Depp continues testimony, accuses Amber Heard of attacking him | Courthouse News Service
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Depp continues testimony, accuses Amber Heard of attacking him

On the stand, the actor described the spiraling relationship and escalating violence.

FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) — Taking the stand for a second day, actor Johnny Depp described an unraveling relationship with his ex-wife actress Amber Heard, who he said hurled vodka bottles at him, severing his finger.

That actor, who is suing Heard for defaming him with an editorial in which she described herself as a domestic abuse survivor, concluded his direct testimony today with recollections of gruesome episodes from the marriage. Throughout the day, Depp cast Heard as the instigator of arguments between the two.

The actor also spoke of an altercation that occurred in Australia, where Depp and Heard traveled in 2015 while he was working on one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. At the time, Heard objected to signing a post-nuptial agreement and Depp said her anger took him aback. Several times during his testimony he mentioned that when confronted, he attempts to remove himself — sometimes locking himself in rooms.

He had done so in this case. But eventually, he went to a bar at the house and grabbed a bottle of vodka and “poured myself two or three stiff shots,” he said. “First taste of alcohol I’d had in a long time.”

When Heard saw him, she said, “Oh, you’re drinking again.”

She then grabbed the bottle of vodka and hurled it at him. The bottle whizzed by his head and smashed behind him. “I walked behind the bar and there was a larger bottle of vodka, the kind with a handle, you know, on it. I got that and I poured myself a shot.”

At this point he was leaning with one hand on the bar.

“She threw the large bottle and it made contact and shattered everywhere," he said, striking his hand. "I honestly didn’t feel the pain. I felt heat and I felt as if something was dripping down my hand. And then I looked down and realized that the tip of my finger had been severed. I was looking directly at my bone sticking out and the meaty portion of the inside of your finger. Blood was just pouring out.”

He felt he was in the middle of a nervous breakdown.

“I started to write with my own blood on the walls, little reminders from our past that essentially represented lies that she had told me and lies that I had caught her in,” he testified.

His personal physician and nurse arrived and attended to him, then he was taken to the hospital. He said he told doctors that he had slammed the finger in a door to protect Heard.

"I lied to him [the doctor]. I said that I had smashed it in these large accordion doors," Depp said, adding that he didn't want to get Heard in trouble. "I tried to just keep things as copasetic and easy as possible."

The actor had met Heard before the two filmed the movie, "The Rum Diary." They started dating two years later, during the press tour for the movie and married in 2015, But the relationship quickly went south.

“I was suddenly just wrong about everything,” Depp recalled. “It was astounding how wrong I was about everything I’d experienced. I was not allowed to be right, not allowed to have a voice.”

When the two argued, Depp said he attempted to walk away, even locking himself in a bathroom. He says she hit him. And at one point, the actor's attorneys played clips of a recording in which Heard admits to hitting Depp but doesn't completely remember the details because she had taken Ambien.

Depp also addressed Heard's charge that he head-butted her. He remembered that she produced a tissue that was red and charged, "Way to go, Johnny. You broke my nose." Later, Depp examined the tissue and found that it was splattered with nail polish. "No part of my body connected to her nose."

The two divorced in 2016 with Heard taking out a temporary restraining order against Depp. She was photographed leaving the courthouse with a bruised eye and left the marriage with a $7 million settlement.

Two years later, just as “Aquaman” was to debut, Heard wrote an op-ed published in The Washington Post, in which she described herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse. The article never mentioned Depp, but referenced a time two years earlier, when Heard would have been married to him. In March 2019, Depp filed suit contending he’d been defamed by his ex-wife. The lawsuit seeks $50 million in damages.

Asked directly if he'd ever struck or sexually assaulted Heard, Depp said no. He said he lost "nothing less than everything. When the allegations were made, when the allegations were rapidly circling the globe telling people that I was a drunken, cocaine-fueled menace who beat women, it's over. You're done."

After the article was published, "I don't think it took Disney very long, maybe a couple days, to announce that I had been removed from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise."

But in cross-examination, Benjamin Rottenborn, one of Heard's attorneys, pointed to an article published in October 2018 --two months before Heard's op-ed — reporting that Disney was considering dropping Depp from the franchise.

He also showed Depp a copy of Heard's op-ed — the basis for the lawsuit. The proceedings are in Virginia because the Post is printed there and the paper's website is produced from a server located in the state.

"You understand Mr. Depp, that you cannot, you are not suing her for any alleged damaged or any accusations she made prior to writing this article," the attorney said. "You are not bringing her into court in Virginia for anything that she did prior to writing this article."

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