Johnny Depp took the stand in the libel trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The actor entered the witness booth on the fifth day of the trial, which began on Monday, April 11, in Fairfax, Virginia, following Depp’s lawsuit against Heard in March 2019. Depp argues that she defamed him in an article in review December 2018. posted in washington post titled “I spoke out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture. That has to change.”
Depp said that “about six years ago, Ms. Heard made some pretty egregious and disturbing criminal allegations” against him, adding that the allegations were not within “any kind of truth”.
He said, “It was a complete shock… I just didn’t need to go in that direction.”
Depp said there were “discussions” in the relationship, “but I never got to the point of hitting Mrs. Heard in any way nor have I ever hit any woman in my life.”
He added that Ms Heard’s allegations “penetrated the industry”.
Depp said the story became a “quote fact” as it made its way through the global media.
“Because I knew there was no truth to it, I felt it was my responsibility to stand up for myself, not only for myself in that case, but also for my children, who were 14 and 16 at the time,” Depp continued. “So they were in high school and I thought it was diabolical that my kids had to go to school and that their friends or people at school approached them with the infamous People magazine cover with Mrs. Heard with a dark bruise on her face.”
The actor said he wanted to clear his name and cleanse his children of “this horrible thing that they had to read that their father” had done “that wasn’t true.”
“My goal is the truth because it killed me that the people that I had talked to, that I had met over the years … thought that I was a fraud and that I had lied to them,” he said.
Depp said that the last six years had been “difficult times”.
“It’s weird when you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo,” he added.
Johnny Depp Tells Court Amber Heard’s Abuse Allegations Turned Him From ‘Cinderella To Quasimodo’
Depp said he felt exposed testifying as he has been a private person, wanting to protect his children from “paparazzi hordes” and that he did not want his children to see their parents as “news”.
“I can’t say I’m ashamed because I know I’m doing the right thing,” he added.
Speaking of his childhood, Depp said he thought he had been normal “up to a certain age”. After being born in Kentucky and moving (Mr. Depp noted that it was sometimes hard to always be the new kid), the family moved to South Florida when he was around seven years old.
Mr Depp said his mother was “very unpredictable” and her feet were “on fire”, constantly feeling the need to move.
“He had the ability to be as cruel as anyone,” Depp said, noting that this affected his brothers and father as well. She “she was quite violent and quite cruel”.
Describing his mother’s violence, Mr Depp said they could “throw an ashtray at her”. He added that he hit his children on the head and that he could use a “high-heeled shoe or a phone or whatever he had handy.”
She added that she began to be able to see when her mother was about to “get into a situation where she was going to get mad and someone was going to catch her. In general, it was me.”
Depp said the family was in shock and the brothers instinctively protected themselves when their mother passed by because “they didn’t know what was going to happen.”
He said his mother would call his brother “four eyes” after his glasses and “buck tooth” after his front teeth. She added that she grew up in eastern Kentucky, an area where she lived in “shantytowns.” Depp said that she “hated” her father’s “refined” parents.
Depp said the family learned to deal with physical abuse, but verbal and psychological abuse “tore us apart.”
He described his father as “kind”, “quiet” and “shy” who would “surprisingly remain very stoic” when Depp’s mother “handed over the pain”.
“He swallowed it, he took it,” Depp said, adding that he once saw his father hit a concrete wall and break his hand. “He remained a gentleman.”
“He was able to maintain his calm and composure” as well as his “relationship with his children,” Depp said. He is a good man.
Mr. Depp went on to say that his father would hit him with a belt if Betty Sue, his mother, ordered him to. The parents’ relationship finally came to an end when Mr. Depp was 15 years old. Mr. Depp’s father told him that he had had enough, adding: “Now you are the man.”
“I felt like I wasn’t ready to hear those words,” the actor said in court.
Depp said his father’s departure sent his mother into a “deep, dark depression” and he mimicked her by stumbling around the house after taking a multitude of “pills to try to get out.” She survived after having her stomach pumped at the hospital.
She said her early experiences of family life taught her how to raise children because she knew she needed to do the “opposite” of what her mother did.
“Never raise your voice in front of children,” he said, adding that he never wanted to “yell ‘no’” at them but show them that there are options. “You don’t have to stick the coat hanger into the electrical socket.”
At the beginning of his relationship with Heard, Depp said that she seemed to be “too good to be true”.
He said it “became normal” for Ms. Heard to take off her shoes when she came home from work and give him a glass of wine. When he came home one night and she was busy, he took off his boots, he said, adding that she came over “with this look on her face” and asked, “What did you just do?”
She said it was “my job” to remove his boots, according to Depp. “That’s what I do, you don’t do that, I do that.”
Depp said he “paused at the fact that she seemed visibly shocked or upset that he had broken her routine rules.”
“Within a year, a year and a half, he had become almost another person,” he added.
Depp said he had to increase his security after the first pirates of the Caribbean movie when people started trying to get into his house to see “Captain Jack Sparrow” and follow his family.
He said his mother seemed to “calm down” after taking some “nerve pills” and that he, at age 11, would also take one because he wanted to “calm down” but “didn’t know how.” and that he wanted to “escape from feeling so much.”
“That was the beginning, when I realized that nerve pills calm nerves,” he said, adding that he had taken every drug “that I knew of” by the age of 15.
He added that he never used any substance “to party” but that he took them “to fall asleep” as a “self-medication”.
“Ms. Heard’s characterization of my substance abuse is grossly embellished, and I’m sorry to say much of it is simply false. I think it was an easy target for her to hit,” Depp said from the witness stand.
“I’m not a maniac who needs to be loaded or high all the time,” he told the jury.
He said that Ms. Heard and her friends would “mock” him for his “ridiculous tolerance” because he never seemed affected by drugs or alcohol, later adding that the only thing he has ever been addicted to is prescription painkillers.
In her 2018 opinion piece, Ms. Heard wrote in part that “like many women, she had been sexually harassed and assaulted when she was of college age. But I kept quiet, I did not expect to file complaints to do justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”
“Then two years ago I became a public figure representing domestic abuse and felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women speaking out,” she added at the time.
While Mr. Depp is not mentioned in the article, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr. Depp is seeking compensation of “not less than $50 million”.