Johnny Depp takes stand in trial against ex-wife Amber Heard: 'Six years of trying times'
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. - Johnny Depp took the stand Tuesday in the defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard that's playing out in a Fairfax County, Virginia courthouse.
According to an online report on People.com, a cross-examination will happen Wednesday.
Actor Johnny Depp took the stand Tuesday in his libel lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, saying her domestic abuse allegations against him were disturbing, heinous and "not based in any species of truth."
"Nothing of the kind ever happened," Depp said in court.
He added: "Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way. Nor have I ever struck any woman in my life."
Alluding to the fall his career has taken since Heard levied abuse allegations against him, the former "Pirates of the Caribbean" star said, "it’s been six years of trying times. It’s very strange when one day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo."
Depp added that he’s concerned for his children and the people who have believed in him.
"I am obsessed with the truth," Depp said. "So today is actually my first opportunity that I’ve been able to speak about this case."
After denying Heard’s abuse allegations, Depp spoke at length about a childhood in which physical abuse from his mother was "constant." The abuse came in the form of ashtrays being flung or a high-heeled shoe or telephone being used to beat him, Depp said. When he became a father, Depp said, he made sure his children didn’t experience that kind of upbringing.
In terms of Heard, Depp said she seemed "too good to be true" at the beginning of their relationship.
"She was attentive," Depp said of the woman he married in 2015. "She was loving. She was smart. She was kind. She was funny. She was understanding … We had many things in common, certain blues music … literature."
But Depp said that within a year and a half, it was as if Heard had become another person.
The trial began last week when a jury was selected in a long-anticipated libel lawsuit filed by Depp against Heard over an op-ed piece she wrote in The Washington Post in 2018 in which Heard refers to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse."
The Post article doesn't mention Depp by name, but he says it clearly refers to her allegation that she suffered physical abuse at his hands. Depp denies the allegation.
US actor Johnny Depp (C) is seen during the $50 million Depp vs Heard defamation trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on April 12, 2022. - Allegations of domestic abuse levelled against Depp by US actress Amber Heard have h
Depp's older sister, Christi Dembrowski, faced a barrage of questions from Heard's lawyers last week about Depp's alcohol and drug use.
Isaac Baruch, a longtime friend and next-door neighbor of Depp testified that Amber Heard told him Depp had hit her but he never saw evidence of abuse on her face.
Model, Amber Heard, and her now ex-husband, Johnny Depp, leave Southport Magistrates Court, Queensland, April 18, 2016. Heard received a fine for bringing pet dogs, Pistol and Boo, illegally into Australia in 2015. (Photo by Robert Shakespeare/Fairfa
US actor Johnny Depp leaves the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on April 11, 2022. - US actor Johnny Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against his former wife, US actress Amber Heard, after she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post i
A former personal assistant to Amber Heard, Kate James, testified in a video deposition that was played in court last week said she never saw the actress suffer any physical abuse at the hands of her then-husband but did say Heard once spit in her face when she asked for a higher salary.
Lawyers also presented a video deposition of Laurel Anderson, a couple's therapist who worked with Heard and Depp in 2015 who said both suffered childhood abuse. As a couple, they were engaged in "mutual abuse," Anderson testified.
So far, Depp’s friends, family and employees have testified that Heard was the aggressor in the relationship, physically attacking him on multiple occasions. Heard’s former personal assistant testified that Heard spit in her face in a fit of rage.
Meanwhile, jurors have seen text messages in which Depp uses vulgar language to describe Heard and spells out his desire to get revenge against her. Heard’s lawyers have said he physically and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions, often in situations where he drank so much he later blacked out.
Depp apologized for the text messages on Tuesday, saying they were written in the "heat of the moment" and he was "ashamed of some of the references made."
Depp said Heard’s allegations of his substance abuse have been "grossly embellished" and that there have been no moments where he’s been out of control.
"I’m not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time," Depp said.
The actor said he was addicted to pain medication, which stemmed from an injury on the set of the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie. He also said he took his mother’s "nerve pills" when he was a kid. And he admitted to taking many substances "over the years to numb myself of the ghosts, the wraiths that were still with me from my youth."
But Depp said he detoxed from the pain medication and has experienced long periods of sobriety over the years.
"The characterization of my ‘substance abuse’ that’s been delivered by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished," Depp said. "And I’m sorry to say, but a lot of it is just plainly false. I think that it was an easy target for her to hit. Because once you’ve trusted somebody for a certain amount of years, and you’ve told them all the secrets of your life, that information can of course be used against you."
Depp’s testimony is expected to stretch into Wednesday. Heard is scheduled to testify later in the trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report