Johnny Depp ended his testimony in his $50 million defamation trial against Amber Heard today with a declaration that he is the victim of domestic abuse, not her.
“Yes,” the actor said when asked by his lawyer in a final question if “I am a victim of domestic violence.”
Continuing the strategy to reclaim his long-held stance that he was in fact the victim, not the Aquaman actress, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor and his lawyers sought on Monday to reclaim the narrative that has dominated this case and the 2016 end of the couple’s marriage
Building that story, with the occasional “can’t recall” and tales of being “taken for a very nasty ride” by his ex-business managers, Depp declared that Heard stood in the way of almost every positive move in his life during their time together up until their 2016 divorce.
Oddly partially overturning his own admission last week that Heard was instrumental in his 2015 detox from opioids, Depp now painted his ex-wife as a potential trigger to a relapse.
“I would have gone straight back to the pills,” he told Judge Penny Azcarate and the rest of the Fairfax County Courthouse of his prediction if Heard didn’t leave their LA residence and check into a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel for several days. Heard did in fact go to the hotel as requested.
“That’s not me, that’s not who I have ever been,’ Depp said in one of his few succinct moments summing up the long expressed claims that he had been physically abusive to Heard. From a strategic POV that is the image and message, Team Depp wants to leave the jury with after the roller coaster of his testimony over the last week.
To that, seeking to inject his own courtroom commentary at the defense team’s expense, Depp had to be mildly reprimanded by Judge Azcarate to “answer the questions.”
Exclaiming he never vomited in his sleep as Heard’s side has said, Depp tried to thread a needle of sorts by admitting he did throw up in response to the stress of their often rocky time together. In fact, most of this final portion of the actor’s multi-day testimony was the legal equivalent of an Etch A Sketch in relation to the distinctly unflattering image presented by Heard’s defense team.
Bizarrely, Depp’s lawyers played a recording of the couple arguing over Depp wanting to walk out on Heard where the actor called her a “pain in the ass,” a “harpy” and a “bitch.” Additionally, the agitated Depp was heard saying that Heard had a “borderline personality disorder” as the actress tells him she loves him.
“I was done…I stated clearly, I don’t want to be with you,” Depp later told the court of the recording, which also had him asking Heard if she wanted to hit him in the ear “again.” No specifics were given of when Heard had allegedly struck the actor.
When asked by his lawyer Jessica Meyers how he felt in the dying days of the couple’s marriage, Depp said he was “being nailed in one stop and not being able to do anything but react to her screaming like a Banshee and then telling me to calm down.” Filled with Heard crying and telling Depp that he is “so f*cking mean” and a “bully,” further recordings into the couple’s most intimate moments displayed played for the court a duo that in their softer or louder instances seemed unable to effectively communicate. “You are killing me,” Heard cried at one point as Depp has an aide take his then-wife away.
“I was broken, really at the end, couldn’t take it anymore,” Depp said of the end of the relationship. In a mid-2016 recorded conversation played for the court, the couple were heard arguing over why their marriage went wrong and her claims of abuse. “The abuse thing we gotta deal with that,” Depp says as the allegations had become public during the couple’s separation. “You forced me to by going on the offense,” Heard can be heard replying emotionally.
Like Depp, Heard will be taking the stand in the trial. Having countersued for $100 million in the summer of 2020, the actress is expected to give testimony in the next week or so, we hear.