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The private details of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's tumultuous relationship once again played out in court — and on June 1, ended in another verdict (a jury has decided that Heard's 2018 op-ed in which she referred to herself as a victim of sexual violence was defamatory).
The former couple first met on the set of their shared 2011 film The Rum Diary. Though they were each linked to other people at the time (Depp was in a long-term relationship with French musician and actress Vanessa Paradis while Heard was dating photographer Tasya van Ree), both stars have said that there was an undeniable chemistry between them.
Following Depp's split from Paradis, the two began secretly dating. "I felt like this man knew me, saw me, in a way no one else had," Heard would later say of "falling head over heels in love" with the actor. "When I was around Johnny I felt like the most beautiful person in the world. It made me feel seen. It made me feel like a million dollars."
Heard wasn't the only one smitten. A source told PEOPLE that Depp was totally taken with the London Fields star. "She is a free thinker," a longtime friend of the actor said. "Her presence has changed his life."
The couple married in a private island ceremony in 2015, but called it quits just 15 months later. Heard cited irreconcilable differences in a petition for divorce and filed a temporary restraining order against her spouse amid allegations of domestic violence.
The pair reached a $7 million divorce settlement in August 2016, but things turned ugly once more in March 2019, when Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for the Washington Post. In it, she detailed discrimination she said she faced in the wake of her domestic abuse allegations against Depp to "ensure that women who come forward to talk about violence receive more support."
Court proceedings for the case kicked off on April 11, 2022, with both actors making bombshell allegations of physical, emotional and mental abuse against each other.
From their first meeting to their eventual divorce and subsequent court battles, here's a complete timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's relationship.
2009: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard meet on the set of The Rum Diary
John Phillips/UK Press via Getty
Depp and Heard first crossed paths while filming their 2011 drama The Rum Diary. Depp would later recall meeting his future wife while testifying against her in court.
"She was attentive, she was loving, she was smart, she was kind, she was funny, she was understanding. We had many things in common," he said.
The Golden Globe winner said their early interactions had a forbidden element, as he was in a relationship with Paradis at the time and Heard was dating van Ree. "That moment, was, it was, it felt like something, it felt like something I should not be feeling," he told the courtroom. "I think there was something in the [film's] kiss in the shower that was real."
Heard also spoke about their initial interactions during the trial, telling the jury, "We talked about books and music, poetry. Obscure writers and interesting books and pieces of poetry I haven't heard anyone else know or reference or like."
2011: Johnny Depp falls for Amber Heard on the first day of their press tour
Depp told an audience at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival that he realized he was falling for Heard the moment they reunited after filming for their The Rum Diary press tour.
"She was in my head, so I tracked her down," he said. "We tracked each other down. Actually, incidentally, it was amazing. It was at the first day of press on The Rum Diary." He joked, "Then we married that very day!"
October 25, 2011: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard make their red carpet debut
The pair stepped out on the red carpet arm-in-arm while promoting their film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
November 2011: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard praise each other in interviews
Depp had nothing but kind words for his costar while discussing her talent in a 2011 press interview for The Rum Diary.
"Meeting an actress like Amber Heard — she's of another era, you know," he told On Demand Entertainment. "I mean, it's like walking into a room and meeting Lauren Bacall or Bette Davis … Veronica Lake, she's quite something. She's very special."
Heard, in turn, had plenty to say about the Oscar nominee. "Johnny is a wonderful person to work with, and he's just a true artist, so wonderful to be around, and I'm very lucky," she told Digital Spy.
She also spoke to his more mysterious nature in an interview with Young Hollywood, saying, "Johnny Depp is who he is because he is this enigmatic presence that is hard to define, he's hard to label and hard to pin down. He's a wonderful person and [a] consummate professional, but a lovely person, and you can't help but be sucked into the Johnny Deppness on set."
June 26, 2012: Johnny Depp splits from Vanessa Paradis
Depp's publicist confirmed that the actor had "amicably split" from his longtime love, Paradis, with whom he shares children Lily-Rose Depp and Jack Depp, in June 2012 after 14 years together. "Please respect their privacy and, more importantly, the privacy of their children," the publicist said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.
April 27, 2013: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are photographed holding hands
Depp showed PDA with his former costar in April 2013 while attending a Rolling Stones concert, where they were photographed holding hands.
July 20, 2013: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard travel abroad
January 13, 2014: Amber Heard is spotted wearing an engagement ring
"Of course they couldn't be happier to be engaged and excited to share the rest of their lives together," a source told PEOPLE at the time.
Heard would later detail Depp's proposal in her May 2022 defamation trial, which she said took place in a London hotel. "It was really sweet, he got down on one knee and said, 'I want you to be my girl, be my girl forever … I want you to be the rest of my life. Say yes to me," she recalled.
March 2014: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard throw an engagement party
Depp and Amber shared a special evening with roughly 100 of their nearest and dearest at the Carondelet House in March 2014 to celebrate their engagement. Mandy Moore and Steven Tyler were among the A-list guests.
A source later told PEOPLE that the actress had a moment of hesitation during the event. "At their engagement party she kind of got cold feet," the source said. "She was just like what is this scene and what am I doing here? She kind of couldn't believe it was her life now."
December 2014: A source tells PEOPLE there is "turmoil" in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's relationship
Depp and Heard appeared to be going through a bit of a rough patch in late 2014, with a source revealing to PEOPLE at the time that their wedding plans had slowed.
"There is no rush to marry at the moment," the source said. The insider also addressed rumors of a rift between the two, saying, "Johnny is crazy in love with Amber, but there is turmoil in the relationship."
January 10, 2015: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard share a steamy kiss on the red carpet
By January, the pair had seemingly heated up again, as they were photographed kissing on the red carpet at the Art of Elysian's 8th annual Heaven Gala.
February 3, 2015: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tie the knot
On February 3, 2015, the couple officially became Mr. and Mrs. Depp with a civil ceremony at their Los Angeles mansion. Several days later, they celebrated their nuptials with a slightly larger wedding ceremony on Depp's private island in the Bahamas.
A source told PEOPLE that the pair's vows came as the cap of a fantastic wedding weekend. "Wedding guests were treated to an amazing weekend that ended with a romantic beach ceremony," the source said. "Guests relaxed on the beaches, had fun snorkeling and enjoyed food cooked by private chefs. Everyone seemed to have the best time. It was a very celebratory vibe."
As for the ceremony itself, which was attended by Depp's ex-partner, Paradis, and their son, Jack, a source revealed to PEOPLE that it went off without a hitch. "The weather was perfect and the beach setting was gorgeous," the insider said. "The ceremony was beach casual and intimate, yet very romantic."
June 2015: Amber Heard opens up about married life with Johnny Depp
According to Heard, not much changed for the pair once they tied the knot — at least not immediately. "Nothing is a dramatic change," she told ELLE in June 2015. "We've been together for a long time now, so it's been a fairly organic process."
July 2015: Amber Heard is charged with illegally importing her and Johnny Depp's dogs into Australia
In July 2015, Heard was charged with smuggling her and Depp's two Yorkshire terriers into Australia during an earlier trip. The actress was charged with two counts of illegally importing the dogs and one count of producing a false document after she and Depp failed to declare the animals to customs authorities.
After Heard pleaded guilty to providing a false immigration document in April 2016, prosecutors dropped the charges that could have sent the actress to prison for up to 10 years. Depp and Heard also issued a joint video apology to the Queensland court.
"I'm truly sorry that Pistol and Boo were not declared. Protecting Australia is important," Heard said in the video.
Depp added: "Declare everything when you enter Australia."
September 14, 2015: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard show PDA on the red carpet again
The couple was photographed sharing an intimate kiss while walking the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival for the premiere of Depp's latest film, Black Mass.
September 24, 2015: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard hand out hearing aids in Brazil
Depp and Heard teamed up with the Starkey Hearing Foundation in September 2015 to hand out hundreds of hearing aids to those in need in Rio de Janeiro ahead of Depp's Hollywood Vampires performance.
November 12, 2015: Amber Heard says it's "an honor" being a stepmother to Johnny Depp's children
Heard remained tight-lipped about her relationship with Depp in her December 2015 cover story for Marie Claire, telling the publication only that she tried "not to react to the horrible misrepresentation" of their lives and saying that her marriage was "strange, and hard."
However, she did open up about her budding relationship with his children, Lily-Rose and Jack.
Heard called her role as their stepmom "an honor and the greatest, most surprising gift I have ever received in my life." As she explained to the outlet, "I feel new flavors that I didn't know existed. New colors that I didn't know existed have been added to my life. I'm so happy."
November 2015: Johnny Depp says he's "a lucky man" amid his marriage to Amber Heard
Depp had plenty of praise for his wife while walking the red carpet at the L.A. premiere of her 2015 film The Danish Girl. "I'm very proud of her," the Cry-Baby star told E! News. "She worked very hard."
The actor also opened up about their shared interests, telling the outlet, "We connect on a lot of levels, but the first things that really got me was that she's an aficionado of the blues. I would play a song, some old obscure blues song, and she knew what it was."
He continued, "She's very, very literate. She's a voracious reader, as I've always been, so we connected on that as well, and she's kind of pretty." he joked. "I'm a lucky man."
January 2, 2016: Johnny Depp thanks Amber Heard for "putting up" with him
Depp gave his then-spouse a sweet shoutout while accepting the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. "I also have to thank my wife Amber for putting up with me, for living with all these characters, which can't be easy," he said at the time. "It's hard for me — it's got to be hard for her."
May 23, 2016: Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp
On May 23, 2016, Heard filed a divorce petition from her spouse of 15 months, citing irreconcilable differences.
May 26, 2016: Johnny Depp speaks out about his divorce from Amber Heard
"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," a rep for the actor told PEOPLE. "Hopefully the dissolution of this short marriage will be resolved quickly."
May 27, 2016: Amber Heard files a restraining order against Johnny Depp amid allegations of assault
Less than one week after filing for divorce, Heard filed a domestic restraining order against her husband on grounds of domestic abuse charges. According to the court filings, Heard claimed the actor "began obsessing about something that was untrue" and threw a cell phone at her, resulting in a facial bruise.
"Johnny ripped the cell phone from my hand and began screaming profanities and insults at [my friend]," she said in the documents. "I heard [my friend] yell at me to get out of the house. Johnny then grabbed the cellphone, wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cellphone at me, striking my cheek and eye with great force."
She continued: "He then forcibly pulled back my hair as I attempted to stand up from the sofa. I then yelled 'Call 911,' hoping it would be heard by iO who was still on the phone. Johnny continued screaming at me, pulling my hair, striking me and violently grabbing my face."
Heard also included a photo of a bruise on her right eye that she claimed to have sustained from Depp in the altercation. An LAPD spokesman told PEOPLE that officers who were called to the scene saw "no evidence of any crime."
In the court documents, Heard alleged that Depp assaulted her on her birthday after an argument between the two about his absence for her celebration. "Johnny grabbed me by the hair and violently shoved me to the floor. Johnny was also screaming and threatening me, taunting me to stand up," the papers read.
According to the actress, Depp's alleged outbursts were the result of a drug dependency. "Johnny has a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse," she alleged in her declaration. "He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is extremely scary for me as it has proven many times to be physically dangerous and/or life-threatening to me."
Depp's attorney filed a response that alleged that Heard was trying to expedite their divorce proceedings. "Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse," the lawyer said in court documents.
The temporary restraining order was granted on May 27, 2016.
June 2016: Amber Heard claims she left Johnny Depp on numerous occasions
In court filings against comedian Doug Stanhope, whom Heard sued for defamation in June 2016 after he accused her of blackmailing Depp, the actress alleged that she had left her husband several times prior to filing for divorce.
"Heard repeatedly returned to Depp, despite his verbal and physical mistreatment of her, hoping optimistically that the man she married would change his behavior," the documents stated. "Each time Heard returned, however, within months, the cycle of substance abuse and violence repeated."
July 2016: Johnny Depp changes his tattoo for Amber Heard
Depp appeared to rewrite the script across his knuckles, which once read "Slim" — a rumored nickname for Heard — in July 2016. New photos of the tattoo appeared to read "Scum."
August 16, 2016: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard reach a divorce settlement
Depp and Heard confirmed to PEOPLE that they had reached a $7 million settlement in their divorce just one day ahead of their scheduled restraining order hearing. They also issued a joint statement at the time, which read, "Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity."
Additionally, a judge dismissed the domestic violence case against Depp and ended his temporary restraining order.
December 2016: Amber Heard pens an open letter addressing domestic abuse
The Aquaman star penned an open op-ed for Porter magazine in which she spoke out about the experience of coming forward with allegations of domestic violence as a female. "When a woman comes forward to speak out about injustice or her suffering, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame," she wrote. "Her motives will be questioned and her truth ignored."
Heard also expressed disdain for the implications she felt the term "victim" contained, writing, "I never felt like anyone would or could rescue me, so naturally I resented the label of 'victim.' "
January 2017: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's divorce is finalized
Five months after reaching a settlement in their divorce proceedings, Depp and Heard's marriage was officially dissolved.
June 21, 2018: Johnny Depp talks about his painful split from Amber Heard
Depp couldn't get too specific about the demise of his relationship in his 2018 Rolling Stone profile due to a non-disclosure agreement mandated in his divorce settlement, but he did speak to the pain he experienced after the loss of his marriage.
"I was as low as I believe I could have gotten," he told the outlet. "The next step was, 'You're going to arrive somewhere with your eyes open and you're going to leave there with your eyes closed.' " He concluded, "I couldn't take the pain every day."
July 2018: Johnny Depp alters his Amber Heard tattoo again
In July 2018, the What's Eating Gilbert Grape star appeared to have altered his Heard tattoo once more, changing the text from "Scum" to "Scam."
December 18, 2018: Amber Heard says she lost jobs after making allegations of abuse against Johnny Depp
Heard wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she claimed her livelihood had been affected by allegations of abuse that she had made against her ex-husband.
"Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted," she wrote. "A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman."
March 2019: Johnny Depp sues Amber Heard for defamation
Marc Piasecki/WireImage; Phillip Faraone/Getty Johnny Depp (L); Amber Heard
Depp sued his former wife for defamation over her 2018 Washington Post op-ed titled "I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath" in March 2019, requesting punitive and compensatory damages in the amount of $50 million. According to Depp's team, "the op-ed depended on the central premise that Ms. Heard was a domestic abuse victim and that Mr. Depp perpetrated domestic violence against her."
Depp's lawyers went on to deny Heard's claims of abuse, accusing her of creating "an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity" and "advance her career."
In response, Heard's rep issued a statement, which read, "This frivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp's repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced. Mr. Depp's actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self destruction, we will prevail in defeating this groundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team."
July 2020: Johnny Depp accuses Amber Heard of assault
Depp took the stand in a libel case against the publisher of U.K. tabloid The Sun in July 2020. While testifying, he alleged that Heard punched him in the face upon discovering that he owed millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.
"It's just a type of wild swinging … kind of a roundhouse punch, as it were," he said. "It's a bit of a wild swing, but effective if it reaches the target."
August 10, 2020: Amber Heard countersues Johnny Depp for $100 million
Heard filed her own $100 million lawsuit in August 2020, accusing Depp of orchestrating "a false and defamatory smear campaign" against her with his defamation lawsuit.
"This stream of false and defamatory accusations against Ms. Heard is all an attempt to ruin her life and career, simply because she was a victim of domestic abuse and violence at the hands of Mr Depp," the court filing read. Heard's team also requested that Johnny's defamation lawsuit be thrown out altogether.
November 2020: Johnny Depp loses his U.K. libel case
Judge Andrew Nicol ruled that a 2008 Sun article that referred to Depp as a "wife beater" was "substantially true," adding in his ruling, "The Claimant (Depp) has not succeeded in his action for libel."
August 2021: Amber Heard's plea to dismiss Johnny Depp's defamation case against her is denied
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, a Virginia judge granted Depp the right to move forward with his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, ultimately denying Heard's plea to dismiss the case in the wake of his U.K. libel loss.
April 9, 2022: Amber Heard hopes to "move on" after defamation trial
"Hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny," she wrote. "I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world."
April 11, 2022: Johnny Depp's defamation trial against Amber Heard begins
Jim LO SCALZO/POOL/AFP/Getty (2) Johnny Depp; Amber Heard
Proceedings for the couple's trial began on April 11, 2022, in Fairfax, Virginia. In his opening statements, Heard's lawyer, Ben Rottenborn, accused Depp of sexual assault.
"Amber did suffer sexual violence at the hands of Depp," Rotterborn told the courtroom, adding, "You will hear in the most graphic and horrifying terms about the violence that she suffered. You'll hear that straight from her. She will get on the stand and she will tell you that. It happened."
A Depp spokesperson countered to PEOPLE: "These fictitious claims were never made at the onset of Amber's allegations in 2016, and only advantageously surfaced years later once she was sued for defamation after noting in her op-ed that she was a victim of 'sexual violence.' "
April 19, 2022: Johnny Depp takes the stand in his defamation case against Amber Heard
JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Johnny Depp
Depp spoke out against Heard's allegations of abuse in court in April 2022. "Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life," he told the courtroom.
He also shared his motivations for filing his defamation case, stating, "My goal is the truth." He continued, "Since I knew there was no truth to it whatsoever, I felt it my responsibility to stand up not only for myself in that instance but stand up for my children, who at the time were 14 and 16."
During the proceedings, Depp and his team made allegations of their own against Heard. Depp's security guard testified that he witnessed Heard punching Depp, while audio recordings of the actress were played in which she admitted to starting fights and striking the actor.
Depp also testified that his finger was mangled after Heard, who was deemed to have shown signs of multiple personality disorders by a doctor from Depp's team who assessed her, threw a vodka bottle at him.
April 27, 2022: Texts reveal that Amber Head apologized to Johnny Depp one year after split
During the defamation trial, texts that Heard had allegedly sent talent agent Christian Carino, who represented both actors, were read aloud in court.
"I've written so many notes. Can you give him one? I don't know how or where to start," Heard wrote. "There's no way to begin and all I have to say, but I have so many. Finally I am single, clear in my heart and mind. I just want him to know I love him and that I am sorry."
May 4, 2022: Amber Heard takes the stand in Johnny Depp's defamation case against her
ELIZABETH FRANTZ/POOL/AFP via Getty
Heard took the stand on May 4, 2022, and became visibly emotional while speaking out in her own defense. "I am here because my ex-husband is suing me," she said in court. "I struggle to find the words to describe how painful this is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything. This is the most painful and difficult thing I've ever gone through, for sure."
The Justice League star would go on to make several shocking allegations over the next few days, testifying that her husband first slapped her across the face for laughing at his "wino" tattoo. "It changed my life," she said.
From there, Heard claimed their fights intensified, sparked by everything from what she alleges was jealousy on Depp's part over her onscreen romances to what she claims was an actual affair between Depp and a former lover shortly after their wedding.
In addition to claims of physical assault, a clinical and forensic psychologist brought by Heard's legal team alleged that Depp sexually assaulted Heard with a liquor bottle and that he performed a cavity search on her while looking for misplaced drugs.
May 5, 2022: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard release statements following their defamation testimonies
A spokesperson for Depp issued a statement to PEOPLE in early May following Heard's testimony, in which she accused the Pirates of the Caribbean star of physical and sexual assault.
"As Mr. Depp's counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver 'the performance of her life' in her direct examination," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added, "While Ms. Heard's stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp's recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made. His truth — the truth — is the same no matter the environment in which it has been presented."
A spokesperson for Heard also responded, telling PEOPLE, "As evidenced by the statement just released, Mr. Depp's defamation claim is falling apart so rapidly that his counsel are turning from prosecutor to persecutor. They boast that Mr. Depp's story has not changed. If so, since he lost the Domestic Violence Restraining Order and he resoundingly lost the libel case in the UK, perhaps he should consider a new strategy rather than the recycled approach of attacking the victim, and refusing to take responsibility for his own conduct."
June 1, 2022: Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard
On June 1, a seven-person jury reached a verdict in Depp and Heard's trial, deciding that Depp proved ex-wife Heard defamed him in her 2018 op-ed, which did not mention Depp by name but in which she wrote, "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."
The jury awarded Depp with $15 million in damages but Heard will only have to pay $10.35 million due to Virginia law cap on punitive damages (the judge reduced the amount). In her countersuit, Heard won one of the three defamation counts, and she was awarded $2 million in damages.
Heard reacted to the verdict in a statement saying, "The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I'm heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband."
She added, "I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback," she added. "It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."
Though Depp was not present when the verdict was read in court, he also released a statement saying that "best is yet to come" for him after the verdict.
"Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye," he said. "False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back."