Depp is suing publishing group News Group Newspapers for libel after tabloid The Sun published the headline, “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?” in 2018.
The headline was related to allegations of abuse made by Heard, according to BBC.
News Group Newspapers is defending the headline as true, and Depp is currently facing 14 allegations of domestic violence, all of which he has denied.
Heard took to the witness stand to respond to these allegations.
“Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far,” she wrote in a statement.
“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”
Her statement accused Depp of physical and verbal abuse, including punching, screaming and choking. His behavior was described as “extremely controlling and intimidating.”
On the stand, Heard was cross-examined by Depp’s lawyer Eleanor Laws QC, The Telegraph reported.
She claimed she had very little power over decision-making and that she was “absolutely not” in a position of power within the relationship.
She also described a particular fight the couple had in Japan, concerning a prenuptial agreement. She said that during the altercation, which purportedly took place in a hotel room in Tokyo, Depp kneeled on her back and hit her in the back of the head.
Depp allegedly told her that his sister Christi, who handles his affairs, insisted the couple sign the agreement. Heard said the argument escalated when she was accused of having an affair with a co-star.
She told the court she had “made it clear” at the beginning of the relationship that she had “never been interested” in Depp’s money.
Depp’s ex-wife Vanessa Paradis said the allegations were nothing like the “true Johnny” she knew, and he had never been violent or abusive during their 14 years together, The Inquisitr reported.
She and Depp’s ex-fiancee Winona Ryder were scheduled to appear at the trial over video, though their appearances were later canceled.
“I was absolutely shocked, confused and upset when I heard the accusations against him,” Ryder said in her statement.
The case is expected to last for three weeks. Heard will spend the next three days on the witness stand.