Amber Heard has insisted that the 2018 that was central to the defamation lawsuit with her ex-husband Johnny Depp is “not about Johnny.”
Ms Heard said the article is actually about her and what happened to her “after I escaped my marriage”.
“The only one who ironically made it about him is Johnny,” she told the court.
Depp is suing his ex-wife for libel over the 2018 letter she wrote for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence”.
The pirates of the caribbean actor is not mentioned in the article, which is titled “I spoke against sexual assault – and faced the wrath of our culture. That must change”.
However, Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something he vehemently denies – and that as a result, he struggles to land roles in Hollywood. He demands $50 million.
Ms. Heard is suing for $100 million, accusing Mr. Depp of organizing a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.”
The Aquaman actress took to the stands Monday for what was her third day of testimony as the trial resumed in Fairfax, Virginia, after a week-long hiatus.
When asked what ill-will or ill-intent she might have had against her ex-husband by publishing the op-ed, Ms. Heard said “none.”
She said the article was about her experience after their marriage broke up.
“It’s not about Johnny. The only one who thought it was about Johnny is Johnny,” she said.
“It’s about me. It’s about what happened to me after Johnny.
“It’s about what happened to me after I escaped my marriage.
“It’s about me and my life and what I went through as I moved on and a TRO. received [temporary restraining order] and went on with my life. It was about what happened to me after that.”
In the article, Ms. Heard wrote about what she called the “culture torch” faced by women when they come forward with allegations of domestic violence.
“Like many women, by the time I graduated, I had been harassed and sexually abused. But I kept quiet – I didn’t expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim,” she wrote.
“Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic violence, and I felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women who speak out.”
During his testimony last month, Mr. Depp told jurors it was “as if someone had punched me in the back of the head with a 2×4” when he read his ex-wife’s op-ed in 2018.
He claimed that the article was “a hit piece” and that he loved the… Pirates of the Caribbean franchise “two or three days after it appeared on ed”.
On Monday, Ms Heard also denied wanting to include her ex-husband’s name in the article.
She told the court that she had agreed to publish the op-ed because she wanted to lend her voice to “a great cause.”
“I was looking forward to lending my voice to what I thought was a great cause,” she testified.
The article was published around the same time that Ms. Heard was announced as an ambassador for the ACLU and she had pledged to donate her $7 million divorce settlement to the organization and a children’s hospital in LA. How much of that amount actually donated was questioned earlier in the lawsuit.
The first draft of the article was written by the ACLU’s corporate attorney.
Pre-recorded testimony from Terence Dougherty, the ACLU’s chief operating officer and general counsel, was heard earlier in the trial.
Mr Dougherty recalled that concerns were raised that the operation could affect Ms Heard’s nondisclosure agreement in connection with her divorce.
He said Ms Heard’s lawyers had amended the draft to remove all references to her marriage to and divorce from Mr Depp.
Meanwhile, Ms. Heard had “artfully” wanted to reinsert sections referring to her temporary restraining order against her “then husband,” according to a December 2018 email heard in court.
In the email, Ms. Heard writes that she’s fine with the final design if that’s not possible.
In the end, the article that was eventually published in The Washington Post was “very different” from previous versions and “did not refer directly to Ms. Heard’s relationship with Johnny Depp,” he testified.