Johnny Depp’s wild testimony, cross-examination in defamation case against Amber Heard: EXPLANATION

FAIRFAX, Va. — For the past three days, Johnny Depp has been testifying in a libel trial over at least theoretically whether Amber Heard defamed him in a 2018 newspaper op-ed.

The trial has escalated into a spectacle in which Depp has testified to everything from taking pills as a child to a near-collapse where the actor said he touched the walls with his severed finger with his own blood written to tell the alleged lies to his ex-wife.


Heard’s lawyers had warned the trial would become a sordid soap opera that would expose the “real Johnny Depp.” Depp denies ever molesting Heard, and despite the public attention drawn to his drug use and violent text messages, he said he’s obsessed with revealing the truth and doesn’t want to disappoint those who’ve looked up to him .

“My goal is the truth because it was killing me that all of these people that I’ve met over the years … that these people would think I was a scammer,” Depp testified Tuesday.

The actor has said his film career has suffered after Heard wrote a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure who portrays domestic violence.”

Heard never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp’s attorneys said it was a clear indication of allegations Heard made when she filed for a restraining order against him in 2016.

Depp said the allegations and the article made him a Hollywood outcast and cost him his role in the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.

Heard’s attorneys have argued that Heard’s opinion piece was accurate and did not defame him. They said Depp’s ruined reputation was due to his own bad behavior, arguing that The Walt Disney Co. had decided months before the article’s publication to remove Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean.


Heard has accused Depp of physically and sexually assaulting her on numerous occasions before and during their brief marriage, often in situations where she said he drank so much he later passed out.

Depp said Heard’s allegations of his drug abuse were “grossly embellished” and that he never got out of hand during that time. The two met in 2009, married in 2015, and Heard filed for divorce a year later.

Heard’s attorneys have highlighted many text messages Depp has sent to friends detailing the copious amounts of alcohol and drugs he has been using at a time when he claims he is not a problem drinker.

RELATED: Johnny Depp testifies that Amber Heard attacked him, he never hit back

Depp filed a similar lawsuit against a local newspaper in England and lost. The judge there found that Depp had assaulted Heard a dozen times, leaving her in fear for her life on several occasions.

Heard is expected to testify later in the trial.

How did DEPP and Heard meet?

Depp and Heard met while filming The Rum Diary, a 2011 Depp-produced film based on an originally unpublished novel by the late Hunter S. Thompson, which Depp discovered while dating Thompson, his Friend going through the gonzo journalist’s papers.

Depp said Heard is the perfect embodiment of the book’s femme fatale character named Chenault. “This is the Chenault that Hunter wants,” Depp recalled. “Yep, she could definitely kill me.”

They began dating a few years later, with Depp portraying the early part of their relationship as a classic Hollywood romance. Depp called Heard “Slim” while she called him “Steve,” nicknames used by characters Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not.

Depp, 58, said he was also aware of the age gap between himself and Heard, 36, comparing it to the 25-year gap between Bogart and Bacall.

“I appreciate the fact that I was gruff old Fogy and she was this beautiful creature,” he said.


Depp said things started to change in his marriage when he felt like Heard saw him as “suddenly wrong about everything.”

Depp said Heard attacked, humiliated and verbally abused him a little. The insults escalated into full-blown circular reasoning with “no way in or out,” Depp said. “It was kind of rapid fire, kind of endless parade of insults,” Depp said.

Johnny Depp Testifies At Amber Heard Defamation Trial: ‘I’m Obsessed With The Truth’

Shortly after, Heard began physically attacking him, Depp said. He said she once threw two bottles of vodka at him, the second of which exploded, severing his finger to the point of exposing bone. Depp said he used the resulting blood to write on his walls and tell lies that he caught Heard telling. At the hospital, Depp said he lied to protect Heard and told doctors he injured himself. Heard’s lawyers claim he cut his own finger.


One of the main points of contention is what happened on a 2014 private flight from Boston to Los Angeles that Depp and Heard took while he was filming the gangster film Black Mass.

Heard said Depp attacked her on the flight while he was drunk.

Depp testified that he took two oxycodone pills – an opiate he admits was addicted to at the time – and locked himself in the plane’s bathroom and fell asleep to avoid their anger.

He told the court that he only had a glass of champagne when he boarded the plane. However, texts he sent to actor Paul Bettany at the time indicated that he drank half a bottle of whiskey, “a thousand Red Bull vodkas” and two bottles of champagne before the flight.

Heard’s attorneys have also pointed to text messages Depp sent to Heard after the flight, in which they said: “Once again, I find myself in a place of shame and regret. … I have to get better.”


Heard’s attorneys have focused on text messages Depp sent to Bettany expressing a desire to kill and defile Heard.

After saying he wanted to burn her, Depp wrote: “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!

Depp apologized to the jury for the vulgar language, saying that “in the heat of the pain I felt, I went to dark places”. He also compared his writing to Thompson’s gonzo style, which often involved brash language and embellished thought.


Despite the dark allegations and mundane text messages read to the court, there were occasional humorous moments in Depp’s testimony.

When asked if he sometimes drinks whiskey in the morning, Depp replied, “I mean, isn’t it always happy hour?”

When asked if he ever gave musician Marilyn Manson pills, Depp admitted that he once gave Manson a pill to make him “stop talking as much.”

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

Depp also admitted he’s never seen Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the 2003 megahit in which he played the insane Captain Jack Sparrow. When asked how the film had fared, Depp smiled and said, “I haven’t seen it, but … well, the film apparently did pretty well.”

And then there’s the bizarre affair of the alleged penis vandalism. Heard’s attorney repeatedly asked Depp if he was responsible for drawing a penis in a painting at his home shortly after the actor said Heard severed his finger. “Drawing a penis on a painting wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind,” Depp testified.


The trial will take place in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia.

Heard’s attorneys had attempted to hear the case in California, where the actors reside. However, a judge ruled that Depp had the right to bring the case in Virginia because the Washington Post’s computer servers for its online edition are located in the county.

Depp’s attorneys said they brought the case to Virginia in part because the laws here were more favorable to their case.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Johnny Depp’s wild testimony, cross-examination in defamation case against Amber Heard: EXPLANATION

Dais Johnston

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