FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Actor Johnny Depp scoffed at the notion during court testimony Wednesday that his constant quarrels with ex-wife Amber Heard would ever prompt him to hit her.
“Violence isn’t necessary,” he said from the stand during his libel lawsuit against Heard, his second day of testimony. “Why would you hit someone to make them agree with you?”
Depp described a brutal fight that occurred as Heard drifted towards divorcing, and accused Heard’s friends of pretending he was assaulting him. Heard applied for a temporary restraining order shortly after and was photographed looking with marks all over her face.
He testified that Heard was on the phone with a friend shouting, “Stop hitting me Johnny!” even though he was standing nowhere near her.
The fight had started as Depp said he’d come to the realization after his mother’s death that it was time for the couple to split. The argument intensified, he said, as Depp accused her of leaving human fecal matter on his side of the bed in the penthouse they’d shared. He stated that Heard was persistently denialist, and he believed she was lying.
“She tried to blame it on the dogs. They were teacup Yorkies, 4 pounds each,” he said.
Heard accused Depp, who she claims has assaulted and abused her multiple times before and during their brief marriage. Depp filed suit after Heard impliedly mentioned those allegations in an article she published for The Washington Post in 2018.
Depp began to address Heard’s accusations in detail Wednesday. Heard has said the first time she was assaulted was when Depp slapped her in 2013 after she made fun of a tattoo he had — one that used to say “Winona Forever” when he was dating the actress Winona Ryder that he altered to “Wino Forever” after they broke up.
“It didn’t happen,” he said of the alleged assault. “Why would I take such great offense to someone making fun of a tattoo on my body? That allegation never made any sense to me.”
Later, he addressed an alleged assault on a private plane flight in 2014 from Boston to Los Angeles when he was filming the movie “Black Mass.” Heard has said Depp became blackout intoxicated and assaulted her on the plane ride.
Depp testified he took two oxycodone pills — an opiate to which he admits he was addicted at the time — and locked himself in the plane bathroom and fell asleep to avoid her badgering.
He went to great lengths explaining the differences between falling asleep on opioids and drinking alcohol.
Depp claimed that he had only drunk one glass of Champagne before boarding the aircraft. But according to evidence introduced at a similar trial in England where Depp sued a British tabloid — a lawsuit he lost — Depp texted his friend, actor Paul Bettany, and referenced drinking half a bottle of whiskey, “a thousand Red Bull vodkas” and two bottles of Champagne before the flight.
Depp also discussed a violent argument in 2015 — shortly after they were married — in Australia that resulted in the tip of his middle finger being cut off. He said Heard was irate that Depp’s lawyers had asked her to sign a post-nuptial agreement. Depp claimed he went to the basement bar, where he started drinking vodka. This angered Heard even more.
She claimed that she had thrown two vodka bottles at his face, and the second exploded right where he was holding the bar. It severed the finger until it reached the bone.
“I don’t know what a nervous breakdown feels like, but that’s probably the closest I’ve ever been,” he said.
Depp stated that he wrote on the walls using his own blood in an attempt to recall Heard’s lies.
Depp claimed that he injured himself. Concurrent text messages, which were introduced to support this claim, also refer to Depp injuring his self. Depp claimed he told her a lie about the accident to save her. In opening statements, Heard’s lawyers said the laws of physics do not support Depp’s story and they will introduce evidence to prove that.
Most of Depp’s Day 1 testimony in Fairfax County Circuit Court focused on his descriptions of a difficult childhood, his rise to fame as an actor after an aborted music career and his early relationship with Heard after meeting her on the 2011 film “The Rum Diary.” The two married in 2015 and she filed for divorce a year later.
Taking the stand for a second day, Depp said things began to change in his marriage when he felt that he “was suddenly just wrong about everything” in Heard’s eyes.
Depp stated that violence would sometimes ensue. Sometimes it was with Heard’s slap, shove, or throwing a remote control on the television or wine into his face.
“There were times when I would just go and lock myself in the bathroom or a place where she couldn’t get to,” Depp said.
Depp said he used drugs and drank alcohol as a way to cope with Heard’s abuse and said she was also a heavy drinker.
Depp stated that Heard had once quit drinking to try and save their relationship. Depp claimed that Heard was unable to stop drinking, even after he requested her help in sobriety.
Depp sued Heard after she wrote a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
While she did not mention Depp directly, Depp and his attorneys said that this was an obvious reference to the accusations Heard made about them in 2016. She requested a restraining orders against Heard.
Depp said the accusations and the article contributed to an unfairly ruined reputation that made him a Hollywood pariah and cost him his role in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise.
Heard’s lawyers say the article is accurate and does not defame him. They say Depp’s ruined reputation is the result of his own bad behavior, including drug and alcohol abuse.
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