The trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began on 11 April in Fairfax, Virginia following Mr Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Mr Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.
Malcolm Connelly said he initially worked as a security guard for Mr Depp, his children, and his ex Vanessa Paradis.
He said he first met Ms Heard in 2010 when she was in the UK to promote the film Drive Angry with Nicholas Cage before she met Mr Depp. He protected her for a week and said she was “pleasant”. He added that he didn’t see her again before she appeared in The Rum Diary with Mr Depp.
Mr Connolly describes the initial stage of Mr Depp’s and Ms Heard’s relationship as “lovey-dovey” and that Ms Heard was “lovely, charming … as she usually is”.
He then said things started to change and that she became more “feisty” and “demanding”.
“I could see that Amber wanted to wear the pants in the relationship, that was quite obvious,” he said, and that she could “get frosty at the drop of a hat”.
The security guard went over a few incidents in which Ms Heard threw things, such as a lighter and a soda can, towards Mr Depp. He said Mr Depp stood with his hands up to show that he didn’t have anything to harm anyone with.
He added that he noticed scratches or bruising on Mr Depp, usually on his face. Mr Connelly said he was trained in the UK prison service to notice such things.
Mr Connelly testified that he took a photo of Mr Depp and Ms Heard on their honeymoon, saying that Mr Depp was “not happy”.
While he said he never saw any injuries to Ms Heard, he said for Mr Depp it “started off with a scratch once in a while but it got more”.
A photo of Mr Depp and Ms Heard during their honeymoon on the Orient Express from Bangkok to Singapore was shown in court. Mr Connelly said he took it, noting that Mr Depp had swelling under his eye.
“He’s walked into a door, or a door’s walked into him,” he said.
Mr Connelly accompanied the couple to Australia in 2015 when Mr Depp severed his finger. Mr Depp was filming the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie at the time.
He said that when he arrived where Mr Depp was staying he noticed an SUV outside with no driver. He approached, hearing “muffled” screaming and opened the door to find “chaos”.
There was “screaming and shouting” and Mr Depp was “nursing one hand”, he said, adding that Ms Heard was “irate” and Mr Depp was shouting back.
He urged Mr Depp to leave the situation, but when they got outside, Ms Heard appeared again and was “screaming” at Mr Depp, “f*** off, you f****** coward”.
“His finger was just a mess”, Mr Connelly said, adding that it looked like a “cartoon”.
“It’s all flapping around … I could see bone,” he said.
When asked to describe Ms Heard’s behaviour, he said it was “crazy” and “fierce”.
During cross-examination by Ms Heard’s lawyers, Mr Connelly said that he’s been paid directly by Mr Depp for the last two years.
He said they had exchanged gifts, and when asked if Mr Depp has given him $8,500 worth of gifts, Mr Connelly said “he gave me a lot more than that”, prompting a laugh from the courtroom, including Mr Depp.
Mr Connelly was then asked if he’s loyal to Mr Depp.
“Yes of course I’m loyal to Mr Depp,” he said. “I’d be loyal to you if I was working for you.”
Concerning what happened at the house in Australia, Ms Heard’s lawyer said Mr Depp was trying to urinate “in the foyer” and “had his penis out”.
“I think I would remember if I’d seen Mr Depp’s penis,” Mr Connelly said, prompting another laugh from Mr Depp and court attendees.
The court was then played a recording of Mr Depp from their time in Australia. He could be heard yelling “how you f***** me over” and “make me feel sick”. Mr Connolly confirmed that Mr Depp was angry at the time.
In her 2018 op-ed, Ms Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim”.
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,” she added at the time.
While Mr Depp isn’t named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50m”.
Ms Heard has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.