Johnny Depp’s testimony continues in court with cross-examination from Amber Heard’s lawyers as they question the actor’s text exchanges that detail both his drug and alcohol use and vicious fights between him and his ex-wife in the libel lawsuit between the former couple.
Attorneys for actor Heard, who are trying to derail Depp’s libel lawsuit against her, summarized questioning Depp in a Virginia courtroom Thursday as they asked Depp about texts he sent to friends — including one about wanting to kill and defile his then-wife.
Thursday’s cross examination also included mention of Depp’s severed finger, for which he previously blamed Heard in his earlier testimonies after describing a fight in which he says she threw a bottle at him that “made contact (with my finger) and it shattered everywhere.” Heard’s lawyers showed photo evidence alleging that Depp used the severed finger to paint on mirrors and lampshades after the fight.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 35, for $50 million, alleging she defamed him in an opinion column she published in The Washington Post (which is printed in Fairfax County) in December 2018. In the column, she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse.
Depp said that Heard often violently attacked him. And he argued that her movie career suffered after the 2018 op-ed in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp’s lawyers said it was a clear reference to accusations Heard made when she sought a 2016 restraining order against him.
Heard’s lawyers argue that Depp has no credibility when he denies abusing Heard because he frequently drank and used drugs to the point of blacking out and failing to remember anything he did.
Lawyers use text messages, video to show Depp’s substance abuse, violence
Text messages between Depp and Heard, family members and friends were brought up often while Depp was on the stand to point out patterns of drug and alcohol use and how the substances affected his relationship with Heard.
“I, of course, pounded and displayed ugly colors to Amber on a recent journey,” Depp said in a text message to a friend, the actor Paul Bettany, in July 2013, which was shown to jurors.
“I am an insane person and not so fair headed after too much of the drink,” Depp continued. “Weed, pills… Fine!!! Booz??? My capacity is too large and I won’t stop… Ugly and sad… Oh, how I love it.”
Depp testimony:Johnny Depp details Amber Heard throwing ‘TV remote at my head’
One exchange between him and a colleague described the relationship between him and Heard being better while Depp was not using controlled substances.
“We’ve been perfect … all I had to do was send the monster away,” a text from Depp read.
Heard lawyer J. Benjamin Rottenborn also focused on another exchange that year between Depp and Bettany, in which Depp wrote: “Let’s burn Amber!!!”
Bettany responded: “Having thought it through I don’t think we should burn Amber.”
Depp texted: “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!”
A text between Depp and David Heard, Heard’s father, from December 2015 was also displayed in court. In the message, Depp apologized to David for going “too far” in a previous “fight” between himself and Heard.
“I cannot and WILL NOT excuse my part inside these dramas!!!” Depp wrote to Heard’s father. “But, I can promise you, with all confidence THEY WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!! My most sincere apologies if I’ve let you down…”
Depp responded on the stand: “It doesn’t say ‘physical fight.’ Fights can be arguments.”
In addition to texts, a video that Heard recorded of a conversation between her and Depp was shown, in which Depp could be seen slamming cabinet doors in his kitchen and pouring himself a large glass of wine. “I did assault a couple of cabinets, but I did not touch Ms. Heard as you can see,” Depp said.
When asked by Rottenborn if his behavior could be perceived as intimidating, Depp said, “If (Heard) was intimidated, why was she filming? If she was scared to death, why didn’t she leave?”
Everything to know:Johnny Depp, Amber Heard libel trial details, including Depp on the stand
Depp’s friendship with Marilyn Manson, exposed by attorneys
Rottenborn also brought up Depp’s friendships with Elton John, who Depp said was helping him get sober, and Marilyn Manson, who has several abuse allegations against him including those of his ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Wood.
Depp confirmed his friendship with Manson in court, adding that the two often did drugs together.
“We’ve drank together, we’ve had cocaine together maybe a couple of times,” Depp said. “I once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so that he would stop talking so much.”
To further bring doubt to Depp’s claim that he was not a problematic drinker at that time, Heard’s attorney then showed the jurors a text that Depp had sent to musician Patti Smith regarding a visit to New York City in 2014 in which he recounted fighting with Heard , getting drunk and being “so disappointed in myself.”
Heard’s lawyers argue that Heard’s opinion piece was accurate and did not defame Depp, saying that the actor’s ruined reputation was due to his own bad behavior.
What else has happened in the Amber Heard, Johnny Depp trial
Depp has been on the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court since Tuesday afternoon. The actor has spent much of that time describing the couple’s volatile relationship and denying that he ever physically or sexually abused Heard.
The trial began with Depp opening up about his childhood abuse in testimony on Tuesday which continued into Wednesday as he told the courtroom, “You start to realize you’re in a relationship with your mother.”
Depp said Wednesday that Heard’s allegations have cost him “nothing less than everything” when it comes to his career and reputation. “When the allegations were rapidly circling the globe, telling people that I was a drunken, cocaine-fueled, menace who beat women, suddenly in my 50s, it’s over. You know, you’re done,” Depp said. “That is to say, I lost, because that is not a thing that anyone is gonna just put on your back for a short period of time. I will live with that for the rest of my life.”
Contributing: The Associated Press