The actress said her former partner was “included” in her descriptions of how institutions protect powerful men accused of abuse.
Mr Depp is suing Ms Heard over the piece, which his lawyers say falsely implies he physically and sexually abused her while they were together.
He has denied all accusations.
The article was titled ‘I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change’ and was published in December 2018, two years after Ms Heard filed for a restraining order against Mr Depp.
During her second day of cross-examination, Mr Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez questioned Ms Heard directly about the alleged defamatory statements made in the op-ed.
Ms Heard admitted that she had publicly accused Mr Depp of domestic violence in 2016, after giving testimony during her application for the restraining order, but said the article was about her experiences after the relationship had ended.
“That was the more interesting thing for me to write about,” she said.
Addressing her description of a large ship being hit by an iceberg and being “patched up” by lots of people, she said Mr Depp had been “included” in the analogy, along with other public figures “being accused as well”.
“I was talking about a bigger issue than just Johnny… when powerful men do something horrible or that they shouldn’t, how there is a system in place to protect them, to clean up after them,” she told the court.
“This was a reference to not just Johnny but what was happening as a culture when we were addressing a lot of MeToo issues.
“(It was) not just about him, but he is included in that yes… but I wrote this in the context of many men at the time, public figures in the public eye being accused as well.
“So it was a reference in general to a larger phenomenon, not just Johnny.”
Ms Vasquez also questioned Ms Heard about the title of the article that was published and its reference to sexual violence which she published a link to on social media.
“I did not write that,” she said, adding: “I may have (seen it), I just didn’t notice it.”
Asked why she had not asked The Washington Post to change the title, she added: “I didn’t ask them, nor did I think I needed to.”
Ms Heard was also questioned over multiple alleged violent incidents during the relationship, including one in which she claimed to have been violated by the actor with a bottle.
Ms Vasquez challenged Ms Heard about the timeline of the incident at a property in Australia in March 2015, in which the top of Mr Depp’s finger was cut off.
Ms Heard previously gave a tearful account of the incident in which she claimed Mr Depp had held her by the throat and smashed glass at a property.
She told jurors that following a struggle they had ended up on a counter top and she had seen Mr Depp holding a bottle before feeling “pressure on my pubic bone”.
Ms Vasquez suggested to Ms Heard that she was “the one that assaulted someone” during the incident and said she was inconsistent about the “sequence” of events.
“You’re putting things in sequence when you use words like ‘then’,” Ms Heard responded.
The trial continues.