Amber Heard Testifies About First Time Johnny Depp Allegedly Hit Her: ‘It Changed My Life’

Actor Amber Heard testifies about the first time her ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp hit her, at Fairfax County Circuit Court during a defamation case against her by Depp in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 4, 2022. - US actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Photo by ELIZABETH FRANTZ / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ELIZABETH FRANTZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp testified that the incident “didn’t happen” and added, “I’ve never struck Ms. Heard. I have never struck a woman in my life.” Under oath, Amber Heard described the first time she was allegedly hit by Johnny Depp, sharing how she wishes she left the relationship at that time.

On Wednesday, the actress’ attorney Elaine Bredehoft asked Heard to recall the first time Depp “physically hit” her. Heard — who had already testified about their relationship being “always intense” from the start — said she will “never forget” the moment because “it changed my life.”

Heard, 36, said she and Depp were having a “normal conversation” on the couch early in their relationship when she asked him about the tattoo on his arm that was “hard to read.” When he explained it, she laughed, which set Depp off, said Heard.

“It was that simple. I just laughed because I thought he was joking. And he slapped me across the face,” said Heard. “I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I thought, ‘This must be a joke.’ … I didn’t know what was going on. I just stared at him, kind of laughing still, thinking he was gonna start laughing too to tell me it was a joke. But he didn’t.” She said he slapped her again after calling her a “funny bitch.”

“It was clear it wasn’t a joke anymore,” Heard added, who said she didn’t know how to react next. “You would think you’d have a response, but I, as a woman, had never been hit like that. I’m an adult and I’m sitting next to the man I love and he slapped me for no reason it seemed like. I missed the point. It was that stupid.”

When she didn’t react or respond other than to continue staring at him, Heard said that Depp slapped her “one more time, hard.” Getting visibly emotional, Heard said she lost her balance and fell to the carpet.

“I wish so much he had said he was joking. ‘Cause it didn’t hurt; it didn’t physically hurt me. … I didn’t want to leave him. I didn’t want this to be the reality. I didn’t want to have the man I was in love with— I know you don’t come back from that. I’m not dumb. You can’t hit a woman, you can’t hit a man. You can’t hit anyone.”

Crying, Heard said on the stand while looking at the jury, “I knew it was wrong. And I knew that I had to leave him. And that’s what broke my heart. … I wish I could sit here and say I stood up and I walked out of that house and I drew a line and I stood up for myself.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Heard said Depp then began crying, “tears just falling out of his eyes,” as he pleaded to her from on his knees, “I will never do that again. I am so sorry, baby.”

Depp, 58, was previously asked about the alleged tattoo incident while he was on the stand, saying that the moment as Heard explains it “didn’t happen” and added in his testimony: “I’ve never struck Ms. Heard. I have never struck a woman in my life. I’m certainly not going to strike a woman if she decides to make fun of a tattoo that I have on my body. … That allegation never made any sense to me whatsoever.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is suing Heard for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 about surviving domestic violence, though she didn’t mention his name in the article. His $50 million lawsuits were originally filed in 2019.

Heard and Depp met while making the 2011 movie The Rum Diary and later wed in 2015. They broke up in May 2016 when Heard sought a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and they settled their divorce out of court in August 2016. Depp has testified that his “goal is the truth” as he seeks to clear his name in the trial, which is being televised live via various outlets.

Heard’s allegations of sexual violence have also been brought up in this trial. A spokesperson for Depp denied the accusations, calling them “fictitious” and “for the purpose of Hollywood shock value of which Amber has mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement.”

US actor Johnny Depp looks on in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 3, 2022. – US actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a " public figure representing domestic abuse.

US actress Amber Heard looks on during a hearing at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 3, 2022. – US actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a " public figure representing domestic abuse."

Back in November 2020, Depp lost his highly publicized U.K. libel lawsuit case against British tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.” The court upheld the outlet’s claims as being “substantially true” and Heard testified to back up the claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was overruled.

In audio recordings played by Depp’s legal team so far in this trial, Heard admitted to having started a physical fight, and she argued with him that she didn’t “punch” him but was “hitting” him. Depp’s security guard Travis McGivern also testified that he saw her punch Depp in 2015. Their former marriage counselor described “mutual abuse” between the stars, as well.

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