Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp: 10 celebrities who’ve been named in the defamation trial
When a relationship between two A-listers self-destructs, there’s bound to be some collateral.
Celebrities from Elon Musk to Kate Moss have been caught up in the explosive trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Depp is suing his ex-wife, Heard, for $50m (£40m) over a Washington Post op-ed she wrote in 2018, which he says implied he abused her.
Heard is countersuing for $100m (£80m), accusing Mr Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
The trial has lasted more than three weeks and at times, the number of people involved in the case has been hard to follow.
Below, we have collated 10 celebrities who have made an appearance, whether they like it or not, in the trial between Depp and Heard.
During her testimony, Heard described the moment she met Elon Musk at the 2016 Met Gala after her then-husband Depp “stood me up” on the red carpet.
“He seemed like a real gentleman. He was really nice,” Heard said about developing a friendship with the billionaire Tesla CEO.
Heard and Musk are rumoured to have dated on and off between 2016 and 2018 and the SpaceX boss was named on her witness list for the trial. However, he has not appeared on the stand.
During opening statements, Heard’s lawyers said that Depp had been “obsessed” with Musk.
Later in the trial, it was revealed that Musk had donated at least $500,000 to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles on Heard’s behalf.
Depp testified that Heard “despised” his friend Paul Bettany because she saw him as a “threat” to their time together.
“Ms Heard despised Mr Bettany, mainly because we had become such close friends and for her, he was a threat and would take me away from her, with regard to if Paul Bettany were getting the attention from me, that was a show-stopper. It would cause all kinds of unpleasantries,” Depp said.
Depp’s friendship with the Wandavision star had already come up during Depp’s previous libel case against The Sun in 2020. Text messages between the two were used as evidence in both trials – in them, the pair joked about burning and drowning Heard.
“Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead,” Depp wrote in the texts.
Bettany addressed the messages during an interview with The Independent in December 2021, saying it was “embarrassing” to have the messages made public.
“And we live in a world without context,” he told The Times.
While on the witness stand, Heard alleged that Depp subjected her to a “disgusting” and violent grilling about a sex scene she had filmed with James Franco.
“He was mad at me for taking the job with James Franco,” Heard said. “He hated, hated James Franco and was already accusing me of secretly having a thing with him in my past, since we had done Pineapple Express together.”
The argument over her work with Franco came to a head during a private flight between Boston and Los Angeles, Heard said. She told the court that Depp slapped her and kicked her to the ground while screaming abuse at her.
Later in the trial, jurors were shown elevator footage of Franco visiting Heard at her apartment on 22 May, 2016, the night before she filed for divorce from Depp. Four days later, the Aquaman star then filed for a domestic violence restraining order from her then-husband.
The pair appear to rest their heads together in the footage before they exit the elevator.
Heard told the court that she “instantly” thought “of Kate Moss and stairs” when she recounted a fight with Depp involving her sister Whitney.
Heard was referencing her earlier claim that Depp has pushed Moss down a staircase while they dated in the 1990s.
During Depp’s 2020 UK libel trial against the publishers of The Sun newspaper, Heard said, “He pushed Kate Moss down the stairs, I heard this from two people, and this was fresh in my mind”.
Moss has never accused Depp of domestic violence.
Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis
Two of Depp’s other exes, Stranger Things star Winona Ryder and French singer Vanessa Paradis, were mentioned in the trial by Heard’s friend iO Tillett Wright. Wright told the court that Depp confided in him that he “experienced great bouts of jealousy” in relationships, which also fuelled his alcohol issues.
Ryder and Depp dated for four years in the early 1990s, while Paradis dated Depp for 14 years after meeting in 1998. Depp and Paradis share two children, Lily-Rose, born in 1999, and Jack, born in 2002.
“He experienced great bouts of jealousy in relationships that had also led to a lot of drinking and a lot of rage activities,” Wright testified.
“He told me that that happened with Winona. He told me that that happened with Kate. Sorry, with Winona Ryder and Kate Moss.
“He told me that that happened with Vanessa Paradis.”
In witness statements given during Depp’s 2020 trial against The Sun, Ryder and Paradis described the allegations of domestic violence against him as “impossible to believe”.
On the stand, Heard claimed that Depp accused her of having an affair with Eddie Redmayne while they were filming The Danish Girl (2015).
“I got the sense that he thought I was sleeping with the director [Tom Hooper], and then it was with the actor I was filming with,” Heard said.
Asked to specify who the actor in question was, Heard answered: “Eddie Redmayne.”
Heard testified that she had not had an affair with either Hooper or Redmayne during that time but said that Depp continued to accost her about it, eventually calling her hotel room to check she was there.
Depp testified he once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so he would “stop talking so much”.
Depp was questioned by Heard’s lawyer about taking drugs with the heavy metal artist, which he answered: “We drank together, we've had cocaine together, maybe a couple of times.”
However, the courtroom burst into laughter at Depp’s reply when asked if he’d ever done “pills” with Manson. “I once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so he would stop talking so much,” he said.
Actor Ellen Barkin said her relationship with Johnny Depp was “sexual” and not “romantic”, while testifying against Depp.
The two actors had a brief relationship in 1994 after working on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas together.
“The friendship went from purely platonic to a romantic one,” Barkin said before raising her hand and asking: “Can I change that to sexual?”
Barkin also testified that she was in a Las Vegas hotel room with Depp, his assistant and his friends one day when there was “a fight going on” and the actor picked up a wine bottle and threw it across the room. Depp has denied the incident took place and testified that she called him abusive because she held a “grudge” against him.
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton is another actor who Heard alleges Depp accused her of having an affair with.
Heard and Thornton worked together in 2013 on the film London Fields, which was not released until 2018.
Depp told the court that he’d written the message “Starring Billy Bob & easy Amber” in paint on a mirror after Heard hurled a vodka bottle at his finger.