Amber Heard: The ‘lesser known person’ in Johnny Depp’s US defamation trial

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As she entered the witness box to give evidence in the multimillion-dollar US defamation trial against her former partner Johnny Depp, Amber Heard acknowledged that she was “the lesser known person” in the courtroom.

The actress, 36, has enjoyed supporting parts in several Hollywood movies as well as landing a starring role in the DC superhero franchise.

She has a one-year-old daughter named Oonagh, who was born in 2021 via a surrogate mother.

Ms Heard identifies as bisexual, and prior to her marriage to Mr Depp dated photographer Tasya Van Ree.

Depp Heard Lawsuit
The actress has enjoyed supporting parts in several Hollywood movies as well as landing a starring role in the DC superhero franchise (Steve Helber/AP)

Ms Heard grew up on a ranch outside Austin, Texas, with her mother, father and younger sister Whitney.

The aspiring actress helped her construction worker father to break horses, something which her lawyers say taught her “not to show fear or pain”.

At the age of 17 she moved to Los Angeles after being spotted by a Hollywood agent and worked in a number of part-time jobs while attending auditions.

She picked up a number of small supporting roles in television series including Jack & Bobby, The Mountain, and teen drama The OC, and made her film debut in the 2004 sports drama Friday Night Lights.

The Rum Diary premiere – London
Ms Heard was first introduced to Johnny Depp in 2009 when he was hired for The Rum Diaries, a film based on the book by US author Hunter S Thompson (Yui Mok/PA)

Heard was cast as Seth Rogen’s teenage girlfriend in the 2008 stoner-comedy Pineapple Express, starring Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride.

She was first introduced to Johnny Depp in 2009 when he was hired for The Rum Diaries, a film based on the book by US author Hunter S Thompson.

Ms Heard’s lawyers say that during this time she was pursued by Mr Depp, who sent her several gifts including a guitar, which she returned.

The Rum Diaries came out in 2011, and the couple began dating following the press tour.

Amber Heard
In 2011 Ms Heard appeared in an episode of British car show Top Gear as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car (Ian West/PA)

The same year, Ms Heard starred in the film Drive Angry alongside Nicolas Cage, and following its release appeared in an episode of British car show Top Gear as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car.

In 2015 she was cast in supporting roles for films including 2015’s Magic Mike XXL, in which she played the love interest of star Channing Tatum, as well as The Danish Girl and The Adderall Diaries, which reunited her with James Franco.

In February of that year Mr Depp and Ms Heard married at a private ceremony in Los Angeles, though the couple separated after just 15 months in May 2016.

The actress pledged to donate her seven million US dollar (£5.5 million) settlement to two charities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Magic Mike XXL premiere – London
Ms Heard with Channing Tatum at the Magic Mike XXL premiere (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Ms Heard became part of the DC extended universe in 2017 after being cast as Mera, the love interest of Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa.

She reprised this role in 2018 and is due to return for the Aquaman sequel in 2023.

In December of the same year Ms Heard published an op-ed in the Washington Post which was to become the subject of Mr Depp’s defamation lawsuit.

The article, which deals with her personal experiences of domestic violence, was titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”

It did not mention Mr Depp by name.

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