Johnny Depp returns to court over marriage to Amber Heard on Monday

FAIRFAX, Va. — Actor Johnny Depp ended four grueling days on the witness stand Monday, calmly telling jurors he filed his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife because it was his best chance of getting his reputation back, just hours after they had heard audio clips in which he insulted his wife with gross vulgarities.

“It was the only time I was able to stand up and use my own voice,” Depp said of his decision to sue Amber Heard over a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post in which she described herself as “a personality.” of public life” refers to the depiction of domestic violence.”

He further denied ever hitting Heard and accused her of hitting him and throwing objects such as paint cans and vodka bottles at him. And jurors heard an audio clip of a conversation between Depp and Heard, in which she appears to be mocking him, implying that he would not be believed or respected if he publicly portrayed her as the perpetrator.

“Tell them I, Johnny Depp, I’m a victim of domestic violence … and see how many people believe you or side with you,” Heard says in the recording.

EXPLAINER: Johnny Depp’s wild testimony, cross-examination

However, the previous Monday they heard footage in which Depp referred to the violence that could ensue if their arguments escalated.

“The next step, if I don’t go away … will be a bloodbath, like on the island,” Depp says on the recording.

In other clips, Depp loudly shouts vulgarities at his wife, calls her a demeaning name and yells at her, “You stupid F…”.

Depp winced on the stand as one of the clips played; Heard appeared to be fighting back tears at several points as she listened to the recordings.

Heard’s comment never mentions Depp by name, but he argues that he was still defamed because parts of the article clearly refer to abuse allegations she made in 2016 when she filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order.

The clips were part of a lengthy cross-examination of Depp that began last week and ended late Monday morning.

Throughout the cross-examination, Heard’s attorneys focused on Depp’s drinking, drug use, and charged interactions with Heard during their relationship.

During Monday’s cross-examination, Depp actually said very little. Most of the interrogations consisted of Heard’s attorney playing audio clips or reading vulgar text messages sent by Depp and asking Depp if he read them correctly.

Throughout the cross-examination, Depp showed his displeasure with Rottenborn’s questions. When Rottenborn interrupted a response, Depp said, “I’ve been talking.” When Rottenborn said he considered the question fully answered, Depp replied, “As long as you’re happy.”

Depp also expressed his disapproval when Rottenborn read headlines from a series of negative articles about the actor, some dating back to 2014.

“These are all hit tracks. That’s crap,” said Depp.

Rottenborn introduced the articles to demonstrate that it was Depp’s long history of bad behavior, not the 2018 Post article, that tarnished his reputation.

While the defamation lawsuit is said to focus on whether Depp was defamed in the article, most of the lawsuit has focused on ugly details of the couple’s brief marriage. Heard’s attorneys say Depp physically and sexually abused her and that Depp’s denials have no merit because he was often drunk and high to the point of passing out.

At Monday afternoon’s diversion, Depp attempted to explain some of his rude words. He said he often spoke figuratively or cracked inside jokes with friends, but added, “I’m ashamed that this needs to be spread around the world like peanut butter.”

And he again denied cutting off his own finger during a fight with Heard, despite telling people that at the time. He now says the finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him.

“Why would I start cutting off digits in my 50s?” he said, showing the jury his right hand. “I cannot take responsibility for what I now call Little Richard, my severed finger.”

The jury saw dozens of Depp’s texts to friends about his drinking, drug use and interactions with his then-wife, as well as his remorse for Heard and her father.

He has described the drug allegations against him as “grossly embellished,” although he admitted to using a lot of drugs.

Depp says the Post article contributed to an unfairly ruined reputation that made him a Hollywood outcast and cost him his role in the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Heard’s lawyers say Depp is solely to blame for his tarnished career.


Associated Press writer Ben Finley of Norfolk, Virginia contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Johnny Depp returns to court over marriage to Amber Heard on Monday

Dais Johnston

Dais Johnston is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dais Johnston joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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