Johnny Depp’s Fingertip: How Did It Get Cut Off, and Who Is Responsible?

The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial has been a national obsession for over a month now.

And despite the fact that the trial has seen far more shocking moments, two incidents seem to have sparked the most conversation, as well as burrowed deepest into the public's collective consciousness.

One of them -- the claim that Heard defecated in Depp's bed -- has inspired countless memes, and seems to be functioning as a bit of comic relief amid all the tabloid-ready drama.

The other has served as a sort of microcosm for the entire trial, as both sides are offering wildly different accounts of what really happened, and much will depend on whom the jury believes.

Heard-Depp 2022

In 2015 -- while he and Heard were in Australia so that he could film the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise -- Depp suffered an injury to his right hand.

In testimony, Depp said that the tip of his finger was severed when Heard threw a glass bottle at him during a violent altercation.

Both sides agree on certain aspects of the incident -- the fight took place late at night on March 7, 2015, and Depp seemed to suffer some sort of breakdown in the aftermath.

Depp v Heard

Heard and Depp concur that he stayed up all night blaring music by his friend Marilyn Manson and drawing on the walls of his rental home with his bloody finger.

But that's where the consensus comes to an end.

Heard says she's unsure of how Depp injured his finger, but she's not surprised that he was hurt, as he was heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident, and he had broken several bottles.

Johnny Depp Is In Court

"She threw the large bottle and it made contact [with the bar] and shattered everywhere. I honestly didn't feel the pain at first," Depp testified on Aprl 20.

The following morning, Depp's on-call addiction specialist Dr. David Kipper took the actor to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for his injuries.

“No, I can’t take responsibility for what I now call 'Little Richard,' my chopped finger,” Depp told the court in response to a question about who caused the injury.

Johnny Depp Testifies

As for why he told the emergency room doctor that he caused the injury himself, Depp offered the following explanation:

“I didn’t think it wise to cause a ruckus, implicate Ms. Heard, and then have 8 million stories out in the press about how she’d thrown a bottle of vodka at me and how it smashed all the bones in the tip of my fingers, and it was also sliced down . . . it was pretty horrible.”

Depp maintains that he continued to lie to medical staff in order to protect Heard's reputation, as well as his own.

Depp Testifies

“I didn’t want to put her in this situation. I didn’t want to put any of us in this situation. I didn’t want to put the film [Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales] in that situation,” he said on the stand.

“That was why I said it was crushed in an accordion door.” 

As for his strange behavior in the aftermath of the fight, Depp describes it as a sort of trauma response:

Johnny Depp In Court

"I don't know what a nervous breakdown feels like, but that's probably the closest I've ever been," he told the court.

"I knew in my mind and my heart, this is not life. This is not life. No one should have to go through it."

In audio recordings that were played in court, Depp complained to Heard about the injury, but never explicitly blamed her for causing it.

Johnny Depp on the Stand

Heard, of course, offered a very different account of the incident when she took the stand.

She told the court that on the night in question, Depp sexually assaulted her with a glass bottle.

Heard said under oath that she did not report the incident out of fear of her partner, as well as a concern for negative press that's similar to what Depp described.

Amber Heard Tells Her Side

Photos taken by Heard in the wake of the incident confirm that, using his own blood, Depp drew penises on the walls and artwork in the rental home.

He also scrawled messages that appeared to pertain to Heard's alleged infidelity, including one that read, "Starring Billy Bob and Easy Amber," seemingly a reference to the actor Billy Bob Thornton, with whom Heard recently co-starred in the film London Fields.

Needless to say, much will depend on whom the jury deems the more credible witness.

Amber Heard Speaks Out

Heard's side is expected to wrap up its case by Friday, and the jury will begin deliberating shortly thereafter.

We'll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.