Johnny Depp begins testimony in defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard

“There were arguments and stuff like that, but I myself never got to the point of attacking Miss Heard in any way – nor have I ever hit any woman in my life.”

At the heart of Depp’s $50 million lawsuit is an essay Heard wrote for Washington Post in 2018, where he said he had become a “public figure representing domestic violence”.

Actor Johnny Depp sworn in at trial.

Actor Johnny Depp sworn in at trial.Credit:AP

Although the article never mentions Depp by name, his lawyers argue that it indirectly refers to the allegations Heard made against him in 2016 when the couple divorced.

At the time, he requested a restraining order against him and accused him of having “violent and volatile” episodes while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Depp claims the op-ed ruined his career, and that he was kicked out of the lucrative Disney Pirates of the Caribbean franchise days after the work is published.

“I feel a responsibility to break records and the only way I can get to the point where I can speak has really taken these six whole years – and it’s been six years of probation,” said Depp, calm and soft-spoken. . his ex-wife was watching a few feet away.

Pirates of the Caribbean fans Hannah Yeahgley, Ethan Diddlemeyre and Nick Lusby outside Depp's defamation trial with signs they made in support of the actor.

Pirates of the Caribbean fans Hannah Yeahgley, Ethan Diddlemeyre and Nick Lusby outside Depp’s defamation trial with signs they made in support of the actor.Credit:Farrah Tomazin

“It’s very strange when one day you become Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you become Quasimodo. I don’t deserve it, neither do my children, nor do the people who have believed in me all along.

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“I am obsessed with the truth. So today is actually the first opportunity I can talk about this case.”

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The trial kicked off earlier this month, peeling the curtains of ugly celebrity soap operas that were expected to last for weeks.

Among the potential witnesses expected to testify on Heard’s behalf – either in person or virtually – are billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, and actors James Franco, Ellen Barkin, and Jason Momoa.

Avengers Star Paul Bettany is expected to be one of the witnesses called on Depp’s behalf in connection with a series of old text messages, one of which reportedly suggested “burning” Heard.

So far, Depp’s friends, family and employees have testified that Heard was the aggressor in the relationship, physically assaulting him several times.

In response, Heard – who has yet to provide evidence – has filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp, claiming that his allegations are true and that any reputational damage to Depp was due to his own conduct.

However, much of today’s testimony is spent by Depp giving the jury a glimpse of what his life was like before Heard, including the tremendous success he had with shows like Jump Street 21, Donnie Brasco and Caribbean Pirates series.

He also spoke of the early days of his relationship with Heard, telling the court he seemed “too good to be true” at first, but that he soon began to see red flags, such as the time he punished him for taking his own. boots.

He also discusses drug use, which he admits began years ago to numb his childhood pain, but insists it’s not as problematic as Heard describes it.

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“I think I was an easy target for him to hit because, once you have trusted someone for a few years and you have told them all the secrets of your life, that information can of course be used against you. ,” she says.

On the outside, the court of public opinion seemed to be on his side.

“I can’t believe she did what she claims,” ​​said one woman, who gave her name only as Katrina.

“He was with the French woman [model Vanessa Paradis] for years and never touched it.

“He was with another woman for several years and never touched her, so why is he suddenly a wife-beater now?

“That doesn’t make sense.”

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