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Why Johnny Depp won't look Amber Heard in the eye at trial

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in court on May 16, 2022 amid their defamation trial.
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Amber Heard sparred with Johnny Depp's lawyer as cross-examination got underway on Monday afternoon. The 36-year-old actress seemed especially bothered when the topic of her $7 million divorce settlement was brought up, which was never donated in full to charity as promised. Heard was also grilled about not seeking medical treatment after Depp's numerous alleged attacks.

Depp's attorney, Camille Vasquez, kicked things off by asking Heard: "Mr. Depp hasn't looked at you once this entire trial, has he?"

"Not that I've noticed, no," the Aquaman star replied.

"You've looked at him though many times, haven't you?" Vasquez said.

"Yes I have," Heard responded.

"You know exactly why Mr. Depp won't look back at you, don't you?" Vasquez asked. "He promised you would never see his eyes again, isn't that true?"

In July 2016, two months after Heard filed for a temporary restraining order, she arranged to meet with Depp in San Francisco. The pair's former agent testified at trial it was because the actress wanted to get back together with Depp, something she denied earlier on Monday. ("I wanted to minimize the animosity, I wanted to reconcile in that way. I didn't want to get back together with him.")

An audio recording from the meeting was played to the jury in which Depp tells Heard from then on, "We wont have to see each other again. ... You will not see my eyes again."

Vasquez said to Heard, "He kept that promise, hasn't he?"

"As far as I know, he cannot look at me," Heard replied.

"He won't look at you, right Ms. Heard?" Vasquez said.

"He can't," Heard shot back.

The tension didn't ease from there. Heard was shown photos from multiple events from 2014 to 2015 in which she appears uninjured, hours or days after alleged violent incidents with Depp.

After the 2014 Met Gala, Heard testified that Depp hit her so hard she thought he broke her nose. Heard didn't seek medical treatment and went to Spike TV's Don Rickles: One Night Only event the following night with Depp.

When asked if she sought medical treatment after what she alleges was a three-day hostage situation in Australia in March 2015, Heard replied: "I did not seek medical treatment after Australia, no."

"Not for the rape?" Vasquez asked.

Heard, who flinched at the word, replied, "No I didn't tell anyone." The actress testified earlier this month that Depp penetrated her with a liquor bottle and that she bled afterwards.

Depp agreed to pay Heard $7 million when they settled their divorce in 2016. The money came in installments but was fully paid in February 2018. The court was shown a clip of Heard on a talk show in October 2018 saying she donated the entire settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles because she "wanted nothing" from her ex-husband.

"I have not been able to fulfill those obligations yet," Heard admitted under oath.

Earlier on Monday, Heard said during direct examination she was unable to fulfill her pledge of $3.5 million to each charity "because Johnny sued me for $50 million." However, Vasquez noted that Heard had the full settlement for 13 months before she was sued by Depp over her 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post. Vasquez suggested that Heard "wanted Mr. Depp's money" and that she only vowed to donate for good press.

"You wanted to be seen ... as a noble victim of domestic violence," Vasquez said.

Heard fired back, "I have never, never wanted to be seen as a victim. Nor have I ever called myself one."

Vasquez said Heard lied under oath in the U.K. trial as she testified "the entirety of my divorce settlement was donated to charity." This prompted a back and forth about the difference between the words "pledge" and "donation" as Heard said she pledged the money to charity, which she still intends to fulfill.

"I use 'pledge' and 'donation' synonymously," Heard testified.

"I don't," Vasquez replied, before noting how "most of the money" that has been donated to ACLU and CHLA in Heard's name is not from the actress, but rather Elon Musk.

"I believe Elon made a donation in my honor in one of the years," Heard confirmed, maintaining the Tesla CEO's contribution did "not count towards my pledge."

Earlier on Monday, Heard testified that Musk donated $500,000 to each charity "in my honor."

"Elon, who was my boyfriend at the time, had his own charitable contributions that he made," she told the court. Heard connected with Musk at the 2016 Met Gala weeks before filing for divorce.

"I didn't recognize [Elon] until we started talking [on the red carpet] and he reminded me we had met once before," she told the court.

Heard "ended up going by myself" to the Met Gala as she and Depp were not on speaking terms from their fight on her 30th birthday in April 2016.

"I sat next to an empty place setting for Johnny that they cleared as soon as we realized he effectively stood me up on the red carpet," Heard declared.

As for Musk, the actress said the entrepreneur "seemed like a real gentleman."

"He was really nice. He sat at a nearby table and we got to speaking that night and eventually became friends," she added.

Heard's team issued the following statement ahead of cross-examination:

There's an old saying by trial lawyers: when the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the facts are not on your side, pound away on the podium. Today, we expect Depp's attorneys will instead pound away on the victim. We fear it will be equal parts shameful and desperate. And, the overwhelming evidence — the truth — is not on Depp's side.

The one thing we suspect Depp's attorneys will avoid is the central issue of this trial: does Amber or any woman have the First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech.

MORE: Amber Heard claims Johnny Depp "kicked me in the back" over James Franco jealousy