The actress said ex-husband Johnny Depp would "blame all his actions on a self-created third party instead of himself" called "the monster"

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 20, 2020 11:29 AM
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
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Amber Heard testified that her ex-husband Johnny Depp threatened to kill her as she took the stand in the actor's ongoing libel court case in London.

On Monday, the Aquaman actress, 34, spoke as a witness for the defense team as her ex-husband Depp, 57, sues News Group Newspapers (NGN), parent company of the U.K. outlet The Sun, which published a 2018 article calling Depp a "wife beater." Last week, Depp testified and presented witnesses to claim the contrary.

In her written witness statement obtained by PEOPLE, Heard described a "three-day hostage situation," alleging that Depp was emotionally and physically abusive to her when she visited him in Australia in 2015.

"The best way I can describe what happened in Australia is that it was like a three-day hostage situation," she said. "We were due to be there for three days on our own, but it was only when I arrived that I realized I was trapped in this remote place without any means to leave and that Johnny had already been using and had a bag of drugs."

She added: "Over the course of those three days, there were extreme acts of psychological, physical, emotional and other forms of violence. It is the worst thing I have ever been through."

During the fight in Australia, Depp claimed in court that Heard put a cigarette out on his face and threw a bottle at him that severed his finger. She denied both allegations in her statement.

"I would be very surprised if he remembers anything about the whole event; he was in such a state," said Heard in her statement, later describing him as "completely out of his mind and out of control" during the incident.

Amber Heard
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Also in her witness statement, Heard alleged that Depp "explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship." The actress also outlined the various ways in which she says Depp was abusive toward her, adding that "much of the time he had difficultly recalling what he had done once he had slept it off."

"He would blame all his actions on a self-created third party instead of himself, which he often called 'the monster.' He would speak about it as if it was another person or personality and not him doing all these things," she said. "... All of the abuse contributed to a severe decline in my mental and physical health while I was with him."

Heard, 34, previously alleged that Depp had been abusive during their 15-month marriage, a claim he has denied, saying that he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship. Heard's lawyer Eric George denied the allegations against the actress, saying in a statement obtained by PEOPLE: "The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard. The increasingly desperate attempts by Mr. Depp and his enablers to revive his career by initiating baseless litigation against so many people once close to him — his former lawyers, former managers, and his former spouse — are not fooling anyone.”

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in January 2016.
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Heard and Depp tied the knot in 2015. In May 2016, she sought a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016. She donated her $7 million divorce settlement to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.

Depp sued her for defamation in the U.S. after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described being an alleged victim of domestic violence. While she never mentioned Depp by name, the actor’s lawsuit called her allegations against him a “hoax.”

Heard’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, urged the court last fall to throw out the suit, arguing that the column was not about Heard’s allegations against Depp, but in March, a Virginia judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.