Amber Heard feared her ex-husband Johnny Depp would accidentally kill her during an alleged assault on their honeymoon, a US court has heard.
Testifying in a defamation case Mr Depp has brought against her, Ms Heard, 36, painted a picture of the actor as an abuser plagued by drug addiction, jealousy and self-harm.
Mr Depp is suing Ms Heard for $50m (£40m) over an article in which she claimed she was the victim of domestic violence.
He has repeatedly denied any abuse.
The high profile case in Virginia has resumed for a fifth week after a pause, before which Mr Depp had told his side of the story and Ms Heard had begun some of her testimony.
In court on Monday, Ms Heard tearfully told jurors that she believed she’d likely “not survive” if she had remained married to Mr Depp, 58.
“I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me,” she said. “I really didn’t want to leave him. I loved him so much.”
Ms Heard has accused Mr Depp of repeated instances of physical abuse. On Monday, she alleged that he attacked her while aboard the Orient Express train in Asia after their February 2015 wedding, claiming that he struck her and held her by the neck while in their sleeper compartment.
“He was squeezing my neck against the railway car for what felt like a very long time,” she said.
She said she recalled thinking he could “kill me”.
“I remember being scared that he wouldn’t mean to do it,” she said.
In another instance, Ms Heard described a “week of hell” after Mr Depp allegedly became jealous after she was offered a role with James Franco. She claimed he punched her and threw her into furniture.
While Ms Heard said that the marriage was “at times, very loving”, it deteriorated over time to a point in which tension and violence became “almost normal”. They divorced in 2017, after two years.
During their increasingly frequent arguments, Ms Heard claimed that Mr Depp would frequently self-harm.
“In fights he often would cut his arms or hold his knife to his chest or draw blood, superficially at first,” she said. “He also put cigarettes out on himself.”
Lawyers for Mr Depp challenged Ms Heard’s version of events as they began their cross-examination on Monday afternoon.
Attorney Camille Vasquez skewered the witness’ prior testimony, questioning why there were so few photos and medical records to back up claims of physical injuries from her alleged beatings.
Ms Heard countered that, embarrassed to be a victim of abuse, she did not seek medical treatment “other than my therapist”, relying instead on makeup to cover bruises and ice to reduce swelling.
In a heated back-and forth, Ms Vasquez forced Ms Heard to acknowledge that she had “pledged” to donate the entirety of her $7m divorce settlement with Mr Depp to charity but was yet to make any donation.
She also noted that her client had not once looked Ms Heard in the eye over the course of the trial. “He can’t,” Ms Heard responded.
In his own testimony earlier in the trial, Mr Depp said that he never struck Ms Heard and told jurors that she had a “need” for conflict and violence.
On Monday, jurors heard a number of audio clips of the former couple arguing. In one clip – which went viral ahead of the trial – Ms Heard can be heard saying she hit Mr Depp.
“I was hitting you. I was not punching you,” she can be heard saying. “You’re not punched.”
According to Ms Heard, she sometimes “reactively” hit Mr Depp and claimed that she was referring to the “disparity” of their strength.
The defamation case against Ms Heard stems from a 2018 piece she wrote for the Washington Post in which she characterised herself as a victim of abuse. The piece did not name Mr Depp.
His attorneys, however, have said that the article “incalculably” damaged his reputation and career. She has countersued him for $100m.
Elon Musk Hopes to Test a Brain Implant in Humans Next Year
Neuralink, the startup Elon Musk founded to link our brains directly to computers, showed progress Wednesday in two medical areas: helping blind people to see and helping people with spinal cord injuries to walk or use their hands.
The company, one of five that Musk leads, is working on technology to drop thousands of electrodes thinner than a hair into the outer surface of human brains. Each electrode is a tiny wire connected to a battery-powered, remotely recharged, quarter-sized chip package that’s embedded into a spot that once held a circle of skull. The chip, called the N1, communicates wirelessly with the outside world.
The technology is still far from the initial medical uses, much less Musk’s ultimate vision of using Neuralink to hang out with superintelligent AIs. But the company is making significant progress, including applying with the Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials it hopes to start within six months, the company said at alasting more than two hours.
“Our goal will be to turn the lights on for someone who’s spent decades living in the dark,” said Neuralink researcher Dan Adams, who’s working on the effort to repackage camera data into a brain-compatible format and pipe it directly to the visual cortex.
Musk has some cred when it comes to revolutionary tech. His electric-vehicle company Tesla is profoundly changing cars and his SpaceX outfit is transforming space access with reusable rockets. His reputation as a tech genius has taken a beating, though, with the chaos at Twitter after his $44 billion acquisition. Musk’s Boring Company, which aims to revamp auto transportation with tunnels, also hasn’t lived up to its promises yet.
US President Joe Biden turns 80 Today: New Generation’ of Democratic Leaders Takes Control in Congress
President Joe Biden will celebrate his 80th birthday on Sunday, marking the first time a sitting president has reached that milestone while in office and fueling speculation about how his advancing age will affect his political future.
Biden — who was the oldest person to assume the presidency in January 2021, just 61 days after his 78th birthday — has said he intends to make another White House bid, even as his age-adjacent peers, including 82-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have made the decision to step away from leadership in order to make way for a younger generation.
“My intention is that I will run again. But I’m a great respecter of fate and this is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run but we’re going to have discussions about it. And I don’t feel any hurry one way or the other to make that judgment.” he said last week, after helming what many say is the most successful midterm election for a sitting president’s party in decades, though noting that those results would not have an impact on his decision to run again.
Biden is the oldest person to serve as commander in chief in the nation’s history. Should he seek reelection in 2024 and win, the president would be 86 by the end of his second term. He has said he’ll talk over his future with his wife and the rest of his family over the holidays.
Biden has said he is hoping that he and his wife “get a little time to actually sneak away for a week around between Christmas and Thanksgiving” and that his decision to run for reelection will likely “be early next year we make that judgment.”
During a White House briefing with reporters on Friday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the first lady would be having a brunch for Biden on Sunday for his birthday, following his granddaughter Naomi’s wedding at the White House the previous day.
“Usually, they celebrate on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving because everyone is going to the family is going to be here this weekend, he will have an opportunity to celebrate his birthday he wanted on his actual day,” she said.
Biden’s birthday comes right as national conversation is focused on the age of those at the top of Democratic leadership, just days after Pelosi announced that she would step down from leadership as House Democrats transition into the minority for the next Congress.
“The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” she said during her farewell speech on the House floor.
In a lengthy statement after her announcement, Biden noted his long history with Pelosi.
“I’ve seen her in action during my career as Senator, Vice President, and now as President,” he said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 83, and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, 82, also announced they would step aside from their leadership posts shortly after Pelosi’s declaration.
New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, 52, officially declared his bid for Democratic leader on Friday. Reps. Katherine Clark, 59, will vie for minority whip and Pete Aguilar, 43, is bidding to be caucus chair, ushering in a generational shift in House Democrats’ top spots.
On the future of the Democratic Party, Pelosi told reporters, “That’s up to them, I want it to be whatever they want it to be.”
Pelosi has maintained support for Biden throughout months of questions about his political future, particularly another run for the White House.
When asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” last Sunday, Pelosi said she thinks Biden should run again.
“Yes, I do. I mean President Biden has been a great president for our country. He has accomplished so much,” she said. “He has been a great president, and he has a great record to run on.”
Biden, known in public life for his long history of personal tragedy, has maintained that he is a “respecter of fate” regarding his decision to move forward as standard-bearer for his party and the nation.
“Fate has intervened in my life many many times. If I’m in the health I’m in now — from a good health. And, in fact, I would run again,” he said during a sit down interview at the White House with ABC News’ David Muir late last year.
But he’s faced a good deal of opposition–from both Democrats and Republicans– surrounding his seemingly likely decision to move forward for reelection.
One ABC News/Washington Post pollconducted in late September found that 56% of Democrats and independents that tend to vote for Democrats said they wanted “someone other than Biden” to run in the next presidential election.
A number of Democrats have said they wish Biden would step aside for a “new generation of leadership” echoing what Pelosi noted in her departure from control.
During the campaign cycle, Democrats such as Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, have openly suggested he shouldn’t run for another term.
Biden’s health and mental acuity is sure to be subject to intense scrutiny if he were to announce his 2024 bid for the White House, especially from Republicans who have long ridiculed his infamous gaffes during speeches, among other motor skill missteps.
In September, Biden asked about the whereabouts of Indiana GOP congresswoman Jackie Walorski, who was killed in a car crash earlier this year, during a White House conference.
The only candidate in the running so far for the 2024 presidential contest is 76-year-old former President Donald Trump, who launched his third White House campaign Tuesday evening. Trump was the second-oldest person to assume the presidency, at 70 years old.
Shanquella Robinson’s Death in Cabo, Father Believes Attack Was a Set Up
Shanquella Robinson‘s mysterious death in Mexico smells like a set up to her father … he tells TMZ he believes his daughter was attacked as part of a diabolical plan.
Shanquella, who was from North Carolina, was found dead last month in her room in Los Cabos … where she was vacationing with a group of friends. Her parents say the friends told them the 25-year-old died of alcohol poisoning.
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