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Abuse allegations and leaked tapes: Inside Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's volatile marriage.

This post deals with domestic violence and might be triggering for some readers.

For years, the very public separation of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has dominated news headlines.

The former couple, who finalised their divorce in early 2017, have both been accused of domestic violence.

Now, after multiple detailed abuse allegations from both Depp and Heard, audio has surfaced of Heard admitting to “hitting” her ex-husband.

In 2016, Amber Heard spoke out against domestic violence in a YouTube video. Post continues below.

In audio published by the Daily Mail, which was reportedly recorded as the couple talked through their relationship problems, the former couple discussed an incident that occurred the previous night.

In the leaked audio recording, which was reportedly released by Depp himself, the actor accused Heard of punching him in the face. Heard is also allegedly heard admitting to striking Depp with pots and pans and throwing vases at him.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t… hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you,” Heard said in the audio.

“I’m sorry I hit you like this. But I did not punch you. I did not f***ing deck you. I f***ing was hitting you,” she continued.

“I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you.”

Later on in the recording, Depp suggests that the pair should take time apart during their arguments to prevent them from escalating.

Heard responded: “I can’t promise that it will all be perfect. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again. God I f***ing sometimes I get so bad I lose it.”

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Image: Getty.
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard began dating after meeting on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011.

Several years later, the fellow actors were married in a private civil ceremony in February 2015 at their home in Los Angeles.

In mid-2016, however, the Aquaman star filed for divorce from Depp.

At the time, court documents from the settlement were obtained by the press which revealed Heard was seeking a temporary restraining order against Depp, alleging she’d been subjected to verbal and physical abuse after a drunken argument in their LA apartment.

The court documents claimed that Depp "became extremely angry", throwing a phone at Heard, hitting her cheek and eye "with extreme force".

Photographs were then published by PEOPLE that showed Heard with a blackened eye and split lip, and a video emerged online of him shouting at her and throwing a wine glass.

Depp vehemently denied the allegations – he still does – and no charges were laid.

Instead, Depp's lawyers argued that Heard was "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse".

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In August 2016, the former couple settled their divorce and the domestic abuse case against Depp after Heard withdrew her request for a temporary restraining order.

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"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at time volatile, but always bound by love," the former couple said in a statement.

"Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm."

As part of the settlement, Depp paid Heard US$7 million, which she split evenly between two charities.

In a personal statement, Heard shared that she made the decision to show that "money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so, hopefully those less able to defend themselves".

Although Depp and Heard's divorce was finalised in January 2017, the abuse allegations didn't falter.

In December 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post about her experience with domestic abuse.

Though Heard didn't mention Depp by name, she gave insight into what happened when she became "a public figure representing domestic abuse", and how she was left to endure "the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out".

 

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"I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats. For months, I rarely left my apartment, and when I did, I was pursued by camera drones and photographers on foot, on motorcycles and in cars. Tabloid outlets that posted pictures of me spun them in a negative light," she wrote.

"I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion — and my life and livelihood depended on myriad judgements far beyond my control."

In the opinion piece, Heard wrote that she was told, even by friends, that she would never work again in Hollywood, that she would be "blacklisted".

"A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman.”

Depp himself initially stayed quiet about Heard's allegations, but in an October interview with British GQ he said he would "never stop fighting" the allegations.

"To harm someone you love? As a kind of bully. No, it didn't, it couldn't even sound like me," he said.

"The thing that hurt me is being presented as something that you're really as far away from as you could possibly get, you know?

"I worry about the people that bought it and I worry about her."

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Image: Getty.
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In early 2019, however, Depp sued Heard for US$50 million for defamation over the op-ed she wrote, which "depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her".

As part of the lawsuit, Depp claimed that Heard had physically abused and "threw objects" at him during their marriage. He also claimed that her allegations were "fabricated" and part of an "elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity" for Heard.

Depp's case also claimed that Heard's op-ed directly led to him being dropped from his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

In response to the case, Heard denied Depp's claims and released a 300-page filing, which outlined the alleged "horrific" abuse she suffered at the hands of "the monster" during their relationship.

The case included multiple photos of herself with bruises on her face and scars on her arm, which Depp later responded to with photos of scratches and his fingertip, which was allegedly severed from a glass bottle thrown by Heard.

Now, following the release of the recording of the couple's therapy session, Depp and Heard have responded to the new claims.

"These tapes containing Amber Heard’s chilling confessions of violence further expose and destroy her abuse hoax," Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman told The Daily Mail.

On the other hand, a spokesperson for Heard accused Depp of "vindictively" leaking the tape.

"Anyone familiar with the dynamics of domestic abuse would immediately recognise what is really going on here," she said.

"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."

Feature Image: Getty

For more on this topic:

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.


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