Update (8/1/22): Newly unsealed court documents revealed Amber Heard’s sister Whitney allegedly told her former boss about the infamous incident where a piece of Johnny Depp‘s finger was severed during an argument shortly after it originally happened. A deposition transcript from Jennifer Howell, Whitney’s former boss, shed more light on the grisly fight. Jennifer recalled an alleged exchange she had with Whitney when the blowout happened, per The New York Post. “She just screamed, ‘She’s done it now. She’s cut off his Godd–n finger,’ and made this huge proclamation,” she said. “She goes, ‘She cut off his finger. She cut off his finger.’ And then she bolted out the door and was like, ‘I got to call somebody.”
Johnny’s lawyer asked Jennifer to clarify who she was referring to, and she alleged that Whitney had said that the piece of the Pirates actor’s finger was severed after her sister threw a bottle. “It was Amber and Johnny, and she apparently had thrown a bottle and cut off his finger, is what (Henriquez) reported when she came back in from whoever she talked to outside,” she said.
Original: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard went back to court for a long-delayed defamation trial, and we’re here to break down the details of their often volatile relationship, which was recounted in the trial, which Johnny eventually won. Johnny accused Amber of severing his finger during a passionate fight that turned violent. Keep reading for a look into what really happened between the former couple.
What Happened With Johnny Depp’s Finger?
Back in 2016, a graphic photo emerged of Depp’s severed finger tip following a heated argument with his then-estranged wife. In the photos, which were obtained by TMZ, a doctor is holding what was claimed to be the actor’s severed finger. Depp had reportedly suffered the injury in 2015 while the pair were staying in Australia while he was filming for Pirates of the Caribbean and initially blamed the incident on himself. The actor’s bodyguard, Malcom Connolly, told the court during Johnny’s libel trial against The Sun in 2020 that he initially took responsibility for his finger to protect his then-wife, reported The Guardian.
“The usual victim pattern is to protect the abuser for some reason, you know the psychological bullying … they fit the same criteria, they never come forward with the information,” the bodyguard said. He then insisted he had never seen Depp hit Heard or any woman. “I would not tolerate any man striking a woman. No matter who he is. Not even if he is my boss. Not even if he is the pope.”
Depp then changed the narrative to implicate his ex, alleging in a $100 million defamation lawsuit that Heard was the one who damaged his finger by “throwing bottles” at him during a heated conflict.
“While I was in Australia filming a movie approximately one month after I married [Amber Heard], on a day where my then-lawyer tried to discuss with Ms. Heard the need that she sign a post-nuptial agreement with me, she went berserk and began throwing bottles at me,” Depp claimed in a new round of court documents, according to Daily Mail. The publication stated they obtained the legal docs in which the Rum Diary actor claims that when he suffered the grisly injury in 2015, it wasn’t an accident (or, as Heard claimed, in a fit of jealous rage) but an allegedly near-fatal attack.
“The first bottle sailed past my head and missed, but then she threw a large glass vodka bottle. The bottle struck the marble countertop where my hand was resting and exploded,” the Daily Mail said Depp stated in the court documents. “The projectile’s impact shattered the bone in my finger and entirely severed the tip of my finger. I had to have 3 surgeries to reconstruct my finger and contracted MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a form of a staph infection] three times,’ states Depp in his declaration. I feared that I would lose my finger, my arm, and my life.”
Heard previously claimed in court documents that Johnny’s injury was self-inflicted. She claimed that during their stay at the villa, he allegedly became extremely drunk and high and allegedly cut the tip off his finger after smashing bottles and windows in a rage, and supposedly dipped the injured digit in some dark blue paint. From there, Depp allegedly wrote various words on a mirror, including “Billy Bob” and “Easy Amber.” Heard starred in a film with Billy Bob Thornton in 2015, and she claims Depp accused her of sleeping with Billy Bob during filming.
In addition to accusing Heard of attacking him with a vodka bottle, Depp has accused his ex-wife of faking her injuries after accusing him of domestic violence. “I have denied Ms. Heard’s allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016 when she walked into court to obtain a temporary restraining order with painted-on bruises that witnesses and surveillance footage show she did not possess each day of the preceding week,” Depp said in a declaration he filed with the court. “I will continue to deny them for the rest of my life. I never abused Ms. Heard or any other woman.”
The Defamation Trial
Although the couple finalized their divorce in 2018 — and it seemed like the end — Depp sued her in early 2019 for defamation, citing the Dec. 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post. While Heard never named Depp, she claimed she “had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.” Depp argued that the piece “depends on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her.”
Adam Waldman, Johnny Depp’s attorney, told HollywoodLife.com in a statement at the time, “Johnny is gratified that his words are finally being heard but remains frustrated that the media largely ignores his overwhelming factual evidence of what Ms. Heard has perpetrated.”
After several postponements since Depp filed the lawsuit in March 2019, the trial was held in Fairfax, Virginia from April to June 2022. The jury ruled in Johnny’s favor awarding him $10 million in damages, while Amber was awarded $2 million in damages after it was found that statements made by Adam Waldman were defamatory.
What did Johnny say in the defamation trial?
Johnny’s severed finger was spoken about at length during the defamation trial against Amber. The Ed Wood actor claimed that his ex-wife severed a piece of his middle finger during his testimony on Wednesday, April 20. He said that the two were having an argument after discussing a postnuptial agreement, and it only “escalated.” He claimed that his ex-wife had been “irate,” and he tried to lock himself in different rooms to escape, but she was “banging on the doors and screaming obscenities and wanting to have a physical altercation.”
After he’d heard the actress walk away, he revealed that he’d went out from the room, but was still perturbed by her yelling at him. “I was a mess. I was a wreck. I was shaking, and I just didn’t understand why all this was happening,” he explained. Johnny said that he’d gone to the bar and taken a few shots after months of being sober from alcohol, but Amber was angry to see him drinking. “She walked up to me and reached and grabbed the bottle of vodka and then just kind of stood back and then hurled it at me,” he said. “It just went right past my head and smashed behind me.” Johnny continued and said that after she threw the bottle, he took another shot from a larger bottle of vodka. “She then grabbed that bottle and threw that at me.” He said the bigger bottle hit his hand, which was on the edge of the bar. “It made contact and shattered everywhere,” he said.
Johnny said that he didn’t feel pain, but rather felt the dripping feeling on his hand. “I looked down, and realized the tip of my finger had been severed, and I was looking directly at bones sticking out and the meaty portion of your inside of your finger, and blood was just pouring out,” he said.
The actor described the realization that he had in the immediate aftermath of the argument. “I knew in my mind and in my heart: this is not life,” he said. “No one should have to go through this.”
After the incident, Johnny described what seemed like a “nervous breakdown,” and he wrote with his own blood on the walls. He said that he wrote “little reminders from our past that represented lies that she had told me and lies that I had caught her in.”
He went to say that he didn’t understand what Amber said to him after his finger was cut. ” don’t recall anything but just it was almost like white noise just someone yelling just just a high pitched constant attack of insults of in this just jumbled words to me in a very high frequency. And I was in a bit of shock,” he said.
After the incident, Johnny claimed that he told his doctor that he’d gotten his finger caught in an accordion door. A photo of Johnny’s injury was shown to the jury, and he said that a doctor told him that the injury was a “wound of velocity” after he told him that it was caught in the door. He then said that he went to a surgeon who performed reconstructive surgery on his finger.
When Johnny was brought back to the stand later in the trial, he spoke about the incident a little bit more on Wednesday, May 25. After speaking about some photos of the scene after he lost part of his finger, Johnny revealed what he’d said to Dr. David Kipper after the fight. “There would be no point in lying to the man who had been through it with me,” he said. “I told him that she had thrown a bottle of vodka and smashed and cut my finger off—the tip of my finger but a good chunk. I miss it.
What did Amber say in the defamation trial?
When she took the stand, Amber provided her own account of the now-infamous incident. The actress recalled seeing that her ex-husband Johnny Depp had written on the walls in his blood after an extremely intense argument where he severed his finger while staying in Australia in 2015, during her testimony on Thursday, May 5. While she didn’t remember the moment that his finger was partially cut off, she recalled going downstairs the next morning and seeing that he’d written on the walls in his blood. “I saw this brown on the walls going down the stairs. And the brown on the walls became clear like it became clear like lettering. And then it was obvious it was dried blood,” she said. “It was meant to be a message, but it was incoherent. I saw what looked like my name, but I really couldn’t make out most of the rest of the message walking down the stairs.”
Amber explained that she went down to bottom of the steps into her painting studio, and she saw a mess, including paint and blood. She said that he saw that he had his hand wrapped up. She said that she realized that she’d been writing with his finger and later that it had been cut off. “I put together that he was using his finger [as a paintbrush],” she explained. “I figured out he was missing a finger. He kind of held it up and I said, ‘What did you do?'” Amber continued and told him to get in touch with his bodyguard Jerry Judge. “I said, ‘I’m gonna call 911, if you don’t call Jerry now.'”
After the trial
After the trial, Johnny joked about his severed finger, while greeting a young fan after a performance with Jeff Beck. He counted the young fan’s fingers while signing autographs on June 2. “You have five. I have four and seven-eighths. Math,” he said.