You might remember actress Amber Heard and actor Johnny Depp’s high-profile divorce after she said he physically assaulted her during their 18-month marriage.

But the revelations in an audio-tape—provided to—seem to raise questions over who the victim really is, with the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp trending last weekend.

In a 2015 taped two-hour therapy session, Aquaman actress Amber, 33, is heard talking to Johnny, then her husband, about their strained relationship, admitting that she hit him, and had previously threw pots and pans.

“I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine, I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you,” said Amber.

Johnny, 56, admitted that he had pushed her.

In the tape, he suggested that the two took time out to prevent their relationship from getting more physically tumultuous.

Amber said: “I can’t promise that it will all be perfect. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again. God I f***ing sometimes I get so mad I lose it.”

Johnny, in response, said: “I love you and I want you to be my wife. And I wanna be a good husband. If I haven’t been, I’ll do everything I can to find out how to be a good husband.”

The pair married in February 2015 but split up less than two years later when Amber had a restraining order slapped on Johnny over allegations that he threw a cellphone in her face at their Los Angeles home.

They eventually agreed to a US$7 million (S$9.6 million) divorce settlement in August 2016.

But the ill feelings cropped up again after she wrote in a 2018 article: “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”

Johnny, who was not mentioned in the article, took offence, saying that the article dented his reputation and caused him to lose his prized role of Captain Jack Sparrow in a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

He has filed a defamation lawsuit against Heard and it is set to be heard this year.

His suit says she “hit, punched and kicked me. She also repeatedly and frequently threw objects into my body and head, including heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls and paint thinner cans, which severely injured me”.

Amber has also submitted a court filing that includes photos of bruises and scars as well as pictures of smashed up furniture to showcase the violence she was allegedly subjected to after she hooked up with Johnny in 2011.

If you’re a victim of domestic violence, call the police or the AWARE Helpline at 1800 777 5555.

Image: TPG/Click Photos
Text: Loh Keng Fatt / The Straits Times / February 2020