A timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship and key moments from the trial

The bitter lawsuit between actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is entering its final days.

They sue each other for defamation, with each claiming they have been abused by the other.

Here’s a timeline of their relationship and some key moments in the current lawsuit.

WARNING: This article contains disturbing content

2009: The former couple meet on set

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met while filming The Rum Diary in 2009. The movie was released in 2011.

At the time, Depp was in a relationship with French actress Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has two children. Ms Heard came out as bisexual in 2010 and was in a relationship with artist Tasya van Ree.

2012: Depp and Heard are in a relationship

Depp broke up with Paradis in 2012 after 14 years. According to court documents filed by Ms. Heard, Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard began dating “around the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012”.

2014: The couple get engaged

Depp spoke about Ms. Heard in an appearance on NBC’s Today, while confirming their engagement.

“She’s a wonderful girl,” he said, calling her as “sweet as can be and very good to me.”

2015: Depp and Heard get married; Gun and Boo smuggled to Australia

Mr Depp and Ms Heard tied the knot in February 2015.

In July, Ms Heard was charged with smuggling the couple’s two dogs – Pistol and Boo – into Australia. She pleaded guilty to making a false customs declaration and later apologized in a video message, alongside Mr Depp.


2017: Divorce between Depp and Heard is final

Ms. Heard filed for divorce in May 2016, citing irreconcilable differences.

She was given a restraining order against Mr. Depp for claiming he abused their entire marriage. Depp denies the allegations.

Ms. Heard received $7 million as part of their divorce settlement, which she would donate to charity in a joint statement.

In the statement, the couple said: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times fleeting, but always bound by love”. Their divorce will be finalized in January 2017.

2018: Depp files suit against The Sun; Washington Post opinion article published

In April 2018, the British tabloid The Sun published an article calling Depp a “wife beater”, prompting him to file a lawsuit against the newspaper in June 2018.

In December, Ms. Heard posted her name in a ghost-written Washington Post op-ed, not mentioning Mr. Depp, but writing: “Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic violence, and I felt like the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”

Depp sued Ms. Heard in March 2019 for defamation over the article.

2020: Depp loses his case against The Sun

In November 2020, a judge sided with The Sun and upheld 12 of the 14 alleged attacks by Mr Depp against Ms Heard, saying that “the vast majority of the alleged attacks” had been proven “to the civilian standard”.

2022: Defamation lawsuit begins

Actor Johnny Depp testifies during a hearing in the Fairfax County Circuit Court.AP: Jim Watson/Pool

Depp is suing Ms. Heard for defamation and seeking a $50 million ($70 million) settlement. Ms. Heard is demanding a $100 million ($140 million) counterclaim.

The trial started in April. Here are some key moments:

  • Depp has testified that he never hit Mrs. Heard or any other woman. He said Mrs. Heard was the one who abused him.

  • Several stories are offered about a 2015 fight in Australia, where Depp was filming the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Depp said Mrs. Heard threw a vodka bottle that cut off the top of his middle finger. He said he used blood from his injury to write on the wall. Ms Heard denied having injured Mr Depp and tearfully told the jury that Mr Depp sexually assaulted her that night by inserting a bottle of liquor into her vagina.

  • The court was shown pictures of Ms Heard where scars are visible on her arm and there is swelling around her eye. Images were also shown that would be around the same time and where there are no injuries. Ms Heard denied having edited the bruised photos.

  • Depp testified that feces were found in the couple’s bed in 2016, with Ms Heard allegedly telling a security guard at the time that it was “a terrible practical joke gone wrong”. Ms Heard denied any involvement, suggesting that one of the couple’s dogs was responsible.

  • Audio recordings were played in the courtroom in which Ms. Heard admitted to hitting, but not hitting, Depp. Text messages were also released in which Mr Depp called Ms Heard a “dirty whore” and said he wanted her dead.

A woman in a courtroom wipes tears from her face
Actor Amber Heard testifies.AP: Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool
  • A clinical and forensic psychologist hired by Mr. Depp’s legal team said Ms. Heard had borderline histrionic personality disorder, but not post-traumatic stress disorder. Another clinical and forensic psychologist later testified that Ms. Heard does have PTSD as a result of alleged “intimate intimate partner violence” inflicted by Mr. Depp.

  • Depp claimed that he lost lucrative film roles as a result of Ms. Heard’s allegations, but a series of witnesses claimed that Mr. Depp’s career was on a steady decline before the article was published in the Washington Post.

  • A psychiatrist and witness to Ms Heard said Mr Depp’s behavior was consistent with narcissism.

  • A judge rejected a request by Mr Depp’s lawyers to dismiss Ms Heard’s charges against him.


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