Johnny Depp Takes Stand During Defamation Trial Against Amber Heard


David Caine

In recent years, Johnny Depp has come under fire for many accusations of domestic abuse against his now ex-wife Amber Heard. The couple had only been married for a little over a year when videos surfaced of the couple fighting, subsequently leading Amber Heard to publish a 2018 Washington Post op-ed article talking about her experience with domestic violence. Amber Heard, after signing divorce papers, filed for a restraining order against Johnny Depp, and received one on the grounds of physical and verbal abuse. After hearing about these allegations, Depp called them “heinous and disturbing” and “not based in any species of truth.” But even though these statements may have been false, his career was still ruined. 

After the 2018 article was published and videos gone live, the entire world was buzzing about Johnny Depp, a 50-year-old drunken man who abused his innocent wife. All of his friends and family started to cut him off, and the studios where he had been working for the longest time fired him. He was no longer allowed to perform as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts, and various other roles. The only job he was able to keep was commercials for the luxury company Dior. 

After all of this fell upon him, he decided that he had had enough and decided to sue Amber Heard for 50 million dollars in return on grounds of defamation. After hearing this, Heard then countersued for 100 million dollars on the same grounds. The case has been building up for the past few years, and has now culminated in the show of a trial that has been going on for a few weeks now. 

Johnny himself was recently on the stand for a few days, where on his first day, he talked about his shock about the allegations of domestic abuse put forth by Heard. He also stated that the trial and overall investigation had risen “to scenarios that were not based in any species of truth.” 

“Truth is the only thing I’m interested in. Lies will get you nowhere, but lies build upon lies and build upon lies,” stated Depp while testifying. “I’m obsessed with the truth.” 

The second point he brought up during his testimony were parallels to his parents and how his mom abused him physically and verbally when he was younger. When Johnny Depp was growing up, his mom would do actions like that of Amber Heard, in the fact that she would beat Depp constantly and degrade him. He stated that he wanted his children as far away from this as possible, as he didn’t want them involved in this. 

The last point brought up was text messages that were exchanged between Depp and other friends about his ex-wife. Some comments included that they hoped Heard’s “rotting corpse is decomposing in the f*cking trunk of a Honda Civic. Another text from Paul Bettany stated, “I will f*ck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.” Depp credited this language to influences like Monty Python and his late friend Hunter S. Thompson, and feels embarrassed about his language. 

The second day started with an audio clip that had been floating around the internet for a long time before the trial. In the clip, which was played in court, Amber Heard stated, “You didn’t get punched; you got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you. I did not f*cking deck you. I f*cking was hitting you. I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was. But you’re fine. I did not hurt you. I did not punch you. I was hitting you.” Another testimony stated that Depp found “human fecal matter” on his bed a few days after a fight in 2016, which Heard blamed on Depp’s two dogs. 

“I was shown a picture of what the problem was,” Depp said. “It was a photograph of our bed, and on my side of the bed was human fecal matter…It was so bizarre and so grotesque that I could only laugh.” 

He also recounted the story of how he lost his right middle finger in March of 2015 when shooting for Pirates of the Caribbean 5. He stated that he was having a drink when Heard walked in, and got angry at him for drinking. She then proceeded to toss a wine glass which shot past his face. She threw another which sliced off a portion of his finger. 

“I didn’t feel the pain at first – what I felt was heat and something dripping down my hand,” stated Depp while recalling the incident. “I looked down and realized that the tip of my finger had been severed, and I was looking directly at my bones sticking out and the meaty portion on the side of your finger.” 

The third day had many quips coming from Depp dealing with his substance abuse. When asked about consuming alcohol and drugs with Marilyn Manson, he stated “Yes, we drank together and we’ve had cocaine together maybe a couple of times…I once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so that he would stop talking so much.” 

When Heard’s lawyers asked about a small box and whether it was used to store cocaine, the actor quipped, “No, but it looks like it would fit some cocaine. Cocaine is, in my experience, is normally given in plastic bags. When you put it in a box like that, chances are you’ll leave a trail, a long line of cocaine behind you as you walk down the street,” eliciting many laughs from the jury. 

Heard’s attorney then proceeded to question Depp about his “insecurities” about Heard’s relationships with James Franco and Billy Bob Thornton, costars of hers. Depp stated that occasionally, it made him jealous when she was out with others, and said that, “I become irrational when you’re doing movies. I became jealous and f*cking weird and we fight a lot more.” 

Bloody paintings mixed with paint were also brought up, where Heard’s team blamed demeaning messages scrawled on paintings and mirrors on Depp. When asked whether he dipped his fingers in paint and drew a penis on a painting, Depp stated, “I don’t know about that. I don’t remember drawing a penis on a painting….Drawing a penis on a painting was not the first thing on my mind.” 

Videos also surfaced of Depp getting angry in the morning, grabbing some bottles of wine, and kicking some cabinets. Regarding the video, Depp stated, “Yes, I did assault a couple of cabinets, but I did not assault Ms. Heard…Clearly, I was having a bad time. I don’t know what it is in regards to…being recorded by your chosen other is quite fitting with the rest of the photographs and tape recordings she made. I thought what was most interesting was she tried to hide [the camera] from me and smiled and laughed at the end.” 

On Depp’s last day on the stand, he continued to deny that he ever hit Heard, and that what was accused of him was actually done by her. One last audio clip was played, where Amber Heard can clearly be heard saying, “tell them, I, Johnny Depp, I’m a victim of domestic abuse…and see how many people believe or side with you.” That is exactly what Depp has done, and so far, it seems that most of the world has sided with him. The trial is still far from over, but Johnny’s testimony and time on the stand is, which has appeared to relieve him a little of the stress he has been under for the past few years. The trial will still go on for a few more weeks, and only time will tell what Johnny’s and Amber’s fates will be after the smoke clears.