Depp addresses knife threat audio, cabinet smashing video and says he's a victim of domestic violence — while Amber was heard saying she felt she "was going to lose my life" during one fight.
Johnny Depp’s time on the stand wrapped up on Monday, following three days on the stand and questions from both his own and ex-wife Amber Heard’s attorneys.
After her team finished its cross-examination earlier today, Depp remained on the stand for a redirect with his own lawyers. Following a lunch break, new audio was played for the court in which Heard pleaded with Depp to stop walking away from arguments — something he would apparently often do, before disappearing for extended periods of time.
“There were many instances where Ms. Heard would get upset, angry and argumentative in Australia. There were many times … I would excuse myself from the situation,” he explained. “I would try to get away so that nothing escalated because if given the chance to allow things to escalate, Ms. Heard would take it to the very extreme. Which ended with my finger being chopped off. I thought it best to avoid things like that.”
As he previously testified, Depp claimed he lost the tip of his middle finger during a fight in which Heard allegedly threw a bottle of vodka at him while they were in Australia.
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He was also asked about the video shown in court last week in which he was seen smashing kitchen cabinets while agitated about something, before realizing she was recording him. Speaking to his lawyer, Depp said he wasn’t sure when the footage was filmed and didn’t recall too many details about what sparked his anger.
“I can’t recall if it was bad news about my mother’s health, I can’t recall if it was something to do with my former business manager’s finding out they’d taken me for a very nasty ride. I can’t recall exactly what it was about,” he said. “What I do know is that it didn’t have anything to do with her. There was nothing between us before she entered that room. It was me alone.”
His team also asked about a text message he sent Heard in May 2016, in which he wrote, “Nothing I have to say to you should elicit anything but a sense of ease. All my love and profound apologies.”
He said the message was meant to relay he wanted a “peaceful resolution” to their marriage. “I didn’t want to argue. I didn’t want anything but to end the marriage in the kindest way possible for all. Her family, my family, her, myself, et cetera,” he said.
As for the “profound apologies” bit, he said he was simply referring to the fact that they “could not work.”
“There was no way. And I had to try to put a peaceful end, a peaceful stop to the endless opportunities for these constant arguments. If you don’t stop it yourself, it’ll stop you,” he continued. “And you don’t know what that could be. It was horrific and I wanted her out of it and I wanted out of it. No one deserves to live like that. No one deserves to live that like. Not her, not me, not anyone. I just wanted a smooth exit for both of us, that’s all I was looking for.”
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More audio was then played in which he was heard trying to walk away from another argument, while she pleaded with him to stay. After he said he didn’t want to be with her anymore, she told him to “actually take off the ring” — before he was heard throwing it to the floor. “Wanna smack my ear again? Would you like that?” he asks her at one point, which his lawyer asked about after the audio played.
“She had given me a good chop in the ear, one of those that leaves you ringing and it was not long before that,” he said. “I thought, maybe this will make you happy. Would you like to hit me in the ear again? Will that make you feel better?”
Another clip highlighted another similar exchange, in which Depp asked Heard if they could get some “space” for a “couple hours” after he got “really sick of this argument.” An emotional Heard once again pleaded for him to stay, telling him, “It causes me so much stress when you walk away from me. You’re making it worse for me.”
After he said, “You won’t let me f—ing leave. Let me leave,” she said, “Please stop doing this. It causes so much f—ing stress. I’m gonna die. You’re causing me so much stress. I feel like I’m having a heart attack every day. Please stop being so f—ing mean. You’re killing me with this, you’re killing me. F—.”
Depp was also asked about audio that was played in court last week in which Heard begged Depp to “put the knife down” during an incident in July 2016, two months after she had filed for divorce.
“I wasn’t threatening to hurt myself. I thought Ms. Heard has brought me to San Francisco under false pretenses. I don’t know what she was after, so I had a knife in my pocket and I took the knife out and I said, ‘Here, cut me. That’s what you want to do. You’ve taken everything. You want my blood? Take it. Have my blood,'” he explained. “If she wasn’t gonna do it, I would have done it, because that’s psychologically, emotionally where I was. I was broken. Not only had I had to deal with everything coming in from arrows all over the world, but now she’s, I don’t know what she’s trying to do. There was no threat with Ms. Heard with that knife.”
In another clip, the two were heard discussing possibly releasing a joint statement to take the circumstances around their split private. “I don’t know how to get my reputation back,” said Heard, before Depp suggested they “write a letter together saying we’re going to take this out of the public eye, saying we’re gonna try to work this out on our own, saying that the media has created such a f—ing hateful storm that it’s sickening. That we love each other and want to make sure the other is okay.”
Heard still worried about her credibility, saying it had “been taken and done so in a dishonest way.” As Depp added, “The abuse thing, we gotta deal with that,” he then asked her, “Why did you put that out there?”
“I did not. You forced me. Your team forced me to by going on the offense. I did not choose this,” she responded. “The last time things got crazy between us, I really did think I was going to lose my life and I thought you would do it on accident and I told you that.”
Depp replied by telling her, “Amber, I lost a f—ing finger, man,” before saying he also had “mineral spirits” thrown at his face. She said he could say it was a “fair fight,” before adding, “See what the jury and judge think. I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim too of domestic violence, it’s a fair fight and see how many people believe or side with you.”
When asked about his letter proposal by his lawyer, Depp said he was “trying to make a peaceful settlement” at the time. As for the mineral spirits bit, he claimed that during “one of the arguments on the island … she picked up a can of mineral spirits and heaved it at me and it struck me on the bridge of the nose.”
He was lastly asked to repeat what he told Heard when she said, “Tell the world Johnny, tell them I, Johnny Depp, a man, I’m a victim too of domestic violence.'” His response: “I said, ‘Yes, I am.'”
With that, the redirect came to a close, along with Depp’s time on the stand.
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Depp is seeking $50 million in damages after Heard claimed she was a survivor of domestic abuse in an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2018. While she didn’t name Depp in the piece, his lawyers argue it was implied to be about him and negatively affected his career. She countersued Depp for $100 million.
The actor has already lost an earlier lawsuit he took in the UK over the same article that appeared in The Sun.
The trial is expected to last six weeks. See more coverage of the ongoing trial here.
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