One of the settings of alleged abuse in the Depp vs. Heard defamation trial is the Hicksville Trailer Palace in Joshua Tree, California. This charmingly unique getaway features 11 different themed-out trailers. What really happened there in May of 2013?
Amber Heard’s story
On May 4, 2022 Amber Heard testified that she, her then-boyfriend Johnny Depp, and a group of friends stayed at Hicksville Trailer Palace. She said the group had planned to take “laugh drugs” like magic mushrooms and MDMA and listen to music around a campfire.
At first, Amber says things were going fine. She said a female friend took some MDMA, and when the effects of the drug hit her, she leaned into Amber “put her hand on my shoulder, and grabbed my arm.” Amber considered this affection to be nothing more than the result of MDMA.
Amber says she had eaten a mushroom cap but wasn’t feeling anything yet. She says the night changed “dramatically” before she actually felt the drinks.
Amber says as soon as the female friend leaned into Amber, Johnny Depp got upset. “‘Hey man, you think you’re touching my f***ing girl?’” Amber says he told her. She claims he got louder, and eventually grabbed the girl’s wrist and twisted it. She says that he then asked her if she knew “how many pounds of pressure it took to break a human wrist.”
Amber says stepped in and took Johnny’s hand. She says that they then got into an argument that they took to their trailer. Amber says she didn’t know the woman who had touched her, but Johnny was accusing her of lying about that. Amber says Johnny started smashing things in the trailer, including a light sconce.
Later, in the bedroom area, Amber recalls Johnny babbling nonsense at her. He was looking for something, and asked her where she was “hiding it.” Amber says he then ripped off her dress, which she had recently dyed pink, grabbed her breasts, and eventually assaulted her by doing a “cavity search.” She said he told her he was looking for cocaine.
Amber says she doesn’t remember talking with Johnny about it the next day. She says she wanted the trip to end, and for things to go back to normal. She says she put on makeup the next morning and visited with her friends by the pool. She felt lonely because everyone was having a good time and no one knew what she had gone through.
She says the manager was furious at first about the wrecked trailer but soon calmed down after Johnny charmed him. She recalls that her dog stepped on a bee after this interaction, and the couple went on with their vacation, which included another location.
A different account
On May 24, 2022 a former employee of the Hicksville Trailer Palace, Morgan Night, testified. At the time of their stay, Morgan was a live-in manager for the property. He said he spent about 45 minutes total with the famous couple and spent more time with Johnny Depp.
He witnessed Johnny Depp spend time with his security guard and noticed that Johnny was off by himself while Amber Heard was with her friends at the campfire.
Morgan Night says for the most part everyone was having a good time until he witnessed Amber Heard start yelling at Johnny Depp.
I was speaking with Mr. Depp, just one-on-one, and Ms. Heard came over and she said, ‘I want to talk to you,’ and seemed really upset about something,” Night said. “So I went back in the house, and they went back off on their own.”
“She started yelling at him. And I didn’t want to hear it, really, because I had been in abusive relationships before,” Night said.
On cross-examination Morgan testified that “from what I saw Amber was the one acting jealous, not Johnny.”
He says as the night continued, Johnny Depp got quieter. At the end of the night, he heard “commotion” and saw Amber and Johnny having a discussion. According to him, everyone went to bed around 3 a.m.
Although he was alerted that there was a mess in Johnny and Amber’s trailer, he found that the trailer wasn’t in bad shape. He did not charge them a “piggy fee” they charged customers who left the property in disarray. There was a broken light sconce, which he was able to replace on eBay for $62, which he charged to Johnny Depp’s team.
How much does it cost to rent a trailer at Hicksville?
Trailers at Hicksville are pretty affordable. Most currently go for between $100-150 a night, though a couple are a few hundred dollars more. You can also rent out the entire park which can sleep 32 and features 11 different accommodations for $1880 a night.
The property is in the middle of the desert and is pretty far from civilization, so guests are asked to bring their own food and alcohol. It has wifi, but it may be a little spotty and doesn’t reach the Project Z trailer.
Although Amber Heard testified that there wasn’t much to do on the property besides drugs, the common area has a pool, games, and even a library.
Lana Del Rey filmed her 2021 music video for “White Dress” at Hicksville.