Amber Heard and Johnny Depp ‘mutually abused’ each other, relationship counsellor tells court

Johnny Depp sits in the courtroom during his defamation trial against Amber Heard

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp “mutually abused” each other, their relationship counsellor told a court in Fairfax, Virginia.

Depp, 58, is suing his ex-wife Heard, 35, in a $50m (£38m) defamation suit over her accusation in an op-ed that he was abusive, while Heard has filed a countersuit alleging that Depp’s legal action is a continuation of his “abuse and harassment.”

The defamation trial, expected to last six weeks, began on Monday (10 April).

On Thursday (14 April), testimony was given by the former couple’s relationship counsellor, Heard’s former personal assistant, and Depp’s doctor who was trying to help him with drug and alcohol dependencies.

Relationship counsellor Dr Laurel Anderson said she had observed “mutual abuse” during their marriage, which lasted for two years between 2015 and 2017.

She said she had seen Heard with bruises, but also alleged that the actress had often “initiated” fights with Depp.

“It was a point of pride to Heard, if she felt disrespected, to initiate a fight,” Anderson said, according to The Guardian.

“If he was going to leave her to de-escalate a fight, she would strike him to keep him there. She would rather be in a fight to keep him there.”

Kate James, Heard’s former personal assistant, said her former boss would become “belligerent and abusive” and even “felt she had the right to spit in my face” when James asked for a pay rise.

She said that Heard took prescription stimulant drugs, and had discussed with her taking illegal drugs like magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cocaine.

James said Heard would have “manic episodes… similar to if someone was on some kind of amphetamine drug”.

Her former boss, James said, would be “abusive” towards her, calling and texting her at all hours of the day, adding: “All incoherent. I was just someone to lash out at.”

As for Depp, James described him as “peaceful, calm, shy and almost quiet… such a gentleman, a total southern gentleman”.

In 2018, when Depp sued The Sun in the UK for calling him a “wife beater”, James alleged that Heard had made up her accusations of abuse.

Depp’s addiction specialist doctor, Dr David Kipper, also gave evidence this week.

He described how he had once tried to convince Depp to go to an island for two weeks to detox him from alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines and cocaine, but that he backed out: “He didn’t want to proceed. He didn’t think he could do it.”

Kipper described violent outbursts from Depp, saying his nurse had once found him with bloody knuckles after punching a wall, and that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor had once kicked in a trailer door on a film set.

In 2015, the court heard, Depp sent Kipper a text message in which he appeared to partly blame his addiction on Heard.

He wrote: “Xanax takes the edge off. I don’t take them all that often, just when my brain is inundated with this badgering and half-truths from my wife.”

Johnny Depp once told a friend he hoped ‘Amber Heard’s rotting corpse was decomposing’, the court heard

On Wednesday, 13 April, Amber Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft questioned Johnny Depp’s close friend Isaac Baruch.

The court heard that in texts, Depp had told Baruch “he hoped that Amber Heard’s rotting corpse is decomposing in the f**king trunk of a Honda Civic”, and in another message said “that c**t ruined such a f**king cool life we had for a while”.

In the opening arguments of the defamation trial on Monday, 10 April, Heard’s attorney alleged that Depp had sexually assaulted her client, claiming he “having “dragged her across the floor” and “penetrated her with a liquor bottle”.