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

For three days, Johnny Depp has been testifying in a libel trial that, at the very least in idea, is about whether or not Amber Heard defamed him in a 2018 newspaper op-ed.

The trial has was a spectacle during which Depp has testified about every thing from taking tablets as a toddler to a close to psychological breakdown during which the actor stated he used his severed finger to write down on the partitions in his personal blood to recount his ex-wife’s alleged lies.


Heard’s attorneys had warned that the trial could be a mudslinging cleaning soap opera that will expose the “real Johnny Depp.” Depp denies ever abusing Heard and, regardless of the general public consideration dropped at his drug use and his violent textual content messages, he stated he’s obsessive about revealing the reality and doesn’t wish to disappoint those that’d appeared as much as him.

“My goal is the truth because it killed me that all these people I had met over the years … that these people would think that I was a fraud,” Depp testified Tuesday.

The actor has stated that his film profession suffered after Heard wrote a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post during which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

Heard by no means talked about Depp by identify, however Depp’s attorneys stated it was a transparent reference to accusations Heard made when she sought a 2016 restraining order in opposition to him.

Depp stated the accusations and the article made him a Hollywood outcast and price him his position within the profitable “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise.

Heard’s attorneys have argued that Heard’s opinion piece was correct and didn’t defame him. They’ve stated Depp’s ruined repute was resulting from his personal dangerous habits and have argued that The Walt Disney Co. had already determined to ax Depp from “Pirates of the Caribbean” months earlier than the article’s publication.


Heard has accused Depp of bodily and sexually assaulting her on a number of events earlier than and through their temporary marriage, typically in conditions the place she stated he drank a lot he later blacked out.

Depp stated Heard’s allegations of his substance abuse have been “grossly embellished” and that he was by no means uncontrolled throughout that point interval. The two met in 2009, acquired married in 2015 and Heard filed for divorce a yr later.

Heard’s attorneys have highlighted many textual content messages Depp despatched to pals recounting the copious quantity of alcohol and medicines he had taken at a time during which he claims he wasn’t a problematic drinker.

Depp filed an identical lawsuit in England in opposition to a newspaper there and misplaced. The decide there discovered that Depp assaulted Heard on a dozen events and put her in concern for her life a number of instances.

Heard is anticipated to testify later within the trial.


Depp and Heard met by the filming of “The Rum Diary,” a 2011 Depp-produced film based mostly upon an initially unpublished novel by the late Hunter S. Thompson that Depp found whereas going by the gonzo journalist’s papers with Thompson, his good friend.

Depp stated Heard was the right embodiment of the e book’s femme fatale character named Chenault. “That’s the Chenault that Hunter wants,” Depp recalled. “Yep, she could definitely kill me.”

They began relationship a number of years later, with Depp portraying the early a part of their relationship as a traditional Hollywood romance. Depp would name Heard “Slim,” whereas she referred to as him “Steve,” nicknames utilized by the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall characters within the 1944 movie “To Have and Have Not.”

Depp, 58, stated he was additionally cognizant of the age distinction between himself and Heard, 36, and in contrast it to the 25-year hole between Bogart and Bacall.

“I acknowledge the fact I was the old, craggy fogey and she was this beautiful creature,” he stated.


Depp stated issues started to alter in his marriage when he felt that he “was suddenly just wrong about everything” in Heard’s eyes.

Depp stated Heard made little digs at him, demeaned and berated him. The insults escalated into full-fledged round arguments from which there was “no way in or out,” Depp stated. “It was sort of a rapid-fire, sort of endless parade of insults,” Depp stated.

Soon after, Heard started bodily attacking him, Depp stated. He stated she as soon as threw two bottles of vodka at him, the second of which exploded and severed his finger to the purpose the place bone was uncovered. Depp stated he used the ensuing blood to write down on his partitions and recount lies during which he had caught Heard. At the hospital, Depp stated he lied to guard Heard and instructed the docs that he had injured himself. Heard’s attorneys contend he minimize his personal finger.


One of the chief factors in rivalry is what occurred on a 2014 non-public flight from Boston to Los Angeles that Depp and Heard took whereas he was filming the gangster movie “Black Mass.”

Heard has stated Depp assaulted her on the flight whereas he was blackout drunk.

Depp testified he took two oxycodone tablets — an opiate to which he admits he was addicted on the time — and locked himself within the aircraft toilet and fell asleep to keep away from her badgering.

He instructed the court docket that he drank solely a glass of Champagne whereas boarding the flight. But texts he despatched to the actor Paul Bettany on the time referenced ingesting half a bottle of whiskey, “a thousand Red Bull vodkas” and two bottles of Champagne earlier than the flight.

Heard’s attorneys have additionally pointed to textual content messages Depp despatched to Heard after the flight, saying, “Once again I find myself in a place of shame and regret. … I must get better.”


Heard’s attorneys have targeted on textual content messages Depp despatched to Bettany during which he expressed a want to kill and defile Heard.

After saying he wished to burn her, Depp wrote, “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will (expletive) her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”

Depp has apologized to the jury for the vulgar language and stated that “in the heat of the pain I was feeling, I went to dark places.” He additionally in contrast his writing to Thompson’s gonzo fashion, which frequently integrated brash language and embellished ideas.


Despite the darkish accusations and profane textual content messages being learn to the court docket, Depp’s testimony has once in a while featured humorous moments.

Asked whether or not he would generally drink whiskey within the morning, Depp responded, “I mean, isn’t happy hour any time?”

And requested whether or not he had ever given tablets to musician Marilyn Manson, Depp conceded that he as soon as gave Manson a capsule to get him to “stop talking so much.”

Depp additionally admitted that he’s by no means watched “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the 2003 megahit during which he performed the unhinged Captain Jack Sparrow. Asked how the movie fared, Depp smiled and stated, “I didn’t see it, but … well, the film did pretty well, apparently.”

And then there’s the weird matter of the alleged penis vandalism. Heard’s lawyer repeatedly requested Depp whether or not he was accountable for drawing a penis on a portray inside his dwelling shortly after the actor stated Heard severed his finger. “Drawing a penis on a painting was not the first thing on my mind,” Depp testified.


The trial is going down in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia.

Heard’s attorneys had sought to have the case tried in California, the place the actors reside. But a decide dominated that Depp was inside his rights to deliver the case in Virginia as a result of The Washington Post’s laptop servers for its on-line version are situated within the county.

Depp’s attorneys have stated they introduced the case in Virginia partly as a result of the legal guidelines listed below are extra favorable to their case.

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