Johnny Depp & Amber Heard: A Timeline of Their Relationship, Divorce and Domestic Abuse Allegations
By Desiree Murphy and Alex Ungerman
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In late May 2016, less than a week after Amber Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp, citing irreconcilable differences and asking for spousal support, she showed up at a Los Angeles courthouse with a bruise near her right eye that she claimed was a result of Depp throwing a cell phone at her face.
From their on-set meeting in 2009, through their four years as a couple beginning in 2012, to the current domestic abuse allegations Heard filed against Depp, here is ET's timeline of the estranged couple's most notable moments.
October 2009: The Rum Diary
Depp and Heard met on the set of the film, where they played each other's love interests.
Though they did not date until several years after filming, Heard told Teen Vogue at the time that working with Depp is "probably the best experience I've ever had."
After Depp's split from his partner of 14 years and the mother of his two children, French actress Vanessa Paradis, the actor began seeing Heard. (Depp and Paradis are parents to 17-year-old Lily-Rose and 14-year-old Jack.)
Perhaps somewhat of a romantic, one of Depp's first gestures for his new flame during the early stages of their budding relationship was reportedly buying her a horse! Apparently, he did it so that she could ride with him while he filmed The Lone Ranger.
Jan. 17, 2014: Depp's Engagement to Heard Confirmed
On Jan. 17, People first reported that Depp and Heard were getting married.
"Of course they couldn't be happier to be engaged and excited to share the rest of their lives together," a source told the publication at the time. "Amber has really taken well to the kids and really enjoys spending time with them. And she's even taken Lily shopping on her own for some bonding time."
In an exclusive interview with ET, Depp showed off his engagement ring, noting, "It's exciting to wear a girl's ring... I don't know, you know. It just fit."
The actor also commented on his two children with Paradis, and whether he and Heard might consider making the family a little bigger.
"I love kids. I have two, and they're perfect," he shared. "Man, I'd make 100. But I've got the easy gig, right?"
May 2014: Revealing Text Messages Detailing Depp's Alleged Assault
On June 1, 2016, ET exclusively obtained a text message conversation that a source said is from May 2014 between Heard and a man purported to be Depp's assistant, Stephen Deuters. (ET was not able to independently verify the recipients of the messages or whether they had been edited.) The texts are purported to show Depp's alleged abusive behavior towards Heard, long before the two had tied the knot. Read the conversation HERE.
March 2015: Depp Injures Hand on Set, Sources Say Heard Told Friends That He Punched a Wall
While filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Australia, Depp suffered an injury to his right hand. At the time, he had to fly back to the United States to undergo surgery and receive medical treatment. It was reported that the injury was not sustained during filming.
On May 31, 2016, sources told ET that Heard told some close friends that the injury was actually a result of Depp punching a wall when the two had gotten into an argument.
May-June 2015: The Newlyweds Face Legal Trouble for Smuggling Their Dogs Into Australia
After photos surfaced of the couple's Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, in Australia, the country's Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, came out strongly against Heard for bringing the dogs into the country illegally, saying to the BBC, "It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."
Their Yorkshire terriers failed to go through customs and undergo the country's required 10-day quarantine. Apparently, the crime could have come with a 10-year prison sentence.
Heard told ET in June that the dogs had returned to America safely, saying, "They're good despite attempts by certain rogue thug Australian government officials, they are all right."
"From where I was standing, Amber was totally beaming as she watched Johnny," ET's Denny Directo said at the time. "She was sipping red wine, bopping around to the music. By the end of the show, she was on her feet."
Nov. 12, 2015: Heard Addresses Marriage Trouble Rumors
Reports that the couple was on the rocks clearly wore on Heard, who said in the December issue of Marie Claire, "I try not to react to the horrible misrepresentation of our lives, but it is strange, and hard."
The actress went on to say that being a stepmother to Depp's two children had been a "gift."
December 2015: Heard Claims She 'Truly Feared' for Her Life, Has Photos to Prove It
In Heard's May 2016 court filing for the temporary restraining order against Depp, she claimed that "there was one severe incident in December 2015 when I truly feared for my life." On June 1, 2016, images of Heard were published by People that revealed a mark on her eye and cut on her lip from the alleged incident.
While accepting the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Depp said, "I also have to thank my wife, Amber, for putting up with me. For living with all these characters, which can't be easy... It's hard for me, it's gotta be hard for her."
Afterward, the actor confessed to ET that "it's not easy" for his wife to put up with his eccentric movie roles.
April 17, 2016: The Infamous Dog Apology Video
"Australia is a wonderful island with a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people," Heard said in a stilted apology video about the dog debacle.
"It has to be protected," Depp added. The awkward video would go on to be mocked by many, including Stephen Colbert, and Depp himself.
April 21, 2016: Alleged Attack Following Heard's Birthday
As noted in her court filing, Heard, who turned 30 on April 22, claims another abusive incident occurred when Depp showed up to her birthday party "inebriated and high" and "violently shoved me to the floor" after allegedly grabbing her by the hair.
May 2, 2016: Solo at the Met Gala
After the apology video, the couple was rarely spotted together.
Heard stunned in her silky, high-slit Ralph Lauren gown at the 2016 Met Gala, but appeared at the annual fashion event without Depp at her side.
ET confirmed that the actor's mom, Betty Sue Palmer, died in Los Angeles after a long illness. At the time, Depp was in the middle of a press tour for his latest film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which opened in theaters one week later.
Depp had a close relationship with his mother -- he even got a tattoo of her name, "Betty Sue," inside a heart on his left upper arm in the late '80s.
May 21, 2016: The 911 Call
Heard claims in court documents that on this night, she and Depp got into a heated altercation, which allegedly resulted in him inflicting a bruise near her eye. Heard alleges that the bruises were caused by Depp throwing a cell phone at her face.
According to Heard, the two were having a "peaceful conversation" about the death of Depp's mother when he allegedly "began obsessing about something that was untrue and his demeanor changed dramatically."
One of Heard and Depp's mutual pals, iO Tillet Wright, allegedly heard the confrontation over the phone when the couple called her, and, according to court documents, called 911 at the request of Heard, who was yelling in the background.
"Johnny then grabbed the cell phone, wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me striking my cheek and eye with great force," Heard claims in the documents. "He then forcibly pulled back my hair as I attempted to stand from the sofa ... Johnny continued screaming at me, pulling my hair, striking me and violently grabbing my face."
The LAPD later told ET that the NYPD received a third-party call that Heard was involved in a domestic dispute. When the LAPD responded to the incident, however, the department said they found no evidence of a crime. Heard claimed it was only a verbal dispute at the time. She did not mention Depp's name, nor was he present when police arrived to the scene, according to the LAPD.
According to the divorce documents obtained by ET, Heard noted that the couple separated on May 22. (When Depp later responded in his own filing, however, he listed their separation date as "To Be Determined.")
May 23, 2016: Heard Officially Files for Divorce
The divorce documents were officially filed one day later, the same night Depp walked the red carpet solo at the Alice Through the Looking Glass premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. He then headed to Verona, New York, for his scheduled performance with his band, The Hollywood Vampires, at the Turning Stone Casino the following night.
May 25, 2016: News of Divorce and Death of Depp's Mother Breaks
Their split, along with the death of Depp's mother, did not become public until May 25.
That same day, Depp filed a response, asking the court to "terminate the court's ability to award support" to Heard. In the documents, he also asked that Heard pay her own attorney fees, in response to her request for Depp to cover all the costs. In addition, the Pirates of the Caribbean star in the legal filings requested a separation of certain assets, including "miscellaneous jewelry" and earnings made after their separation.
May 26, 2016: Depp's Rep Issues a Statement
One day after news broke that the two had called it quits, Depp's rep issued a statement on the actor's behalf.
"Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life," Depp's spokesperson told ET in a statement. "Hopefully the dissolution of this short marriage will be resolved quickly."
May 27, 2016: Heard Requests a Restraining Order Against Depp
While Depp was out of town promoting his new movie and traveling with his band, Heard and her lawyer in Los Angeles provided a photo as part of court records that showed various bruises on the Magic Mike XXL actress' face, claiming that Depp had harmed her in the alleged incident involving a cell phone. The judge then granted Heard a temporary restraining order against Depp, forcing him to stay at least 100 yards away and avoid any contact with her. A hearing was set for June 17.
"I live in fear that Johnny will return to the residence unannounced to terrorize me, physically and emotionally," Heard said in the documents, noting that she feels "extremely afraid" of Depp and her safety.
May 28, 2016: Depp's Daughter and Exes Come to His Defense
When some people, including a few celebrities, started to take sides through a "trial by Twitter," Depp's daughter, Lily-Rose, and two of his exes, Paradis and Lori Anne Allison, quickly came to his defense.
His daughter took to Instagram to share a sweet throwback photo of the two from when she was a baby, calling her dad the "sweetest most loving person" in her caption.
Paradis reportedly wrote a letter, obtained by TMZ, in which she slammed Heard's "outrageous" allegations against Paradis' former longtime partner.
Allison, who was Depp's first wife, echoed Paradis' sentiments, telling friends that "she doesn't believe Amber Heard's claim that Johnny brutalized her multiple times during their short marriage." Read more HERE.
After some of Depp's loved ones came forward with their views on the legal drama, Heard's divorce attorneys, Samantha F. Spector and Joseph P. Koenig, released the following statement to ET in response:
"She cannot continue to leave herself open to the vicious false and malicious allegations that have infected the media. Amber has suffered through years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Johnny. In domestic violence cases, it is not unusual for the perpetrator's playbook to include miscasting the victim as the villain."
"With her statement, Amber hopes to give the LAPD the opportunity to conduct an accurate and complete investigation into the events of that evening and before. If that occurs, and the truth is revealed, there is no doubt that Amber’s claims will be substantiated beyond any doubt, and hopefully Johnny will get the help that he so desperately needs."
June 14, 2016: Heard Retracts Request for Temporary Spousal Support
Heard's lawyer filed a declaration withdrawing the actress' request for temporary spousal support from Depp. In court documents obtained by ET, Heard claims she initially asked for temporary spousal support because she thought it was standard operating procedure in a divorce case, but now feels the move is being misinterpreted.
It's being "used against me to distract and divert the public away from the very serious real issue of domestic violence," Heard claims in the documents. The documents also read, "In light of the coordinated false and negative media campaign falsely depicting my attempts to attain a CLETS Domestic Violence Restraining Order as being financially motivated, I am hereby withdrawing the request...for spousal support."
July 20, 2016: Depp Files Request to Keep Divorce Details Private
Depp responded to Heard's legal request for financial information with a filing of his own. The actor asked for a confidentiality agreement with Heard, filing a request for a protective order on all documents in their divorce case.
In documents obtained by ET, Depp's team asserts he is willing to produce the financial documents requested by Heard, however, he would like the confidentiality agreement to be put in place before releasing any information, to protect his privacy.
"This case has been extraordinarily public since its inception," the docs state. "Every detail of this action has been chronicled by the media and it has become one of the most heavily publicized divorces in recent memory."
"Amber's need for financial information to resolve this case is distinct from the public's appetite for information about celebrity divorces," Depp's legal team states, adding that they have presented two different confidentiality agreements to Heard. "Amber has inexplicably refused to sign any agreement to maintain confidentiality in this action."
August 9, 2016: Heard Appears 'Manic' and 'Irrational' During Deposition, According to Depp’s Lawyer
In court papers filed on Aug. 9, Laura Wasser, Depp's attorney, accused Heard of refusing to go on the record to testify at a recent deposition.
According to court documents obtained by ET, Wasser claims that Heard appeared nearly two hours late for a court-ordered deposition regarding Heard's request for a permanent domestic violence restraining order against Depp. Wasser claims that instead of testifying, Heard sat with her lawyers and "paced in a separate room." Wasser described Heard as appearing "manic and irrational."
A source close to Heard tells ET that the actress sat for "10 hours through intense settlement negotiations, which could not be settled because it required a gag order."
August 12, 2016: Leaked Video of Depp Throwing a Wine Bottle and Glass
Leading up to a settlement, a video that appears to show Depp throwing a wine bottle and glass during an argument with Heard was leaked on Aug. 12. Heard denied releasing the tape, while Depp sources maintained it was "heavily edited."
"I am not responsible for the release of the video. It was not what I wanted and I am doing what I can to force the media to take it off the internet,” Heard said in a statement obtained by ET. “I underestimated the toll that this difficult few months have taken on me, emotionally and physically, and the efforts made by the media to intimidate and discredit me. It is for that reason, and my desire to make the healthiest choice for myself, and hopefully for Johnny, that I am attempting to resolve this matter in the most private way possible."
August 15, 2016: Photo of Depp's Severed Finger
New allegations emerged regarding Depp's March 2015 hand injury that halted production of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Sources told ET at the time that Depp had punched a wall during an argument with Heard, after which the actor had to return to the United States to have a pin put into his finger.
A new report claims the argument stemmed out of Depp’s suspicion that Heard cheated on him with actor Billy Bob Thornton. During the altercation with Heard, Depp was allegedly intoxicated and slamming glass bottles, windows, and a plastic phone into the wall, causing one of his fingers to become partially severed, TMZ reports.
The report also claims that Depp dipped his bloody finger into paint belonging to Heard, and wrote "Billy Bob" and "Easy Amber" on a mirror. Heard and Thornton worked together on the yet-to-be-released film, London Falls. Despite Depp's alleged suspicions, a source told People, "Billy Bob definitely, absolutely did not have an affair with Amber."
August 16, 2016: Divorce Case Settled, Restraining Order Request Against Depp Withdrawn
Heard and Depp settle their divorce case with the actress also withdrawing her request for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp, ET confirmed.
"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love," Heard and Depp said in a joint statement. "Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm."
"Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future," the statement added. "Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity."
A source told ET that it was "the photo [of Depp's severed finger] and Johnny being anxious about it going to trial that prompted the quick settlement." Depp agreed to pay Heard $7 million to settle the case, which includes attorney's fees, according to TMZ.
(Originally published on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at 6:45 pm PST)
To hear the latest update on Depp and Heard's legal drama, watch the video below.