FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Actor Johnny Depp spoke out Tuesday in his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, saying his domestic violence allegations against her were disturbing, abhorrent and “not based on any kind of truth”.
“Nothing like this has ever happened,” Depp told the court.
He added: ‘I myself never got to the point of hitting Ms Heard in any way. And I never hit a woman in my life.
Alluding to the downfall in his career since Heard brought abuse charges against him, the former ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star said: “It’s been six years of hard times. It’s very strange when a day you are Cinderella, so to speak, and in 0.6 seconds you are Quasimodo.
Depp added that he was worried about his children and the people who believed in him.
“I’m obsessed with the truth,” Depp said. “So today is actually my first opportunity to talk about this case.”
Depp also described a childhood in which his mother’s physical abuse was “constant”. The abuse took the form of thrown ashtrays or a high-heeled shoe or phone being used to beat him, Depp said. When he became a father, Depp said, he made sure his children didn’t experience that kind of upbringing.
The trial began more than a week ago but, before Tuesday, jurors had seen the Hollywood star sitting in silence with his team of lawyers as each side attempted to embarrass the other in a trial which Heard’s attorneys had accurately predicted would turn into a disparaging soap opera.
So far, Depp’s friends, family and employees have testified that Heard was the abuser in the relationship, physically attacking him on multiple occasions. Heard’s former personal assistant testified that Heard spat in his face in a fit of rage.
Meanwhile, jurors saw text messages in which Depp uses vulgar language to describe Heard and states his desire to get revenge on her. Heard’s attorneys said he repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her, often in situations where he drank so much that he then passed out.
The lawsuit itself is supposed to be about whether Heard defamed Depp when she wrote a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post about domestic violence. In the article, Heard called herself a “public figure representing domestic violence.”
She never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp and his lawyers say it’s a clear reference to the charges Heard brought in 2016 when the couple divorced and she filed for a restraining order against him.
Heard’s attorneys, who filed their own countersuit against Depp, say nothing in the article that defames him. They say the abuse allegations are true and that the damage to Depp’s reputation – which he says got him fired from the lucrative ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film franchise – came from his own bad behavior.
Depp’s testimony is expected to extend through Wednesday. Heard is due to testify later in the trial.
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