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Johnny Depp Calls Amber Heard’s Abuse Claims ‘Heinous’ In Defamation Trial

Johnny Depp testified in his own defamation trial on Tuesday, saying that the abuse his ex-wife Amber Heard made against him are “heinous” and “not based in any species of truth.”

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor took the stand on the fourth day of the trial, Depp has accused Heard of defamation related to a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post. Heard has countersued Depp in the case,

In the op-ed, Heard called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The “Aquaman” actor did not name her ex-husband in the piece, but Depp’s lawyers have argued that Heard referenced a restraining order she obtained in 2016 against Depp amid their divorce proceedings.

“About six years ago, Ms. Heard made some quite heinous and disturbing brought these disturbing criminal acts against me that were not based in any species of truth. It was a complete shock … It just didn’t need to go in that direction,” Depp said. “Nothing of the kind had ever happened, though there were arguments, things of that nature. But never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.”

“So at the time, because the news of her allegations had permeated the industry and then made its way through media and social media, became quite a global, let’s say ‘fact,’ if you will,” he said.

Johnny Depp testifies during his defamation trial in the Fairfax County Circuit courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, April 19.

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Depp began his testimony by describing the abuse he experienced as a child, particularly from his mother. The actor said the verbal, emotional and psychological abuse was worse than the physical abuse, and that after Depp’s father left the family, his mother spiraled into depression and attempted suicide.

Depp also said his struggle with substance abuse began at age 11, when he would take pills his mother used for nerve pain. He said he’d used substances on and off over the years, not to “party” but “to numb myself of the ghosts, the wraiths that were still with me from my youth.”

Heard’s lawyers have argued that much of the abuse she allegedly experienced happened while Depp was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Heard has alleged that Depp was unable to maintain sobriety, and that he would become violent toward her after drinking or using drugs. Depp said that he became addicted to opiates before he got into a relationship with Heard, and that he detoxed during the relationship. He maintains that he has not taken opiates since then.

“The characterization of my substance ‘abuse’ that’s been delivered by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished and, I’m sorry to say, but a lot of it is just plainly false,” Depp testified. “I think it was an easy target for her to hit because once you’ve trusted somebody for a certain amount of years and you’ve told them all the secrets of your life, that information then of course can be used against you, especially if it’s taken to a point that is teetering on impossible.”

Depp, 58, and Heard, 35, met on the set of “The Rum Diary” in 2009, and began dating about three years later though Depp testified on Tuesday that the two shared a kiss in his trailer during the filming of “Diary ” The couple married in 2015 and divorced two years later,

“She was too good to be true,” Depp testified when describing the early days of their relationship, calling Heard “attentive,” “loving,” “smart,” “funny” and “understanding.” He said they had many things in common, and that for about a year and a half the relationship “was amazing,” until it started going downhill.

“I worked quite a lot. When I would come home from work, I would come in the house or hotel and she would sit me down on the couch and give me a glass of wine and take my boots off, set them to the side and I’d never experienced anything like that in my life,” Depp said. “It became a regular thing that she did, this kind of routine.”

The actor said that one night he came home from work to find Heard busy on the phone, so he sat down and took off his own boots. According to Depp, Heard then approached him, upset that he’d taken his boots off, saying “That’s my job, you don’t do that.”

“I felt that strange,” he testified. “And then once you notice something like that, then you start to notice the little tidbits and then within a year, year and a half, she had become another person, almost.”

Depp is expected to continue his testimony Wednesday.

Need help? In the US, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline,

If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line, Outside of the US, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.

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