The battle between exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been going on much longer than their marriage. New information was just released in audio, seemingly shared by Depp's side, from a 2015 taped two-hour therapy session. Among other things, Heard allegedly can be heard admitting she hit Depp, then her husband. There's more to the conversation, but the contents of the tape have led Depp's fans to see him as the true victim and are calling for #JusticeForJohnnyDepp.
The now divorced pair are in the middle of a defamation lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against Amber Heard. As part of that suit, they have both provided photos of bruises and other evidence of abuse alleged by the other. In this case, the audio shared, if it's what it seems to be, shows Heard admitting she hit Depp (but didn't punch him, in her words) -- and previously threw pots and pans. When she said he hit back, he admitted he pushed her.
Listening to the conversation, via audio given to Daily Mail, it sounds like they both acknowledged taking actions in anger at different times, with Amber Heard calling Johnny Depp a hypocrite and both agreeing they need to stop the physical violence before they turned into a crime scene and kill each other.
But since Johnny Depp's $50 million defamation case was tied to Amber Heard's op-ed piece about being a domestic abuse survivor -- which he claimed directly led to him being fired from Pirates of the Caribbean -- and this particular conversation centered around a fight Heard allegedly started, her admissions of violence were viewed by Depp's fans as vindication.
During the conversation released to The Daily Mail, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp tried to find a place of agreement to stop being physical and find peace in the relationship. Here are snippets of the alleged transcript...
Johnny Depp: If things get physical, we have to separate. We have to be apart from one another. Whether it's for fucking an hour or 10 hours or fucking a day. We must, there can be no physical violence towards each other.
Amber Heard: I agree about the physical violence, but separating for a day, taking a night off from our marriage?
Johnny Depp: All I'm saying is we need to take whatever time we need you. You need, I need, to kind of let things settle for a minute. So that we don't fucking kill each other or fucking worse, you know, fucking really kill each other or fucking break up or whatever.
Johnny Depp: If the fight escalates to the point of where it's just insulting for both of us, uh, or if it gets to that physical fucking st, the violence, that's when we just said, look, let's go to our corners, man, you hang wherever you want, baby. I'm going in the office and I'm just gonna fucking sit there and try and de-jellify my fucking brain.
Amber Heard: I can't promise that it will all be perfect. I can't promise you I won't get physical again. God I fucking sometimes I get so mad I lose it. I can fucking promise you I will do everything to change. I promise you. I'm not going to throw around divorce I not say divorce unless I really mean it.
Johnny Depp: I love you and I want you to be my wife. And I want to be your husband. And I wanna be a good husband. If I haven't been, I'll do everything I can to find out how to be a good husband.
Johnny Depp's attorney Adam Waldman shared a statement with the Daily Mail on the tapes:
Amber Heard recorded multiple conversations between her and Johnny Depp. These tapes containing Amber Heard's chilling confessions of violence further expose and destroy her abuse hoax.
Amber Heard's spokesperson responded to the tapes leaked by Johnny Depp's side:
Anyone familiar with the dynamics of domestic abuse would immediately recognize what is really going on here. Throughout the extended tape recording that Johnny Depp vindictively turned over to the press, Ms Heard repeatedly attempts to placate Mr Depp, ignore his accusations, and force him to acknowledge what was really happening in their relationship. For Mr Depp, who lived and lives in an echo chamber of his own making, to try to twist this private conversation to suggest either that he didn't abuse Ms Heard or that she somehow 'deserved it' is nothing more than the latest misogynistic effort at victim-blaming.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp were married in February 2015 and she filed for divorce in May 2016, obtaining a temporary restraining order against him, alleging he was verbally and physically abusive during the relationship, often while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. She testified about the alleged abuse during a divorce deposition. Once the divorce was finalized, they issued a statement:
Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.
Since then, there have been continued back-and-forth allegations. Amber Heard's December 2018 op-ed never named Johnny Depp, but was inferred to be about him to a point he found defamatory. Her supporters didn't want him in the Fantastic Beasts movies and his supporters tried to get her fired as Mera in Aquaman. (Depp was also accused of trying to contact Warner Bros.' studio head to get her removed from the first Aquaman movie.)
His defamation case was filed in March 2019 and it's been slowly chugging along. Officials in Fairfax County, Virginia granted a six-month postponement of the start of the jury trial due to Johnny Depp's team reportedly not meeting the deadline to produce court-ordered records on his drug and alcohol usage. So instead of the trial starting February 3, 2020, it was postponed to start August 3, 2020, per Deadline. James Franco is now involved, although he'd rather not be.
Since there's a trial coming up, it's possible both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's respective franchise studios will just wait and see how this plays out before making any casting changes. Heard is meant to continue as Mera in Aquaman 2 and Fantastic Beasts 3 should be starting production any day now.