The actor Johnny Depp took the stand on Tuesday within the defamation case he introduced towards the actress Amber Heard, his former spouse, looking for to clear his identify from home abuse allegations that he mentioned have been “not based mostly in any species of reality.”
Ms. Heard has accused Mr. Depp in courtroom papers of abusing her repeatedly all through their relationship, together with by slapping her, kicking her, headbutting her and dragging her by her hair.
However Mr. Depp advised a seven-person jury sitting in Fairfax County Circuit Courtroom in Virginia that it got here as a “full shock” when she lodged these accusations publicly.
“By no means did I personally attain the purpose of hanging Ms. Heard in any method,” the actor testified, “nor have I ever struck any lady in my life.”
Talking slowly and thoroughly, Mr. Depp described how the allegations despatched his repute and profession, characterised by flashy roles in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Manufacturing facility,” in decline.
“It’s very unusual when in the future you’re Cinderella, so to talk, after which in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo,” he mentioned. “And I didn’t deserve that.”
The testimony got here on the fifth day of the trial over whether or not Ms. Heard, 35, defamed her former husband, Mr. Depp, 58, when she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Publish in 2018. In it, she mentioned her profession had been harmed after she turned a “public determine representing home abuse.”
Mr. Depp’s identify was not talked about within the op-ed, however he and his attorneys have argued that she was clearly referring to their relationship, which led to divorce in 2017. Mr. Depp’s lawsuit claimed that Ms. Heard’s op-ed “devastated” his as soon as flourishing appearing profession.
The jury can also be contemplating a countersuit from Ms. Heard, who claims that Mr. Depp defamed her when his former lawyer made statements saying Ms. Heard’s home abuse claims have been an orchestrated “hoax.”
In courtroom papers, Mr. Depp has alleged that Ms. Heard bodily abused him all through their relationship, together with by throwing objects at him. He mentioned these objects included a vodka bottle that shattered on the counter close to him and severed considered one of his fingers — an account that has grow to be a key anecdote within the trial.
Ms. Heard has denied in courtroom papers that she assaulted Mr. Depp, besides in self-defense or in protection of her sister. She has mentioned Mr. Depp harm his finger whereas smashing a telephone towards a wall repeatedly.
On Tuesday, Mr. Depp offered an account not in contrast to the one he gave in London two years in the past in an earlier defamation case he introduced towards The Solar newspaper for calling him a “spouse beater” in a headline. In that trial, a choose discovered that there was “overwhelming proof” that he had assaulted Ms. Heard repeatedly throughout their marriage and that he had put her “in concern of her life.”
Throughout their opening arguments final week, Ms. Heard’s attorneys advised the jury that they’d be presenting proof of “graphic and horrifying” abuse towards Ms. Heard, together with situations of sexual assault, which Mr. Depp denies. Considered one of her attorneys, Ben Rottenborn, questioned whether or not Mr. Depp’s accounts of occasions have been credible if he was “blacked out” on medicine and alcohol, and he argued that Mr. Depp was answerable for the decline of his profession, not Ms. Heard.
“This man’s poor selections have introduced him to this courtroom,” Mr. Rottenborn mentioned.
Ms. Heard has mentioned Mr. Depp’s violence usually occurred when he was utilizing medicine and alcohol.
However Mr. Depp testified Tuesday that, whereas he had taken his first illicit drug as an 11-year-old coping with an abusive mom, the account Ms. Heard has put ahead about his drug use was “grossly embellished.”
He mentioned he had grow to be hooked on Roxicodone, an opioid, when he was prescribed it following an damage on the set of the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, however that he had detoxed from that drug throughout their relationship.
“I’m not some maniac who must be excessive or loaded on a regular basis,” he mentioned, including that Ms. Heard’s pals, in actual fact, marveled at how little impact medicine and alcohol had on him.
Mr. Depp’s attorneys have argued that Ms. Heard has been “residing and respiration this lie” surrounding home abuse for years and that the actor’s drug and alcohol use didn’t make him an abuser.
“Mr. Depp, like all of us, will not be good, however he’s not an abuser,” mentioned Camille Vasquez, one of many actor’s attorneys, final week.
In prior days, the jury and 4 alternates have heard reside testimony or recordings of video depositions from a number of witnesses referred to as by Mr. Depp’s attorneys, together with a sister who has acted as a private manager, Christi Dembrowski; a doctor, Dr. David Kipper, who mentioned he handled the actor for opioid dependancy; and the couple’s marriage counselor, Laurel Anderson, who mentioned she noticed “mutual abuse” within the relationship.
Individuals have mentioned they count on the trial to final about six weeks, and Ms. Heard can also be anticipated to testify. Mr. Depp’s testimony will proceed on Wednesday.