Johnny Depp testifies in defamation trial in opposition to Amber Heard

Actor Johnny Depp took the witness stand Tuesday in his authorized battle in opposition to his former spouse Amber Heard, whom he accuses of mendacity about his abusing her throughout their transient marriage.

Depp is suing Heard for defamation over an essay she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, wherein she mentioned she had change into the “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although the article by no means mentions Depp by identify, his attorneys mentioned it not directly refers to allegations she made in opposition to him throughout their 2016 divorce.

The trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, is anticipated to take weeks. A Fairfax choose dominated in 2019 that Depp was inside his rights to deliver the case there as a result of The Washington Post’s on-line editions are printed by means of servers within the county.

Depp instructed the court docket Tuesday that he was “obsessed with the truth” and, although he argued along with his ex-wife, he by no means hit Heard.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor went additional and testified that he had by no means “struck a woman in my life.”

“Because the news of this accusation had sort of permeated the industry and then made its way through media and social media … and since I knew that there was no truth to it whatsoever, I felt my responsibility to stand up not only for myself in that instance, but stand up for my children who at the time were 14 and 16,” Depp mentioned.

Throughout the three-hour testimony, Depp talked about his experiences of abuse from his mom, his ascension to fame and his expertise with drug and alcohol abuse.

Little time was spent on his relationship with Heard, who he felt was the proper companion for him originally of their relationship. But Depp mentioned that he started to note “unusual” reactions from Heard when he broke routine or did not wish to go to mattress concurrently her.

He detailed one incident wherein he took off his boots after work, upsetting Heard, who mentioned that it was her “job” after she had executed so every single day he returned residence from work.

“Then you started to notice other little tidbits and things that come out,” Depp mentioned. “And then within a year, year and a half, she had become this — another person.”

Depp’s attorneys argued in opening statements final week that Heard ruined his popularity by “choosing to lie about him for her own personal benefit.”

Heard’s attorneys pushed again, describing Depp as an alcohol- and substance-dependent abuser who’s searching for revenge.

They mentioned in opening statements that Heard’s essay was written to focus on laws to guard survivors and that it by no means detailed allegations in opposition to Depp.

Depp addressed Heard’s allegations concerning substance abuse, saying he started taking his mom’s “nerve pills” on the age of 11 and proceeded to self-medicate with substances through the years as a coping mechanism for trauma. But he denied ever changing into “out of control” whereas beneath the affect.

“When I was with Ms. Heard and her friends and we were all drinking wine and I was smoking marijuana, they used to tease me because of what they sort of said was a ludicrous tolerance,” Depp mentioned. “Because I’ve never appeared loaded or high or any of that … no one would have ever known.”

Depp additionally admitted to being hooked on an opiate he was prescribed after injuring himself on the set of the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. He mentioned he detoxed from the drug previous to his relationship with Heard.

He accused Heard of utilizing his historical past with substance abuse in opposition to him as a result of it was an “easy target.”

“Once you’ve trusted somebody for a certain amount of years and you’ve told them all the secrets of your life, that information then of course can be used against you … I am not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time,” Depp mentioned.

Depp’s testimony ended at about 5 p.m. ET, and he’s anticipated to be cross-examined by Heard’s attorneys Wednesday.

Their former {couples} therapist, Laurel Anderson, testified that the abuse seemed to be “mutual” throughout their marriage. Anderson mentioned Depp instructed her that Heard “gave as good as she got.”

Heard would quite be in a struggle with Depp than see him go away, and she or he “would strike him to keep him there,” Anderson mentioned. During cross-examination, Anderson clarified that her understanding was that Heard “fought back” after Depp turned bodily. 

In court docket filings earlier than the trial, Heard mentioned she hit Depp solely in self-defense or in protection of her youthful sister, in response to The New York Times.

Anderson additionally testified that Heard, in a session performed individually from her husband, mentioned Depp hit her and that she confirmed her bruises.

Heard was granted a protecting order in May 2016 after she alleged that Depp hit her within the face with a cellphone. She introduced proof to the court docket — a photograph of a bruise to her face — and claimed he pulled her hair, screamed at her and hit her repeatedly.

“During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny Depp has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” Heard mentioned in a sworn declaration on the time.

She additionally mentioned she lived in concern of Depp, saying he had a “short fuse” and terrorized her.

Depp, the star of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” motion pictures, denies having ever bodily abused Heard. It is his second try to sue over the allegation; a libel go well with within the United Kingdom failed two years in the past.

Depp sued News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun, for calling him a “wife beater” in a 2018 article concerning the couple.

Justice Andrew Nicol dominated in opposition to Depp, saying the British tabloid had introduced substantial proof to indicate that Depp was violent in opposition to Heard on at the very least 14 events.

Depp’s attorneys mentioned Nicol relied an excessive amount of on Heard’s testimony, describing her as an unreliable witness and a compulsive liar.

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