Johnny Depp took the stand on Tuesday to give testimony in his $50m defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, and it led to some dramatic moments.
Heard is being sued for defamation by Depp after she implied that he abused her in a 2018 column. Although she did not name him in the column, his lawyers claim her allegations have made it difficult for the actor to land movie roles.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actorsays the abuse allegations turned him from “Cinderella to Quasimodo” in the eyes of others and have severely impacted his career.
On his history of drug use
“The characterisation of my substance abuse that has been delivered by Miss Heard is grossly embellished, and a lot of it, I’m sorry to say, is just plainly false. I think it was an easy target for her to hit,” says Depp.
“I am not some maniac that needs to be high or loaded all the time,” he adds.
When asked if he has ever been addicted to a substance, Depp names the opiate roxycodone/roxycontin which he took for sciatica after injuring himself throwing a chair through a window for a scene in Pirates 4.
He said that you do no take pills to get high, you’re taking them to get well, because if you stop your body goes into withdrawal. Depp says he was on the medication for four to five years.
Depp said he began taking opioids before he met Heard, and he detoxed while he was in a relationship with her. He said he has not taken any opioids since for fear of going through the “hell” of detox again.
On his acting career
Depp recalls getting into acting by accident through his friend Nicholas Cage who encouraged him to meet with his agent Eileen Feldman. He ended up reading for a part in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
He initially thought of acting as a way to pay the bills but kept getting cast before he landed a recurring role on the TV show 21 Jump Street at the age of 22.
Depp added that he is naturally a shy person and was used to being one part of a band, but realized he was now on this acting path. He said he was having to deal with new notoriety and found it odd and he has never gotten used to it.
On his relationship with Heard
Depp recalls a ritual of Heard taking off his boots and giving him a glass of wine when he would get home. He said he’d never experienced anything like that in his life.
One night he took his own boots off and he says Heard approached with a look on her face “what did you just do?” He said he replied that he didn’t know what she meant.
He said she replied: “No, no, no. That’s my job. You don’t do that.” Depp added he took pause that she was visibly shaken or upset that he had broken her rules of routine. Depp said that once you notice things like that, you notice other things.
On his dad leaving
Depp recalled his parents’ marriage ending and his father leaving one day as if he was going to work, but taking all of his belongings without saying anything. He said his mother only found out when she returned home.
He told the court that he went to his dad’s work and said “looks like someone stole all of your clothes”. His father said: “Yes. I’m done. You’re the man now.”
After his parents' marriage ended, he said that his mother attempted suicide. He then stood and reenacted the condition in which he found her that day.
Depp stands up and acts how how his mother reacted after his father left. "She had swallowed a multitude of pills to try to take herself out, to try to commit suicide." Depp testified that his mother was abusive to he, his siblings and his father.\n#JohnnyDepp #AmberHeardpic.twitter.com/MvEXkmtaOu— Sierra Gillespie (@Sierra Gillespie) 1650393189
"Based on my experiences as a child ... I knew exactly how to raise children, which was to do the opposite of what they did ... Never raise your voice in front of the children, never," he said.
On experiencing abuse from his mother
“My mother was quite violent which could be in the form of an ashtray being thrown at your head or a telephone or whatever was handy. In our house, we were never exposed to any type of safety or security,” he says.
He later added on the impact this had on himself and his brother and sister: “We were all somewhat shellshocked. She’d walk past and you’d shield yourself because you didn’t know what was going to happen.”
On why he decided to take this to court
“About six years ago, Miss Heard made some quite heinous and disturbing ... criminal acts against me that were not based in any species of truth. It was a complete shock. It just didn’t need to go in that direction, as nothing of the kind had ever happened,” he says.
He adds that while there were arguments, he never struck Heard, nor has he ever struck a woman in his life and that he felt a responsibility to stand up, not only for himself, but also for his children who were exposed to the allegations against their father.
Amber Heard looks right at Johnny Depp as he testifies that he has never struck her. \n\n#JohnnyDepp v #AmberHeard \n@LawCrimeNetworkpic.twitter.com/eEaYmckp5k— Cathy Russon (@Cathy Russon) 1650391610
“My goal is the truth. It killed me... that people would think I was a fraud and that I had lied to them. I had to wait for my opportunity to address the charges, which were criminal charges. And they just weren’t true. I felt the responsibility of clearing the record. The only way that I could get to the point where I could speak has really taken this full six years. And it’s been six years of trying times.”
On Heard admitting to hitting him in recording
Heard was heard admitting to hitting Depp on a recording played in court on Wednesday.
The pair argued about the physical altercation on the recording, during which she said she hit Depp but she didn’t “deck” him.
She could also be heard telling Depp to “grow up”, calling him a “baby”.
Depp saw photo of faeces on his bed days after fight with Amber Heard
Depp cringed in court as he recalled seeing a photo of faeces on his bed days after a fight with Heard.
He revealed he didn’t see Heard between April 22 and May 21 as he had “received some news that was as absurd and grotesque and cruel, and then I was shown a picture of what the problem was”.
While she was away, Depp intended to visit the penthouse where she was staying to pick up his belongings, but his security guard said it wasn’t a good time.
He said he was shown a photo of “our bed and on my side of the bed was human faecal matter, so I understood why it wasn’t a good time to go down there”.
On doing drugs with Marilyn Manson
Johnny Depp got a laugh from the courtroom as he said every hour is “happy hour” and recalled doing drugs with Marilyn Manson, giving him a pill to stop him from talking so much.
On being pictured asleep with spilled ice cream
A photo of Depp asleep with ice cream across his lap emerged in court while he was grilled on his drug and alcohol misuse.
Explaining the picture, he said he had worked an 17-hour day and taken opioids when the photo was taken. He also said his ex-wife gave him the ice cream because “she knew what was going to happen”.
“And if you’ll notice, my right hand is in my pocket, so I wasn’t participating in the festival of ice cream,” he said.
On writing in blood and paint after severing finger in ‘vodka bottle fight’
Jurors are now being shown more photos of the "reminders" Depp wrote following the finger injury. Rottenborn notes they are written with a "mixture of paint and blood." #JohnnyDepp #AmberHeard \n@LawCrimeNetworkpic.twitter.com/lhfFZ4gJVu— Sierra Gillespie (@Sierra Gillespie) 1650568063
The court in the trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was shown messages and “reminders” Depp scrawled in blood and paint after severing his finger in a fight during which he claims Heard threw two vodka bottles at him.
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