(Trends Wide) — Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are in a controversial defamation trial in a Virginia court, the process of which will resume on Monday.
Depp is suing Heard, his ex-wife, for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although Depp was not named in the article, he claims that it cost him lucrative acting roles.
Both Heard and Depp, who met in 2009 and were married from 2015 to 2016, accuse each other of acts of physical violence during their relationship. Both have denied the other’s claims.
The former couple settled their divorce in August 2016, releasing a joint statement that said in part: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and sometimes volatile, but always bound by love.”
The trial, which began on April 11, is scheduled to last six weeks. Heard has not yet testified.
Depp began his testimony on April 19, and is expected to be questioned by Heard’s attorney on Monday.
This is some of what has come up during Depp’s testimony so far.
Heard alleged in 2016 that Depp was “verbally and physically abusive” toward her, according to a complaint she filed that year, alleging that Depp bruised her face after throwing a phone at her in their Los Angeles home.
Depp denied the allegation and was not charged with any crime.
The actor stated Tuesday that the pair argued frequently, but said: “I never got to the point of hitting Mrs. Heard in any way nor have I ever hit any woman in my life.”
Audio recordings of some of their intense exchanges have been played in court, including one in which Heard discussed hitting Depp.
“You didn’t get punched; you got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like that, but I didn’t punch you,” Heard allegedly said.
Laurel Anderson, a clinical psychologist who worked with Depp and Heard in 2015 as their marriage counselor, testified in a video played in court on April 14 that Heard told her he “fought back” after Depp turned physical. Anderson said that she the ex-partner “engaged in what I saw as mutual abuse”.
Depp has also claimed that he physically defended himself on occasion, speaking of an incident in which Heard said he injured his nose. Depp said in court that his head connected with Heard’s forehead as he tried to “contain” Heard.
“There was no intentional headbutt,” the actor said.
a severed finger
Depp testified that his finger was cut by broken glass in 2015 after Heard allegedly threw a bottle of vodka at him. He sought medical attention, but commented in court that at the time he told other people that he had injured his finger by hitting it with a door.
“I did not want to reveal that it was Mrs. Heard who had thrown a bottle of vodka at me and then cut my finger,” he said during his testimony. “I didn’t want to get her into trouble. I tried to make things as peaceful and easy for everyone as possible. I didn’t want to get her into that mix.”
Depp said he had undergone multiple surgeries to repair the finger and contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) during his recovery. MRSA causes staph infections that are resistant to some antibiotics and are often difficult to treat.
Dr. David Kipper, who has treated Depp, corroborated parts of Depp’s story in a statement played in court this week.
Heard’s lawyers have cited statements Depp made to ER doctors at the time to argue that Depp cut his own finger. The actor denies it.
He was also asked about his actions after the injury, including when he used his injured finger to write on the walls with a mixture of his blood and paint. Depp confirmed in court that he had done so.
Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, submitted as evidence on Thursday several text messages Depp sent to friends and staff members, one of which referred to Heard’s “rotting corpse.”
Depp said he was “embarrassed” by the messages read in court and said he sometimes uses “black humor” to express himself.
Other text messages in which Depp discussed his drug and alcohol use were shared with friends including actor Paul Bettany and musician Marilyn Manson.
Pirates of the Caribbean
While Depp’s lawsuit focuses on the damage to his once lucrative career, some conversations focused on Pirates of the Caribbeanthe popular franchise that Depp starred in for five films over 15 years.
Rottenborn, Heard’s attorney, argued that Depp was aware that he was “probably out” of the sixth film or that Disney would drop or reduce his role in it, prior to the publication of Heard’s op-ed. Depp denied it.
“I would be a real simpleton if I didn’t think there was an effect on my career based on Mrs Heard’s words, whether they mentioned my name or not,” Depp said on the stand.
Depp sheepishly admitted in his testimony that he has not seen the first film in the “Pirates” franchise. He did say, however, that he “believed in the character wholeheartedly”.
However, when asked by Rottenborn, “If Disney came to you with $300 million and a million alpacas, nothing on earth would make you work with Disney again on a Pirates of the CaribbeanRight?”
“That’s true, Mr. Rottenborn,” Depp replied.
Depp added about his career: “One day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in zero point six seconds you’re Quasimodo. I didn’t deserve that and neither did my children, nor did the people who have believed in me all these years.”