Current track

Title

Artist

Current show

Sensational 70’s

4:00 pm 7:00 pm

Current show

Sensational 70’s

4:00 pm 7:00 pm


Johnny Depp tells court he has to defend himself against Amber Heard’s ‘heinous’ abuse claims

Written by on 19 April 2022

Johnny Depp has told a court his ex-wife Amber Heard’s allegations of domestic violence and sexual abuse are “heinous and disturbing” – and that he is “obsessed” with getting to the truth.

Giving testimony for the first time on the fifth day of the libel trial, Depp began by admitting he and Heard argued during their relationship but said he “never” reached the point of hitting her – and “nor have I ever struck any woman in my life”.

Actor Johnny Depp testifies at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse as Depp's defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard continues, in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., April 19, 2022. Jim Watson/Pool via REUTERS  Image: Depp has told the court that allegations of abuse are ‘heinous’

He told the jury in Fairfax, Virginia, that his ex-wife’s allegations had come as a “complete shock” when he first heard them, and that they had “permeated” the entertainment industry and become “a global, let’s say ‘fact’, if you will”.

The actor said he felt he had to stand up for himself and his two children, Lily-Rose and Jack, whose mother is his former partner Vanessa Paradis. They were teenagers when Heard’s claims were first made public and it is “diabolical” they were exposed to the allegations while still at school, Depp said.

“I felt it was my responsibility to clear my name and my children of this horrid thing that they were having to read about their father,” he said. “My goal is the truth, because it killed me that people I’d met over the years… would think that I was a fraud and had lied to them”.

He went on to reference his current standing in Hollywood compared with his lucrative career before the allegations were made.

“It’s very strange when you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo. I didn’t deserve that. I pride myself on honesty and truth. Truth is the only thing I’m interested in, lies will get you nowhere. I’m obsessed with the truth,” he said.

The libel trial began more than a week ago, but, prior to his testimony, jurors – and viewers at home, as this is on camera – had only seen Depp sitting silently with his team of lawyers as revelations about his former relationship have been come out in court.

As Heard’s lawyers predicted at the start of the trial, it has turned into something of a “soap opera”, with claims of drink and drugs binges, trashed rooms and the actor severing his finger being raised in front of the jury.

US actress Amber Heard speaks to her attorney at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on April 19, 2022. - US actor Johnny Depp is suing ex-wife Heard for libel after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a ..public figure representing domestic abuse... (Photo by Jim WATSON / POOL / AFP)  PIC:AP Image: Heard pictured with her attorney Elaine Bredehoft in court today

Wearing a dark suit and pale paisley tie, with his hair in a ponytail, Depp told the court on Tuesday that he knew the case would be “exposing” both for him and Heard, but that he had no choice but to defend himself against her allegations.

“It never had to go in this direction,” he said. “I can’t say I’m embarrassed because I know I’m doing the right thing.”

Depp is suing Heard for libel for $50m (£38.2m), while Heard has issued a counterclaim for $100m (£76.4m). The case has been brought over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post, which his lawyers say falsely implies he physically and sexually abused her.

The column did not mention Depp by name, but was titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath.” The actor’s lawyers have told the court it is clear Heard was referencing her ex-husband.

During his testimony, Depp told the court about their relationship, saying he initially thought it was “too good to be true” but did notice things that “might be a bit of a dilemma at some point”.

He said Heard developed a “routine” when he came home from work, of giving him a glass of wine and taking his boots off, and that she had become upset when he once disrupted it.

Judge Penney Azcarate speaks to the attorney for actor Johnny Depp, Ben Chew, and attorney for actor Amber Heard, Elaine Bredehoft, during the libel trial in Virginia Image: Judge Penney Azcarate, speaking to Depp’s lawyer Ben Chew and Heard’s lawyer Bredehoft, is presiding over the case

Depp told the court about his roles in the Pirates Of The Caribbean films, explaining that after the success of the first, which was released in 2003, he was forced to increase his security to protect his family.

“I’ve had worse jobs… [but] you realise that anonymity has left the building,” he told the court. “It does mean you have to think creatively when you have little kids on how to take them to the park or the swings. It becomes a strategic mission.”

He added: “Security guards kind of multiplied because you need to protect your street, your house, your kids. Endless.”

Depp was also asked about text messages he has sent that have been revealed in court so far, in which he has used vulgar language about Heard, as well as his drinking and substance use.

Addressing his texts, he offered an apology to those who have read them, saying he is “embarrassed and ashamed” but that he has a dark sense of humour and “sometimes pain has to be dealt with with humour”.

On his drug use, he said it had been a way to “numb the ghosts” of his youth, and was “self-medication” rather than what he often observed in others of wanting “to go party”.

However, he told the court that details of his “substance abuse” had been “grossly embellished” in court and a lot was “plainly false… an easy target for [Heard]”. He continued: “I am not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time.”

Depp and Heard: The background

The former couple started dating after meeting on the set of the 2011 film The Rum Diary, and married in Los Angeles in February 2015, followed by a ceremony in the Bahamas.

Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp in May 2016 after accusing him of abuse, which he denied, and the pair settled their divorce out of court in 2017.

Many of the witnesses involved in this case in the US were previously called to give evidence in Depp’s 2020 trial in London, in which he sued the publisher of The Sun newspaper over an article that referred to him as a “wife-beater”.

The judge in that case found the claims in the article to be “substantially true” and Depp was later refused permission to appeal the case at the Court Of Appeal.

In the libel case in Virginia, Depp is suing Heard, not the publication. Fairfax County state court judge Penney Azcarate is overseeing the trial, which is in its second week and is expected to last for six weeks in total, with a week’s break in May.

Witnesses called by Depp’s lawyers so far have included the actor’s sister, friends, and a doctor and a nurse who said they treated him for substance abuse. All have said that while they may have been aware of arguments between Depp and Heard, they did not witness physical abuse by Depp toward Heard.

A couples therapist who has testified told the court she believed there was “mutual abuse” between the pair.

Source