Aquaman star Amber Heard admitted to "hitting" ex-husband Johnny Depp in a recording made in 2015, while the two were still married. The recording, obtained and published by The Daily Mail Friday, was allegedly made when the two tried to talk through their marriage issues. Heard and Depp married in 2015, and finalized their divorce in 2017.
"I'm sorry that I didn't, uh, uh, hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you're not punched," Heard tells Depp in the recording, referencing an incident the night before. "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."
Heard appears to taunt Depp for fleeing the scene of the argument, telling him, "You are such a baby. Grow the f— up Johnny."
"You poke an animal enough, it is eventually, it doesn't matter how friendly it is, it's not cool," Heard also told Depp.
"I left last night," Depp said in the tape. "Honestly, I swear to you because I just couldn't take the idea of more physicality, more physical abuse on each other. Because had we continued it, it would have gotten f— bad. And baby, I told you this once. I'm scared to death we are a f— crime scene right now."
"I can't promise you I won't get physical again," Heard warned. "God I f— sometimes get so mad I lose it."
The recording was made during a two-hour "therapy" session recorded on Heard's cell phone with their consent. The Daily Mail acquired the recording from a "well-placed source." The outlet reports there could be more tapes, which could play a role in the $50 million defamation lawsuit Depp filed against Heard in Virginia.
Heard filed for divorce in May 2016, accusing Depp of physically assaulting her during their brief marriage. In December 2018, she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, explaining how she "felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out," but did not mention.
In response to the op-ed, Depp filed his defamation lawsuit, claiming that he was implicated and the op-ed hurt his reputation. Depp claimed he was victim of an "elaborate hoax" Heard created to help her career.
"Ms. Heard is not a victim of domestic abuse; she is a perpetrator," Depp's lawsuit claimed. "'She hit, punched and kicked me. She also repeatedly and frequently threw objects into my body and head, including heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls and paint thinner cans, which severely injured me."
Heard replied with her own 300-page filing that listed instances of alleged abuse from Depp, along with photos showing bruises and scars.
In filings last year, Depp included graphic photos of his severed finger, alleging that the injury happened when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him. Depp said the incident happened just a month after their wedding, and it inspired him to ask her to sign a post-nuptial agreement. He also had to fly back to the U.S. from Australia while in the middle of filming a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and the surgery did not go well.
In another development in the case, actor James Franco was subpoenaed. Franco's attorney reportedly sent a letter to Depp's legal team, asking his involvement in the case be kept private. Franco became roped into the case due to surveillance video showing him and Heard in an elevator at Depp's apartment building in May 2016.
Photo credit: Lawrence Busacca/Getty Images for L'Oréal