FAIRFAX, Va. – Actor Johnny Depp will continue his testimony Wednesday in his libel suit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp told jurors Tuesday that he felt compelled to sue Heard for libel out of an obsession for the truth after she accused him of domestic violence.
“My goal is the truth because it killed me that all these people I had met over the years ... that these people would think that I was a fraud,” he said.
Depp flatly denied ever hitting Heard, calling the physical and sexual assault allegations against him disturbing, heinous and “not based in any species of truth.”
“Nothing of the kind ever happened,” Depp said in court.
Alluding to the fall his career has taken since Heard levied abuse allegations against him, the former “Pirates of the Caribbean” star said, “it’s been six years of trying times. It’s very strange when one day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo.”
For the first hour-plus of testimony Tuesday, Depp gave long, stream-of-consciousness answers to questions about his childhood and his early movie career, speaking in his signature deep baritone. After one long answer, he admitted: “I forgot what the original question was.”
Indeed, he acknowledged his meandering style, particularly as it relates to his writing style. He mentioned his long friendship and collaborations with the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and said he sought to emulate a style that often incorporated brash language and embellishing thoughts.
He said that led him at times to write text messages that he now finds embarrassing, and he apologized to the jury for the vulgar language he used in text messages introduced as evidence to describe Heard.
“In the heat of the moment, in the heat of the pain I was feeling, I went to dark places,” he said.
But he said he'd been waiting for six years to tell his side of the story after Heard filed for divorce against him in 2016 and sought a restraining order against him.
The trial began more than a week ago, but, prior to Tuesday, jurors had only seen the Hollywood star sitting silently with his team of lawyers as each side has tried to embarrass the other in a trial that Heard's lawyers accurately predicted would turn into a mudslinging soap opera.
After denying Heard's abuse allegations, Depp spoke at length about a childhood in which physical abuse from his mother was “constant.” When he became a father, Depp said, he made sure his children didn’t experience that kind of upbringing.