A former personal assistant to Amber Heard said she never saw the actress suffer any physical abuse at the hands of then-husband Johnny Depp - but she said Heard once spit in her face when she asked for a higher salary.

Heard descended into screaming fits of blind rage, sent incoherent text messages at 4 a.m. and was often drunk and high on illegal drugs, Kate James testified in a video deposition that was played in court Thursday during the trial for Depp's libel suit against Heard.

Depp, on the other hand, was very calm, almost shy, "like a total Southern gentleman," James said.

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor has accused Heard of indirectly defaming him in a 2018 opinion piece that she wrote for The Washington Post. Heard refers to herself in the article as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." The piece doesn't name Depp. But his attorneys argue that it clearly references a restraining order that Heard sought in May 2016, right after Depp told her he wanted a divorce.

Depp denies abusing Heard, but Heard's lawyers say evidence will prove that he did. The actor's denials, they argue, lack credibility because he frequently drank and used drugs to the point of blacking out and failing to remember anything he did.

"Her poor sister was treated like a dog that you kicked, basically," James said.

"This is the way he writes," James said of Depp. "It's very random and you don't sort of question it. ... He writes in a very abstract way."

Both Depp and Heard are expected to testify at the trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, scheduled for six weeks, along with actors Paul Bettany and James Franco and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.