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Johnny Depp‘s testimony continued Wednesday as he took the stand for a second day to testify against ex-wife Amber Heard, whom he has accused of ruining his reputation and career with false accusations of domestic violence.
On Wednesday, Depp testified about the details of his relationship with Heard, claiming she used his personal weaknesses as “ammunition.”
“It seemed like pure hatred for me,” he said, claiming Heard would name-call and escalate misunderstandings into “full-scale arguments.”
“In all of these situations, my main goal was to retreat,” he claimed.
When asked why Depp stayed with Heard given her alleged behaviour, he said it was “complicated.” He hypothesized the answer had to do with his own mother’s abuse against his father.
Depp also claimed Heard had threatened suicide in the past. “Many times when I would try to leave, she would stop me at the elevator with the security guards, crying and screaming, ‘I can’t live without you, I’m going to die.'”
During his testimony, Depp told the court about his former opioid addiction and challenging recovery. He spoke about how difficult withdrawal was, calling his detox “the lowest moment of my life.” According to Depp, Heard denied him his medication while he was trying to recover.
The actor claimed he is not and never has been an alcoholic.
He also testified he had witnessed Heard use several drugs on various occasions, including MDMA (ecstasy), magic mushrooms and a drug comparable to speed.
Depp told the court the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement when they married. In 2015, during a now-infamous trip to Australia, Depp claimed he asked Heard to sign a postnuptial agreement.
Heard, according to Depp, rejected the idea of a postnuptial contract. Depp claimed this caused an argument that spiralled into “madness” and “violence.”
He said he tried to remove himself from the situation, “but to no avail.”
At this point, Depp said he was sober for “many, many months” with the exception of marijuana. He said after the fight with Heard, he was a “wreck” and “didn’t understand why all of this was happening.”
Depp testified this argument caused him to “pour myself two or three stiff shots of vodka.”
“She walked up to me and grabbed the bottle of vodka,” he said. He claimed Heard “hurled” the bottle of vodka at him, which passed his head and smashed behind him.
Depp said he then grabbed another bottle of vodka and continued to drink. He alleged again Heard threw the second bottle of alcohol at him.
“I didn’t feel the pain at first,” he said. “I looked down and realized the tip of my finger had been severed and I was looking directly at my bones sticking out.”
“No one should have to go through this,” he testified.
Depp said in the middle of his “nervous breakdown” he started to write “little reminders from our past” on the walls in his own blood, including “little lies I had caught her in.”
Afterward, Depp said he texted his doctor that his finger had been cut off.
He said he initially lied about the how he severed his finger because he “didn’t want to get Ms. Heard in trouble.”
Depp also accused Heard of extinguishing a lit cigarette on his right cheek after severing his finger.
His legal team admitted multiple photos as evidence, including one picture of Depp in hospital lying on a gurney and the other an up-close, graphic shot of his injured finger.
After a lunch break, the jury was shown another photo of Depp with a bruise on his face from what he called the “staircase incident.” Depp alleged Heard had given him a “roundhouse punch,” causing the wound.
He testified after another confrontation about “something or other,” Heard tried to hit him. Depp claimed Whitney, Heard’s sister, stepped in the way of Amber to stop her. The actor said Heard managed to “nail him on the cheekbone” by reaching around her sister. He did not recall what the fight had been about.
Depp’s legal team then played an audio clip where it appears the ex-spouses are arguing. In the audio, the couple is, according to Depp, fighting about how he left an argument to go to the bathroom to get space.
The jury listened to Heard say in the clip that she “was upset” and “on an Ambien.”
“You can’t have a solution if the argument keeps mounting,” Depp said in the audio clip. “I f-king go in the bathroom and sit on the floor.”
In the audio, Depp accuses Heard of punching him.
“I didn’t punch you, by the way,” Heard said in the clip. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you. I didn’t punch you.”
“Don’t tell me what if feels like to be punched,” Depp replies in the clip.
“You didn’t get punched, I hit you,” Heard said in the audio.
In the clip, Heard also admits to starting a physical fight with Depp.
The jury was also shown photos of Depp from 2015 with scratches on his face. He claims the scratches came from an altercation with Heard where “she had some rage issue with me.”
He testified when he was going in to his office, Heard emerged from the bedroom and “started throwing wild punches at me, at the back of my head, at the side of my head, anything she could connect with.”
Depp claimed he put Heard in a “bear hug” to stop her from hitting him. He said this resulted in “contact” of their foreheads, which he told the jury caused Heard to accuse Depp of “head butting her and breaking her nose.”
“No part of my body made connection with her nose,” he said, despite Heard allegedly showing him a bloodied Kleenex.
Depp said after Heard discarded the tissue, he retrieved it from the bathroom trash, inspected it, and determined the red was “nail varnish.”
“Each time one of these incidents would occur it seemed to get worse and worse,” Depp said, referring to the level of alleged abuse.
The actor also told the court Heard allegedly threw a can of mineral spirits at the bridge of his nose.
Later, Depp testified after being over an hour late to Heard’s 30th birthday because of financial meetings, Heard allegedly punched him several times. When he tried to leave, Depp said she punched him again.
He said he did not see Heard for several days after this altercation, as she attended Coachella.
While she was absent from the penthouse the couple shared, Depp said he wanted to go back and retrieve sentimental items but was told by his team he should not. When he inquired why, he said he was shown a photo of their bed with what appeared to be “human fecal matter” on his side of the mattress.
Before turning to cross-examination, Depp detailed some of the affect Heard’s allegations had on his career and reputation.
“I don’t know if she wanted me to be erased, or drop dead, or wanted me to stick around and allow her to ruin my life and go out of her way to shame me, and hurt my kids and hurt people I’ve known for many, many years,” the actor told the court.
He said that as Heard’s allegations made their way through the media, he began to notice a change in how people treated him.
“…You notice people looking at you differently. And then you notice calls stop coming from agents and producers.”
Cross-examination of Depp came at the end of the day, with Heard’s lawyer, Ben Rottenborn, quickly getting under the actor’s skin by narrowing in on the op-ed piece and a joint statement released by both actors, casting much of Depp’s other testimony aside.
The lawyer emphasized that in 2016 Depp signed a document three times that stated “Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain,” contradicting what Depp now claims happened.
He will continue to cross-examine Depp tomorrow.
Depp appeared on the stand for the first time Tuesday, detailing his troubled childhood at the hands of an abusive mother, sharing the history and frequency of his drug and alcohol use, and providing details about the beginning of his relationship with Heard.
In Depp’s testimony on Tuesday, the actor said he wants the public to know his side of the story. It’s the first time he’s publicly addressed the fallout and the claims Heard has levelled against him.
“I had to wait for my opportunity to address the charges, which were criminal charges. They just weren’t true,” he said.
Speaking frequently of the impact the case and its details have had on his children, Depp said he’s also suffered from a personal fall-from-grace.
“One day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo.”
The legal battle of the two stars has captured the attention of spectators around the globe, with both Heard, 35, and Depp, 58, claiming to be victims of violence. The initial court case began when Depp filed a $50-million defamation lawsuit over a Washington Post op-ed penned by Heard in late 2018 about domestic abuse.
Heard did not mention Depp by name in the article, though in court documents he alleges his reputation and career were still “devastated” as a result.
When questioned about his childhood Monday, Depp described in detail the “violent” and “cruel” abuse he and his siblings suffered at the hands of his mother, Betty Sue Palmer.
He recounted times when his mother threw an ashtray or beat him with a high-heeled shoe.
“In our house, we were never exposed to any type of safety or security. The only thing that one could do, really, was to stay out of the line of fire.”
He said that in the early days of their relationship Heard seemed “too good to be true,” but things began to deteriorate after about a year when Depp said Heard began to show signs of controlling behaviour.
He also testified that the details Heard has shared about his alleged drug and alcohol addictions are “grossly embellished” and “plainly false.”
He said that while he did dabble in his mother’s “nerve pills” at a young age, and was addicted to an opiate for four to five years, he has also had months-long stints of sobriety and that when he did use substances, he “never appeared loaded or high, or any of that.”
“Even if I felt a little spinny no one would have ever known,” Depp told the court.
Depp’s lawyers have already called on several witnesses, including friends, the couple’s therapist, and the doctor and nurse who claim they treated the Pirates of the Caribbean actor for substance abuse issues.
In opening statements delivered by the former spouses’ legal teams last week, Depp’s lawyers claim Heard is “choosing to lie about him for her own personal benefit.”
Heard’s lawyers argued the opposite, claiming freedom of speech allowed the Aquaman actor to pen the Washington Post op-ed.