Amber Heard Testifies About Johnny Depp Having To Sell His Boat, And JK Rowling Was Involved

Amber Heard's profile in court
(Image credit: Photo by EVELYN HOCKSTEIN / POOL / AFP)

After weeks of Johnny Depp presenting his case for his $50 million defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard for her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, the court has begun to hear Heard’s defense this week. The Aquaman actress has recounted many allegations of physical abuse on the stand under oath, including a story involving a yacht Depp apparently sold to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. 

During the trial, streaming on Wednesday via live Court TV, Amber Heard shared an alleged incident of abuse from July 2013. According to Heard’s testimony, Depp was about to sell his boat to the bestselling author, who he worked with later on 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, and was not taking it well. In her words: 

Johnny was upset that he had to sell his boat and he was off the wagon again, but he didn’t want to tell his kids, so he was hiding it from them. He was putting it in coffee cups and drinking and the behavior was just kind of like, he was upset, he was emotional and that’s how he dealt with it, just drink. But, there was just no off button with Johnny. So then, he just kept drinking and the behavior kept getting more obviously drunk.

Amber Heard said that she, Johnny Depp, his children Lily-Rose and Jack, and one other helper went out for a final “goodbye” on the boat he was about to sell, and she claims he started heavily drinking and hiding it from his young children. At one point, she alleged that they were all playfully throwing themselves into the water, until Depp “jumped off in a face-chest-forward way” in a way that didn’t look OK to her. She continued: 

It looked a little scary, the way his body fell into the water and Lily-Rose started to cry and then the crying becomes like almost like a panic attack, rapid breathing, crying, lots of questions and I’m holding her, kind of comforting her and Johnny comes in and within a few seconds I realized he kind of shifted his attention on me and he seemed very angry.

Lily-Rose was 14 during the reported family vacation that went awry. On Depp and Heard’s relationship timeline, it was the summer prior their marriage in early 2015. During her testimony, Amber Heard claimed that the incident that left Lily-Rose in tears led to a confrontation:

He asks Lily-Rose to leave… and he starts accusing me of like telling on him and calling him a drunk in front of his kids. I hadn’t done that. I was actually trying to protect Johnny. It didn’t feel like my place at all to share that with his daughter or anyone at the time.

Amber Heard went on to claim that the boat trip led to another incident of abuse at the hand of Johnny Depp. In her words to the court: 

He slams me [against the wall of the cabin] by my neck and holds me there and tells me he could fucking kill me and that [I] was an embarrassment.

This week, Amber Heard recalled numerous incidents with her ex-husband, including claims of a “cavity search” where the Pirates of the Caribbean actor non-consensually tore her clothes off and “shoved his fingers” inside her while looking for his drugs. She also said that Johnny Depp kicked her while they were on a 2014 flight, among other claims. 

Prior to Amber Heard taking the stand, her attorney asked that the defamation case be thrown out, but the judge dismissed the request, leading to her testimony this week. During Johnny Depp’s own previous testimony, the actor claimed that Amber Heard abused him, sharing an audio file of the actress admitting to “hitting” him. 

We’ll keep you updated here on CinemaBlend as more developments from the trial surface. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.