Lawyers for actor Johnny Depp began questioning Amber Heard at the couple’s libel trial on Monday, questioning the “Aquaman” star’s claims that he suffered physical abuse before and during their brief marriage.
Depp’s lawyers produced photos of Heard making public appearances on red carpets and “The James Corden Show” shortly after she said Depp had beaten her with his hands, in which he usually wore heavy rings.
Images shown to jurors appeared to reveal no injuries. Heard said the damage, which included what she thought was a broken nose, was not severe enough to be visible or was covered with makeup.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she claimed he was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp defamed her by calling her a liar.
READ: Johnny Depp asks Amber Heard not to get physical in a leaked audio clip
At the beginning of Heard’s cross-examination, a lawyer for Depp asked Heard if he had abused Depp and was further damaging him with false accusations.
“I could never hurt Johnny,” Heard said.
Earlier, Heard told jurors that she filed for divorce from Depp in 2016 because she was worried she might not survive physical abuse from him. She said that she realized the relationship could not be repaired after he threw a cell phone at her which hit her in the face.
“I knew I had to quit,” he said. “I knew she wouldn’t survive if I didn’t. I made the decision to file for divorce,” she added. “It was hard because I loved Johnny so much.”
The couple married in February 2015 and their divorce was finalized about two years later.
Depp has testified that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the abuser in their relationship. He said she threw a bottle of vodka at him in early 2015 and cut off the top of his right middle finger.
Heard said she did not cause the finger injury and said she only hit it to defend herself or her sister.
He also denied Depp’s allegation that he had left feces on a bed in one of his houses after a fight on his birthday. A security guard had testified that Heard told him the feces were a “horrible practical joke.”
Heard said he didn’t crack any jokes that day, adding that he “wasn’t in the mood to crack jokes.”
“I had just been attacked on my 30th birthday by my husband who I was desperately in love with and knew I had to go,” she said.
The legal case centers on a December 2018 op-ed by Heard that appeared in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told the jury that it was clear Heard was referring to him.
Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s accusations cost him “everything”. A new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie was put on hold and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spin-off.
Heard’s attorneys have argued that she was telling the truth and that her opinion was protected by free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.
Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against the Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a “wife beater.” A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.
Depp’s attorneys filed the case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is published there. The newspaper is not a defendant.