FAIRFAX, Va. — Amber Heard made a tearful return to the stand Thursday in her and Johnny Depp’s defamation trial, denying she tipped off paparazzi before filing a temporary restraining order against her then-husband in 2016.
“I did not call TMZ or any other news source or paparazzi source, no one,” Heard insisted in the Virginia courtroom.
Depp attorney Camille Vasquez and Heard talked over each other during the exchange about her trip to a Los Angeles courthouse in May 2016, recreating the dynamic the two shared when Heard was last on the stand for almost four days of testimony.
Former TMZ employee Morgan Tremaine gave short testimony on Wednesday where he discussed sending paparazzi to follow Heard to court and publishing a video of Depp smashing cabinets and screaming that Heard had recorded.
“What actual survivor of domestic violence wants that?” Heard said Thursday after Vasquez accused her of being in cahoots with TMZ. “If I wanted to leak it, I would have done a lot more with it.”
Vasquez replied: “You testified earlier you didn’t know how to leak things.”
Speaking about the impact of her public divorce from Depp during her direct questioning, Heard quickly broke down, stating, “People want to kill me.”
“People want to put my baby in the microwave and they tell me that,” the mom of 1-year-old Oonagh Paige Heard said.
Looking directly at the jury, Heard said, “Johnny … promised me that if I ever left him, he’d make me think of him every single day that I live.”
“In the harassment and humiliation, the campaign against me that’s echoed every single day on social media. And now in front of cameras in this room. Every single day I have to relive the trauma,” she cried.
“Perhaps it’s easy to forget but I’m a human being,” Heard added.
“Protecting the secret that I did, for as long as I did, has taken enough of my voice,” she said. “I have a right to my voice and my name…I have the right as an American to tell my story.”
On cross-examination, Depp’s lawyer opened her aggressive line of the questioning by saying: “You said this trial has been hard for you. So let’s talk about that.”
“Your lies have been exposed to the world,” Vasquez charged.
“I haven’t lied about anything I’ve been here to say,” Heard replied, looking at the jury.
The pair went on to spar over several previous testimonies, including that of Heard’s former best friend Rocky Pennington.
Vasquez listed off a slew of witnesses who came to testify on Depp’s behalf, asking Heard if she “expected” them to show up in court.
“I know how many people will come out of the woodwork to be in support of Johnny,” she responded, adding its in part why she chose to write the 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post that Depp is now suing her over.
Depp, 58, is asking for $50 million in damages after Heard wrote she became a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and recounted the backlash she received for speaking out against a powerful man.
Heard, 36, countersued her ex-husband, claiming she was defamed when his team made statements in his behalf that her domestic abuse allegations were fabricated.
After a short redirect that followed Vasquez’s cross examination, court proceedings came to an end just after noon Thursday
Judge Penney Azcarate then gave to jury brief instructions before dismissing them for the rest of the day.
The jury will return to the courtroom Friday at 9 a.m. for closing arguments and will then be granted as much time as needed to deliberate.