heard would supposedly down two bottles of wine every night, per The Irish News. He alleged that the pair had a toxic relationship whereby she enabled his drug addiction, claiming that Heard would chop lines of cocaine for him to snort, while she would rub the powder on her gums.

Per People, Depp also claimed that Heard spent a large portion of their wedding day taking drugs, saying that she partied with pals at the wedding reception, getting high from a "communal bag of MDMA." The Independent reports that Heard admitted to taking mushrooms and MDMA on two separate occasions, once during a party in a desert and another time when they were flying to Russia. However, she called the latter incident the "first and last time I ever decided it would be a decent idea to do drugs with Johnny," since it allegedly led to Depp threatening to assault a flight attendant who joined in with their drug-taking antics.

Speaking with USA Today, addiction specialist Lin Sternlicht suggested that the pair's alleged drug use contributed to their toxic and volatile relationship. "Alcohol and certain drugs may amplify what's already going on inside, so if you're frustrated or unhappy with your partner, you may feel more impulsive to act out on these negative feelings," she said.

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).

Amber Heard was subjected to homophobia

Amber Heard has endured anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination throughout her life. The actor told Wonderland magazine that she was subjected to homophobia at school, as she wasn't allowed to have a same-sex partner at prom. The discrimination continued into her adult life.

In 2010, Heard publicly came out of the closet, proudly announcing that she loved women as much as men. At the time, she was smitten with her lady love, Tasya van Ree. But coming out to her parents was an ordeal. "Naturally, being an outspoken, militant feminist, lesbian, atheist, vegetarian ... I remember when I told them about my relationship, that I was in love with this woman. ... I remember at the beginning of that it was just tears. It was tears," she said at South by Southwest (via Elle). Ultimately, however, she said her parents accepted her sexuality, though it took many years.

Speaking with Allure, Heard explained that, in addition to facing her family's prejudice, she was confronted with the bigotry of Hollywood. As an out actor who openly loved women, Heard was told that she would never work again. "Everyone said, 'You're throwing it all away. You can't do this to your career.' And I said, 'I cannot do this any other way. Watch me,' " she recalled. "They pointed to no other working romantic lead, no other actress, that was out." However, Heard was defiant, refusing to hide her sexual orientation and vowing to enjoy a glittering career as an out and proud actor.

The tragic death of Amber Heard's mom

Amber Heard's relationship with her mom, Paige, wasn't always perfect. At a premiere in 2015, the Mirror reported that Heard could be seen snapping at her mom for talking to photographers on the red carpet. And, in text messages obtained by The Blast, Paige appeared to side more with Johnny Depp when her daughter filed a restraining order against him, reassuring her former son-in-law that she loved him.

But despite these apparent differences, Heard was always close with her mom. Accordingly, as reported by NBC News, Heard said that her relationship with Paige was her only solace throughout her volatile marriage to Depp. While she admitted that she didn't feel comfortable confiding in any of her friends about the alleged abuse, the star said her mom was the one person she could rely on for compassion and sympathy sans judgement. "I felt safe talking to my mom, because I knew she understood these dynamics and she wouldn't judge me for staying with him, for loving him, even though this was happening," she said.

Tragically, Paige died in 2020. Sharing a black-and-white snap on Instagram, Heard opened up about the loss and reflected on the pair's relationship. "I am heartbroken and devastated beyond belief at the loss of my mom, Paige Heard," she wrote in part. "She left us too early, clasping onto the memory of her beautiful, gentle soul." Paige's cause of death remains unknown. According to the Daily Mail, she was just 63 when she died.

She says she's a domestic violence survivor

In 2016, Amber Heard first made allegations that Johnny Depp had abused her. People published photos of Heard's bruised and bloody face, injuries she claimed were inflicted by her soon-to-be ex-husband. Per HuffPost, Heard then penned an essay for Net-A-Porter, in which she discussed her experiences of domestic abuse; though she never mentioned Depp by name, the essay appeared to heavily imply he was the alleged abuser in question.

Some of Depp's fans were incredulous when Heard made the accusations. In a 2018 interview with Glamour, she alluded to the power Depp seemingly holds in Hollywood and among his fans; Heard suggested that regardless of the violent acts he allegedly committed, Depp would be supported no matter what. "When a woman comes forward, she will be met with skepticism, hostility, and shame," she said. "All a man has to do is point to an incentive. He will. Or society will."

When it was Heard's time to testify at the 2022 defamation trial, she divulged the extent of the alleged domestic abuse. As reported by The Guardian, Heard claimed that Depp would frequently beat her and threatened to kill her on several occasions. Text messages that Depp sent Heard appeared to corroborate some of the claims; one such menacing message read, "I have other uses for your throat which do not include injury," per Deadline. Meanwhile, Depp has vehemently denied Heard's accusations, insisting that he never laid a finger on his ex-wife and that it was in fact Heard who abused 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.

Amber Heard has been harassed by her ex's fans and PR team

In her op-ed for The Washington Post, Amber Heard said that she was the recipient of death threats and suggested that media coverage was biased toward Johnny Depp. Speaking with Wonderland magazine, she discussed the major backlash that followed her claims of domestic violence. She was apparently told that she would never work in Hollywood again, while Depp did an interview with GQ that seemingly sought to cast doubt on her claims. "There's this idea that violence against women is a women's issue. I take issue with that," Heard said with regards to the GQ article. "Half of the homicide victims who are women die at the hands of their intimate male partners. Half!"

The New York Post reported that, during the 2022 trial, some of Depp's fans had to be kicked out of court for making violent threats against Heard. One of the alleged perps reportedly penned an online post in which they admitted to eagerly awaiting — and relishing — the day they would murder Heard. Another sent a menacing tweet in which they threatened to "break [her] face" if she continued with the allegations against Depp. 

According to the Daily Mail, other Depp fans wished death on Heard and mocked her deceased mother. "It is just so gross and it has taken its toll in a way you wouldn't believe," one of Heard's pals told the outlet. A report by Center for Countering Digital Hate (via iNews) shows that Instagram apparently failed to take action following reports of abuse directed at Heard by Depp's fans.

She's been diagnosed with multiple mental health conditions

At the 2022 trial, psychologist Dr. Dawn Hughes said that Amber Heard suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to Johnny Depp's alleged abuse, per People, testifying that four tests corroborated her findings that Heard's diagnosis was a direct result of "the intimate partner violence by Mr. Depp."

Meanwhile, Dr. Shannon Curry testified for Depp, claiming that Heard has dual mental health diagnoses: borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, per The Guardian. Curry based her assessment on audio recordings of Heard and previous psychological examinations. She argued that Heard hid behind a veneer of saccharine hyperfemininity when she in fact harbored a dark side with an "underlying drive to not be abandoned but also to be center of attention." However, Curry's assessment has been met with widespread criticism.

The Evening Standard argued that Curry's BPD assessment would lead to further stigmatization of the already misunderstood illness. The outlet warned against the dangers of misusing psychiatric disorders to explain toxic behavior, highlighting Curry's apparently dubious claims that BPD patients are prone to cruel acts and exhibit "extreme discomfort with not being the center of attention." Meanwhile, Salon suggested that the BPD tag is often used as a means of discrediting people, emphasizing the stigmatization of women in particular who have personality disorders. The publication noted that if Heard's alleged abuse against Depp is proven, her BPD diagnosis has nothing to do with it; rather, it is violent tendencies that lead to domestic abuse, not psychiatric disorders.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Amber Heard has had a volatile relationship with her sister

Amber Heard and her sister, Whitney Henriquez, have long had a rocky relationship. Henriquez apparently begged her sis not to marry Johnny Depp. In 2020, she testified that she "felt sick" when she found out Heard was engaged to the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star, per Page Six. "I told her it was a bad idea, begged her not to go through with it and said that she should end it," Henriquez recalled. However, Heard apparently dismissed her sister's concerns.

When she tied the knot with Depp in spite of her sister's protestations, Heard accused Henriquez of trying to sell the couple's wedding snaps and tipping off tabloids about their relationship, per the Mirror. Henriquez denied this, but Heard, having felt completely betrayed by her sister, subsequently kicked her out of the apartment in which she was staying rent-free. Thereafter, the sisters became estranged. "I think she was hurt. I don't think she was angry," Henriquez admitted.

The siblings' relationship also reportedly came to blows at one point. In 2020, BBC News published a resurfaced video which appears to show the aftermath of an alleged physical altercation between Heard and her sister. The clip, which is from an unaired reality TV segment circa the mid-2000s, shows an inquisitive pal asking Henriquez if she got into a fight. Henriquez said that she didn't want to talk about it, to which her friend replied, "I can't believe Amber beat your a**." In court, Henriquez testified that they'd gotten into a verbal argument the night before.