Johnny Depp appears in Tuesday’s libel trial against Amber Heard

FAIRFAX, Va. — Actor Johnny Depp told jurors Tuesday he felt compelled to sue his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation because she became obsessed with the truth after she accused him of domestic violence.

“My goal is the truth because it killed me that all of these people that I’ve met over the years … that these people would think I was a fraud,” he said.

Depp flatly denied ever hitting Heard, calling the domestic allegations against him disturbing, heinous and “not based on any kind of truth.”

“Nothing like that ever happened,” Depp said in court.

Alluding to the decline in his career since Heard made allegations of abuse against him, the former ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star said, “It’s been six years of difficult times. It’s very strange when one day you’re like Cinderella, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo.”

In the opening hour of Tuesday’s testimony, Depp provided long, deliberate answers to questions about his childhood and early film career, speaking in his signature deep baritone. After a lengthy reply, he admitted, “I forgot what the original question was.”

But he said he waited six years to tell his side of the story after Heard filed for divorce and sought a restraining order against him in 2016.

The trial began more than a week ago, but prior to Tuesday, jurors had seen the Hollywood star sit in silence with his team of attorneys as each side attempted to embarrass the other in a trial that Heard’s attorneys had accurately predicted would that it would become a mud fight soap opera.

After denying Heard’s abuse allegations, Depp spoke at length about a childhood where physical abuse at the hands of his mother was “constant.” The abuse took the form of ashtrays being hurled or a high-heeled shoe or phone being hit with him, Depp said. When he became a father, Depp said he made sure his children didn’t experience that kind of parenting.

Regarding Heard, Depp said she was “too good to be true” early in their relationship.

“She was thoughtful,” Depp said of the woman he married in 2015. “She was loving. She was smart. She was friendly. she was funny She was understanding… We had a lot in common, certain blues music. .. literature.”

But Depp said that within a year and a half it was like Heard had become a different person.

So far, Depp’s friends, family and co-workers have testified that Heard was the aggressor in the relationship and physically assaulted him on multiple occasions. Heard’s former personal assistant testified that Heard spat in her face in a fit of rage.

Amber Heard’s former assistant says she never physically abused Johnny Depp the actress

Meanwhile, jurors have seen text messages in which Depp used foul language to describe Heard and his desire to get revenge on her. Heard’s attorneys said he physically and sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions, often in situations where he drank so much that he later passed 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 drug abuse had been “grossly embellished” and that there weren’t any moments when he got out of hand.

“I’m not a nut who needs to be high or charged all the time,” Depp said.

The actor said he was addicted to painkillers stemming from an injury on the set of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. He also said he took his mother’s “nerve pills” as a child. And he admitted to having taken many substances “to numb me from the spirits over the years, the ghosts that accompanied me from my youth”.

But Depp said he has detoxified from the painkillers and has experienced long periods of sobriety over the years.

“The characterization of my ‘drug abuse’ that Ms. Heard provided is grossly embellished,” Depp said. “And I’m sorry to say, but a lot of this is just plain wrong. I think it was an easy target for them to hit. Because if you’ve trusted someone for a certain number of years, and you’ve told them all the secrets of your life, of course that information can be used against you.”

The lawsuit itself is said to be over whether Heard defamed Depp when she wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence. In the article, Heard described himself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”

She never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp and his attorneys said it was a clear reference to allegations Heard made in 2016, when the couple was getting divorced and she was seeking a restraining order against him.

Heard’s attorneys, who filed their own counterclaim against Depp, said nothing in the article defaming him. They say the abuse allegations are true and that the damage to Depp’s reputation – which he says got him fired from the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise – stems from his own bad behavior.

Depp’s testimony is expected to last through Wednesday. Heard is scheduled to testify later in the trial.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Johnny Depp appears in Tuesday’s libel trial against Amber Heard

Dais Johnston

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