While they were married, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard seemed like a perfect Hollywood power couple. Beginning February 3, 2015, the high-profile marriage was always the subject of tabloid gossip, just like any other A-list relationship.
When Heard showed up to Los Angeles Superior Court on two occasions in late May 2016 with visible bruises on her face, filing first for a divorce and then for a restraining order, it seemed something had gone very wrong.
Reports of physical and emotional abuse began to trickle out to the media. This eventually became a point of contention, as Heard's circle pointed to her bruises and other evidence of months of abuse, while Depp's legal team tried to characterize Heard as a gold-digger, making the story up for money and publicity. As the former couple moved further along in divorce proceedings, the media began to dig in to the shadowed history of the tumultuous marriage, they found out more and more secrets nobody could have guessed existed.
Photos, videos, eyewitness statements, and more all leaked out in the wake of the divorce, as members of the press eagerly investigated into the stars' private lives.
These are 18 Crazy Things No One Knew About Johnny Depp And Amber Heard's Marriage.
18 They were seeing other people at first
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2009. They play lovers in the film, Depp a journalist and Heard the wife of a realtor. Obviously, there must have been some attraction on set, since they ended up marrying just a few short years later.
Here’s the thing: neither of the two actors were single when they first met.
That’s right, while filming The Rum Diary Johnny Depp was with his partner of 14 years Vanessa Paradis and Heard was with her girlfriend, artist and photographer Tasya van Ree. The Rum Diary would eventually be released in 2011.
In 2012, Depp split from Paradis and Heard split up from van Ree, setting the stage for the two stars to begin dating the same year.
17 Depp reportedly bought Heard a horse
If you were an actor with millions upon millions of dollars to your name, how would you show your affection to your date? Well, if you’re Johnny Depp, at one time the highest paid actor in Hollywood, the answer is: you buy them a horse.
When Depp was first dating Amber Heard, rumors started swirling that they were rapidly falling more and more in love.
Reports then trickled in that even before the two were married, Depp professed his love to Heard by buying her a horse.
It’s not 100% clear this actually happened, but at the time sources close to the couple were adamant that Depp was so smitten he didn’t think twice before buying-- not to mention that the man is also said to own a horse farm in Kentucky. This makes sense given Depp’s spending habits, which are notoriously excessive.
16 The text conversation
No one wants to see their old text conversations make it onto the internet, but in Amber Heard’s case it shed some light on the history of her relationship with Depp. The texts don’t go into specifics, but supposedly they are between Heard and Stephen Deuters, Johnny Depp’s assistant.
They don’t mention Depp’s name, but the texts allude to some kind of event that took place the night before. Stephen texted, “He was appalled. When I told him he kicked you, he cried.” Meanwhile, Heard purportedly replied by repeatedly bringing up the severity of what the unnamed man did.
There’s no way to know if these texts are truly authentic, but if they are, they wouldn’t be the only source that alleged Depp kicked Heard at one point.
The worst thing about the conversation, though? If it’s real, it occurred before Depp and Heard even married, which would mean the relationship was troubled from the get-go.
15 They got married on Depp's private island
Getting married in the Bahamas is nice, but you know what’s nicer? Getting married on an island in the Bahamas that you also own. Johnny Depp certainly has enough money for a private island, so of course he has one.
Little Halls Pond Cay—which he reportedly bought for over $3 million, is another example of Depp’s exorbitant spending.
After a private civil ceremony in Los Angeles, the former couple held a more elaborate ceremony and reception at Little Halls Pond Cay with a larger group of friends and family. Depp first saw the island while shooting Pirates of the Caribbean, and since that franchise was part of what made him the highest paid actor in Hollywood at one time, he used that money to buy it.
14 Depp’s “on-set” injury
Depp’s time spent filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was chaotic and unpleasant, and news came out that he had injured his hand on-set, which was delaying the process. Except, later on, when details of the marriage began to leak, friends of Heard’s said it wasn’t an “on-set” injury at all.
A source close to Heard told Entertainment Tonight that Depp's hand injury actually came from an argument Depp had with his then-wife, in which Depp became so angry he punched a wall.
Walls generally aren’t things you want to punch, so this became yet another story in which Depp’s anger problems reportedly ended up with him hurting himself and those around him.
13 The finger incident
One of the more bizarre tales to emerge from Depp and Heard’s marriage is the finger incident, in which TMZ reported that Depp got so angry at Heard that he somehow managed to slice off the end of his own finger. Depp allegedly smashed bottles, windows, and a phone in a fit of jealous rage and inebriation.
The night culminated in him somehow accidentally injuring his hand— and then dipping his injured finger in paint, which he purportedly used to write insults about Amber and her co-star Billy Bob Thornton on a mirror.
All this happened, according to reports, in March of 2016 - just a month after the couple married. Depp was allegedly never able to keep his jealousy or his anger in check with Heard— and substance abuse coupled with rumors of infidelity set things off.
12 The rumored tryst between Heard and Billy Bob Thornton
One of the motivating factors in Depp's alleged "finger incident" was apparently suspected infidelity on Heard's part. At the time of the argument, Heard was shooting a movie with Billy Bob Thornton, and there were rumors surrounding the two co-stars - rumors that Depp apparently believed.
So, on the night Depp reportedly cut his finger, he also used it to write in paint on a mirror —pictures of which later leaked out. In the blurry, messy writing on a mirror, it is possible to make out the words “starring Billy Bob and Easy Amber,” obviously an insult directed at Heard, who was starring with Thornton in London Fields.
Heard, of course, denies this affair ever happened, as does Thornton.
11 The dog incident in Australia
Australia’s biosecurity laws are famously strict, as they do not want diseases or illegal substances smuggled into the country. Bringing dogs to Australia is known to be a hassle, as there is a large amount of paperwork required to show that the dogs are not bringing rabies.
Depp and Heard seem to have missed this memo, however, and brought their Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo when Depp traveled to Australia to film Pirates of the Caribbean. They were detained and arrested, and threatened with serious jail time, in what was called the highest profile quarantine case in history. The saga ended when Depp and Heard made an awkward, stiff apology video, praising the nation of Australia for its natural beauty.
Investigators had found that Heard had gotten the proper vaccinations prior to the trip— they just hadn’t filled out the paperwork correctly.
10 The leaked video
The day before Amber Heard’s deposition in her legal battle with Depp, a video leaked online purportedly showing the former couple at home during their marriage. Depp’s legal team claimed the video was “edited,” though it appears to be a single, unbroken shot of Depp kicking doors, swearing, breaking cabinets, and pouring himself a large amount of wine.
The video ends when Depp discovers the camera.
His speech noticeably slurred, Heard asks Depp if he had drunk a whole bottle of wine since the morning, and he doesn’t take it well. Saying, “You want crazy? I’ll give you … crazy,” he then notices Heard is taping the encounter.
In an abrupt move, Depp grabs the camera and the video ends. The video does not show outright physical abuse, but it does exhibit Depp displaying violent behavior and drinking.
9 The ruined birthday party
Several sources told The Hollywood Reporter that drinking and substances contributed to his erratic behavior. Alongside the stories of him repeatedly showing up late to the set of Pirates of the Caribbean and keeping hundreds of people waiting, there’s also a much darker story of him interrupting Heard’s birthday party in 2016.
In court documents, Heard alleges that Depp initially didn’t show up to the birthday party, only arriving when everyone else was preparing to leave. Heard says Depp was “inebriated and high” when he showed up, and an argument ensued.
During this incident, she reported that he threw a bottle of champagne at the wall and a glass of wine at Heard. The party may have been the last straw, as the two separated a day later.
8 Heard and Depp separated two days after Depp’s mother died
Late May of 2016 was a tumultuous time for Depp and Heard, as according to information released long after their relationship was over, several life-changing events happened in quick succession. On May 20, Depp’s mother (whose name is tattooed on Depp’s body) passed away. The aforementioned birthday party of Heard’s happened the next day.
Likely spurred on by the news of his mother’s passing, Depp’s behavior that day may have been the final straw. Some may find fault in Heard for separating from Depp during his grieving process, but if his “grieving process” involved the behavior depicted in the leaked video, it's not so surprising.
Losing his mother was likely a terrible blow for Depp, but apparently Heard had had enough - she filed for divorce the next day.
7 Heard’s next boyfriend was Elon Musk
A little while after finally separating from Depp, Heard was seen with PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink founder Elon Musk. Their relationship lasted for approximately a year, although it involved two separate breakups, as the press found out they had split for good in the summer of 2017.
Heard’s relationship with the South African entrepreneur was much less tempestuous than with Depp, and they reportedly broke up for the relatively tame reason of incompatible schedules. Still, if you’re going to show up an ex after a relationship that ended badly, you could do worse than hooking up with one of the smartest, most successful people in the world
Musk has his own history of make-ups and break-ups. He recently divorced Talulah Riley, whom he had been married to once before, divorced, and then remarried.
6 The 911 call
After Depp and Heard divorced and reports of abuse on at Depp’s hands began to leak out, the media spent a lot of its time speculating just what was true and what wasn’t. Much of this hinged on a 911 call made by Heard’s friend iO Tillett Wright, in which the LAPD were called to Depp’s house to mediate a domestic dispute.
In response to the (occasionally ugly and mean-spirited) conjecture, Wright wrote an essay detailing the incident which prompted her to call 911 on Heard’s behalf.
In the powerful piece, Wright discusses violent incidents involving Depp kicking, choking, punching, and otherwise outright assaulting Heard. She also mentions Heard waking up to her pillow covered in her own blood, which Wright reports seeing with her own eyes. C
Coupled with leaked pictures of bruises on Heard’s face and the TMZ video, this account was especially striking.
5 The comedian who stepped in and immediately got sued
If you were a comedian, and a guy you knew was in the middle of a messy, litigious divorce wherein he was getting accused of domestic abuse, would you want to jump in the middle of that and start accusing his wife of blackmail? Well, if you said no, you’re not Doug Stanhope, the comedian who wrote an article entitled “Johnny Depp Is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard—Here’s How I Know.”
In the essay, Stanhope said Heard was “manipulative,” and that Depp would never abuse someone the way she said he did.
Naturally, Heard replied with a lawsuit on charges of defamation.
Obviously, someone calling one of the participants in a divorce “manipulative” in the press without proof would have a bearing on the proceedings, so Heard was justified—though she did later drop the lawsuit.
4 The restraining order
Heard seems to have been quite scared of Depp around the time of their divorce, so much so that she took out a restraining order against him for the duration of the proceedings. Heard famously entered Los Angeles Superior Court in May of 2016 with prominent bruises on her face to get her divorce, and then took out a restraining order against him around that time.
Heard reports being afraid that Depp would try to “terrorize” her emotionally and physically during the hearings, so he was required to stay 100 feet away from her at all times. The restraining order lasted throughout the entire process— in fact, the divorce settlement was reached just one day before they were due for another restraining order hearing.
Heard then chose not to renew the order.
3 They both now star in Warner Bros. movies
Despite all the blowback from Heard's fans, activists, and advocates of battered women, Warner Bros. continues to employ Johnny Depp in the role of the dark wizard Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise Fantastic Beasts.
Depp is set to reprise his role in the sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald, and many fans have voiced their discomfort over seeing an accused abuser supported by a major film studio. Both director David Yates and writer J.K. Rowling have expressed support for Depp, however.
Heard, meanwhile, is set to star in the upcoming Aquaman as Mera, a role she first played in Justice League. Warner Bros. cited a statement she made in conjunction with Depp in their reasoning for keeping him on, and in response she posted the full statement, which showed the phrase "neither party has made false accusations for financial gain," likely meant to point out to WB that she never retracted her claims.
2 Depp’s spending and lawsuit
We’ve mentioned Johnny Depp’s spending habits already, but the issues surrounding his money came to a head in 2016 (just before his divorce was finalized), when he became embroiled in an ugly lawsuit with his own business managers.
Suing them for $25 million, Depp alleged that The Management Group mishandled his money, made unauthorized loans, and failed to pay his taxes for him correctly.
Countering these charges, TMG said that it was Depp’s spending habits that led him to financial ruin, not their management. In their countersuit, they revealed the extent of Depp’s largesse: a private art collection, a private plane, the aforementioned horses and private island, luxury cars, memorabilia, and 14 residences around the world make up just some of the things Depp spent his money on.
Depp later also sued the lawyers who represented him in this suit for another $30 million.
1 Amber Heard’s philanthropy
During the divorce proceedings, members of the media, Depp’s friends, and Depp’s legal team all seemed out to cast Heard as a gold-digger. The only reason she was interested in accusing Depp of abuse was to get his money, they said. Well, what better way to silence these rumors than to give the settlement money to a good cause?
That’s exactly what Heard did, as she announced soon after being awarded nearly $7 million dollars that she would donate it all to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She also said the money she gave to the ACLU would be given with a focus on helping battered women. She couldn’t give them this money immediately, however, since Depp’s finances were in such disarray and the divorce settlements would likely be paid out in installments—but she did give the ACLU an advance donation of $350,000.
Do you have any secrets to share about Amber Heard and Johnny Depp? Leave them in the comments.