FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Actor Johnny Depp instructed jurors Tuesday that he felt compelled to sue his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel out of an obsession for the reality after she accused him of home violence.
“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,” he mentioned.
Depp flatly denied ever hitting Heard, calling the home allegations towards him disturbing, heinous and “not based in any species of truth.”
“Nothing of the kind ever happened,” Depp mentioned in court docket.
Alluding to the autumn his profession has taken since Heard levied abuse allegations towards him, the previous “Pirates of the Caribbean” star mentioned, “it’s been six years of trying times. It’s very strange when one day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo.”
For the primary hour-plus of testimony Tuesday, Depp gave lengthy, stream-of-consciousness solutions to questions on his childhood and his early film profession, talking in his signature deep baritone. After one lengthy reply, he admitted: “I forgot what the original question was.”
But he mentioned he’d been ready for six years to inform his facet of the story after Heard filed for divorce towards him in 2016 and sought a restraining order towards him.
The trial started greater than per week in the past, however, previous to Tuesday, jurors had solely seen the Hollywood star sitting silently together with his staff of attorneys as either side has tried to embarrass the opposite in a trial that Heard’s attorneys precisely predicted would flip right into a mudslinging cleaning soap opera.
After denying Heard’s abuse allegations, Depp spoke at size a couple of childhood during which bodily abuse from his mom was “constant.” The abuse got here within the type of ashtrays being flung or a high-heeled shoe or phone getting used to beat him, Depp mentioned. When he turned a father, Depp mentioned, he made positive his kids didn’t expertise that sort of upbringing.
In phrases of Heard, Depp mentioned she appeared “too good to be true” in the beginning of their relationship.
“She was attentive,” Depp mentioned of the girl he married in 2015. “She was loving. She was smart. She was kind. She was funny. She was understanding … We had many things in common, certain blues music … literature.”
But Depp mentioned that inside a yr and a half, it was as if Heard had change into one other individual.
So far, Depp’s buddies, household and staff have testified that Heard was the aggressor within the relationship, bodily attacking him on a number of events. Heard’s former private assistant testified that Heard spit in her face in a match of rage.
Meanwhile, jurors have seen textual content messages during which Depp used vulgar language to explain Heard and spelled out his want to get revenge towards her. Heard’s attorneys have mentioned he bodily and sexually assaulted her on a number of events, usually in conditions the place he drank a lot he later blacked out.
Depp apologized for the textual content messages on Tuesday, saying they have been written within the “heat of the moment” and he was “ashamed of some of the references made.”
Depp mentioned Heard’s allegations of his substance abuse have been “grossly embellished” and that there have been no moments the place he’s been uncontrolled.
“I’m not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time,” Depp mentioned.
The actor mentioned he was hooked on ache remedy, which stemmed from an harm on the set of the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film. He additionally mentioned he took his mom’s “nerve pills” when he was a child. And he admitted to taking many substances “over the years to numb myself of the ghosts, the wraiths that were still with me from my youth.”
But Depp mentioned he detoxed from the ache remedy and has skilled lengthy durations of sobriety through the years.
“The characterization of my ‘substance abuse’ that’s been delivered by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished,” Depp mentioned. “And I’m sorry to say, but a lot of it is just plainly false. I think that it was an easy target for her to hit. Because once you’ve trusted somebody for a certain amount of years, and you’ve told them all the secrets of your life, that information can of course be used against you.”
The lawsuit itself is meant to be over whether or not Heard libeled Depp when she wrote a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post about home violence. In the article, Heard referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
She by no means talked about Depp by identify, however Depp and his attorneys mentioned it was a transparent reference to accusations Heard made in 2016 when the couple divorced and she or he sought a restraining order towards him.
Heard’s attorneys, who’ve filed their very own countersuit towards Depp, mentioned nothing within the article libels him. They say the abuse allegations are true, and that the harm to Depp’s repute — which he says received him booted from the profitable “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise — got here from his personal dangerous conduct.
Depp’s testimony is predicted to stretch into Wednesday. Heard is scheduled to testify later within the trial.
Associated Press author Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report.
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