On Tuesday, Hollywood star Johnny Depp took the stand in the $50 million defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
In his roughly three-hour testimony, which continues on Wednesday, the acclaimed actor got candid about Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse, his history with substance abuse, and their relationship.
“My goal is the truth,” Depp noted.
The trial kicked off on April 11 and is set to continue for the next six weeks in the Washington, D.C.-adjacent jurisdiction. It will broadcast on Court TV.
It will take place from Monday to Thursday and will be off on Fridays. There also will be a break from May 9-12 as Judge Azcarate attends a previously scheduled judicial conference.
He is suing Heard for $50 million in a Fairfax County, Virginia court over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote about her experience with domestic abuse.
Depp was not referred to by name in Heard’s piece.
In the years prior to its publishing, Heard had alleged Depp bruised her face after throwing a phone at her in their Los Angeles home. Depp denied the allegation and was not charged with any crime.
However, the abuse allegations had cost him money and career opportunities.
The acclaimed actor’s testimony was the first opportunity he had to speak about the case in full.
Depp acknowledged in his testimony that he and Heard had arguments during their relationship but affirmed: “Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.”
He also described his parents’ tumultuous relationship and the verbal and physical abuse he and his siblings experienced from their mother.
Depp also alleged that his first experience with taking controlled substances occurred when he was roughly 11 years old and would take his mother’s prescription pills to escape the chaotic nature of what they were living through.
He noted that Heard’s op-ed led to financial losses for him, including being dropped from future “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies after he led the franchise for 15 years.
“One day you’re Cinderella so to speak and then in zero point six seconds you’re Quasimodo. I didn’t deserve that and nor did my children, nor did the people who had believed in me all these years,” Depp added.
Depp and Amber met on the set of “The Rum Diary” in 2009, married in 2015 and went on to be embroiled in a contentious split for months.
In his testimony, he spoke about the beginning of his relationship with Heard, saying “from what I recall, what I remember, she was too good to be true. She was attentive, she was loving, she was smart, she was kind, she was funny, she was understanding. We had many things in common,”.
Depp said Heard was “wonderful” for some time between a year and a year and a half. He also described growing close to Heard’s family.
“Then things just started to change — or things started to reveal themselves, is a better way to put it,” he added
The couple settled their divorce in August 2016, releasing a joint statement that read in part, “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.”
Heard had been unsuccessful in her attempts to get the suit dismissed. She filed a $100 million defamation countersuit against Depp in 2020, which is ongoing.
Late last year, Depp lost a case in the UK against News Group Newspapers and Dan Wootton, executive editor of The Sun, over an article that claimed he was violent toward Heard while they were together. The UK’s High Court ruled in the publisher’s favor.
Lawyers for the newspaper group argued in court filings that Depp beat Heard, causing her to suffer significant injury, and on occasion leading to her fearing for her life. They presented evidence, including photos, audio recordings, and Depp’s own text messages.
During the trial, Depp said the tabloid’s claims that he was violent toward Heard were “completely untrue”.
Judge Andrew Nicol said in his judgment that the paper’s claims had been shown to be substantially true.