‘Grossly embellished’ drug use, childhood scars and a Disney downfall: Johnny Depp’s testimony on Amber Heard



It was the fifth day of Johnny Depp’s $50m defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, and for the first time the Hollywood star took the stand to give evidence.

Ms Heard is being sued by Mr Depp for implying in a 2018 Washington Post column that he abused her, which Mr Depp said damaged his career even though she did not directly name him.

She, in turn, has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from the actor’s allegations.

Here are five things that we learned from the trial on Tuesday.

Johnny Depp is ‘not embarrassed’ to be facing his ex-wife in a highly public court case

“I can’t say that I’m embarrassed because I know that I’m doing the right thing,” Mr Depp said after taking the witness stand.

The actor told the court that he did feel exposed by the litigation, insisting that despite his successful career, he had always been a private person who had tried to shield his two children from “hordes of paparazzi’ and that he did not want them to see their parents as “novelties”.

Actor compared himself to both Cinderella and Quasimodo

During his testimony, Mr Depp told the court that since Heard’s abuse allegations were first made against him six years ago he had been through “trying times”.

“It’s strange when you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo,” he said.

Actor Johnny Depp testifies during a hearing at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday April 19, 2022

(AP)

Depp quipped that Heard ‘Could definitely kill me’ when they met for the first time in audition

The actor had agreed to meet with the actress who was under consideration for the role of Chenault in The Rum Diary, based on a novel by the late author Hunter S Thompson.

“I took one look at her and thought ‘Yep that’s the Chenault that Hunter wants, that’s the one. I just thought ‘Yep she could definitely kill me, that’s who Hunter wants.’”

And he went on to explain the things that he first liked about her.

“She was sweet as pie, pleasant, intelligent, literate, very good taste,” he said but added that he felt he could teach her to use “stillness” in her acting.

Depp claims that Heard’s characterization of his substance abuse was ‘grossly embellished’

The star said from the witness stand that his drug and alcohol use had been “an easy target” for the actress to hit after their marriage ultimately broke down. But Mr Depp said he didn’t use it for the sake of partying, but rather to dull the pain of past trauma.

“It has never been for the party effect, it has been trying to number the things inside that have, that can plague someone who has experienced trauma,” he told the court in Virginia.

“The characterization of my substance, of my quote-unquote substance abuse that has been delivered by Ms Heard is grossly embellished, and I am sorry to say, but a lot of it is just plainly false.

“I think that it was easy, it was an easy target for her to hit. Because once you have trusted somebody for a certain amount of years and you have told them all the secrets of your life, that information can then, of course, be used against you.”

Depp describes his first kiss with Heard on set of The Rum Diary

The actor said that he and Ms Heard had locked lips in a scene in which she walked in on him in the shower.

And he described how the pair continued the passion back in his trailer later in the day.

“I think there was something in the kiss in the shower that was real,” he added.

“So that day after work, Ms Heard had come to my trailer and I was sitting there listening to old blues stuff and we had a glass of wine and we kissed.

“At that point my trailer was the only trailer in the parking lot, she had the mind to stay in the trailer for a while with me but I did not think that it was a good idea on any level as there were nine Teamsters outside waiting to move the trailer.”

Depp said mother’s abuse ‘tore up’ his family

Mr Depp also spoke at length about his difficult childhood, saying that his mother, Betty Sue Palmer, “had the ability to be as cruel as anyone can be”.

Describing his mother’s violence, Mr Depp said “an ashtray” could be “flung at you”. He added that she would hit her children in her head and that she could use a “high heeled shoe or a telephone or whatever was handy”.

He added that he started being able to see when his mother was about to “head into a situation where she was going to be riled up and somebody was going to get it. Generally, it was me”.

Mr Depp said the family learned to deal with the physical abuse but that the verbal and psychological abuse “tore us up”.

He described his father as “kind”, “quiet”, and “shy” who would “amazingly remain very stoic” when Mr Depp’s mother “delivered the pain”.

“He swallowed it, he took it,” Mr Depp said, adding that he once saw his father punch a concrete wall, shattering his hand. “He remained a gentleman.”

“He was able to maintain his calm and his composure,” as well as his “relationship to his children,” Mr Depp said. “He’s a good man.”

Mr Depp said his father leaving led his mother into a “deep, dark depression” and he mimicked her stumbling around the home after taking a crowd “of pills to try to take herself out”. She survived after having her stomach pumped at hospital.

He said his mother seemed to “calm down” after taking some “nerve pills” and that he, at the age of 11, would take one as well because he wanted “to calm down” but he “didn’t know how to” and that he wanted to “escape feeling so much”.

“That was the beginning – when I realized that nerve pills calm the nerves,” he said, adding that he had taken all the drugs “he was aware of” by the age of 15.

Actor reveals that he never saw Pirates of the Caribbean

The actor also said he had never seen one of his most successful films – Pirates of theCaribbean.

Mr Depp first appeared as Captain Jack Sparrow in 2003 in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

The actor went on to also appear in several sequels, including Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, On Stranger Tidesand Dead Men Tell No Tales.

“I thought that it had all the hallmarks of a Disney film – that is to say, a kind of a predictable three-act structure,” he said about his first thought about the first script. “The character of Captain Jack was more like a swashbuckler type that would swing in shirtless and be the hero.”

He then revealed that he never saw the film.

“I didn’t see it. But I believe that the film did pretty well, apparently, and they wanted to keep going, making more and I was fine to do that,” he said. “It’s not like you become that person, but if you know that character to the degree that I did – because he was not what the writers wrote, so they really weren’t able to write for him… Once you know the character better than the writers, that’s when you have to be true to the character and add your words.”


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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