Johnny Depp testifies at defamation trial

Depp
(CREDIT: BAKOUNINE, SHUTTERSTOCK)

The Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard $50 million defamation case has been underway since Monday and every day more and more sordid details of their tumultuous relationship have been revealed. 

Depp is suing Heard for three counts of defamation, citing her op-ed that was published on The Washington Post website and in its print newspaper, as well as Heard’s posting a link to the piece via her Twitter account where she claimed she was a victim of domestic abuse and implied Depp was a “wife beater.”

Heard, 35, has filed a countersuit against Depp, 58, seeking $100 million in damages and saying his legal team falsely accused her of fabricating claims against Depp.

In June 2018, Depp sued News Group Newspapers, the publisher of UK tabloid The Sun, and its editor Dan Wootton for libel in England, however, he lost that lawsuit as the judge decided that both Heard and Depp were BOTH guilty of abuse. 

The latest hearing began on Monday in a Fairfax, Virginia, courthouse and both attorneys didn’t pull any punches with their opening statements. Heard’s attorney claimed that Depp sexually assaulted her with a wine bottle and Depp’s attorney said Heard was flat out lying. 

On Tuesday, Depp said, “never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.”

Instead, Depp said, it was Heard who was violent with him. During his testimony Wednesday, he accused her of throwing two bottles of vodka at him in Australia after he suggested they get a post-nuptial agreement. The incident severed the tip of one of his fingers and subsequently delayed filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie he was working on at the time.

The court also heard recordings of the couple arguing.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you,” Heard was heard saying during a separate incident. “I was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched.”

Throughout the trial, both parties have brought evidence obtained when they were secretly filming or recording each other. On Thursday, Heard presented video evidence of Depp destroying the kitchen and Depp replied that he assaulted the cabinets and never assaulted Heard. 

Under cross-examination from Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn, Depp was also questioned about incriminating texts he sent friend and actor Paul Bettany. Rottenborn read out texts Depp sent to Bettany on June 11, 2013. One of them read: ‘Let’s burn Amber!!!’ Rottenborn asked Depp: ‘You see that?’

In a low voice, he responded: ‘I do see that.’

Rottenborn said: ‘You didn’t stop. The next text down says: ”Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!” I read that right?’

Depp said: ‘Yes.’

Rottenborn said: ‘I’d like to apologize to the court and the jury for some of the language I’m going to use.’ He read the next text Depp sent to Bettany which read: ‘I will f**k her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she is dead.’

Rottenborn said: Did I read that right?

Depp said: ‘You certainly did.’

Rottenborn said: ‘You wrote that about the woman who would later become your wife.’

Depp said: ‘Yes.’

After questioning Depp about more concerning texts Rottenborn questioned Depp about his childhood traumas and the abuse he endured at the hands of his own father.

The day ended with some audio shared with the court of Amber Heard begging Depp not to self harm as he asks her where he should cut himself.


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Depp and Heard’s relationship timeline:

In 2009, the two met on the set of The Rum Diary, a film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel of the same name. That same year Heard was arrested for allegedly physically assaulting her then-partner, Tasya van Ree, however, the charges against Heard were dropped after the victim, van Ree claims that cops “misinterpreted” the incident.

By 2012, the two ended their relationships with their significant others and publicly became a couple, however, court documents indicate they were together since the end of 2011. By 2015, they were married in a secret and private wedding in Los Angeles, and then again on Johnny’s private island in the Bahamas. 

After Depp repeatedly told Heard he wanted to end the marriage, she filed a temporary restraining order against Depp after she made a domestic-abuse complaint on May 21, 2016. However, an LAPD spokesperson states that their investigation into the May 21 claim bore “no evidence of a crime.”

By 2017 the whirlwind romance was over and the divorce was finalized. A non-disparagement clause, which prevents both Depp and Heard from speaking negatively about their marriage or ensuing divorce was inserted into the settlement. 

In 2018, Heard avoided violating that clause by not mentioning Depp by name when she painted herself to be a domestic abuse survivor in a Washington Post op-ed that sets off the series of lawsuits and countersuits that persist still.

Heard has not yet taken the stand.


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