On his second day on the stand, Johnny Depp detailed violent episodes in his short marriage to Amber Heard.
On Thursday 21, the seventh day of the case, it was Amber Heard’s lawyer’s team’s time to cross-examine Johnny Depp as a witness. Unlike the first days of testimonies where Depp’s team can take a long time to let their defendant tell his story, the contrary team is more focused on simple questions to interrogate the witness. For that reason, Heard’s team focused mainly on two main subjects, evidence in the form of text messages written by the actor to his friends and acquaintances where he uses derogatory and offensive language against Heard and contradicts what he had already said about his substance abuse.
Some of the texts presented do contain violent language where he describes the hypothetical criminal language. These were written in 2013 when the couple was still dating. He was also asked about the “Australia” incident where he lost the tip of his finger. Heard’s attorney asked him why he said at the ER that he had “chopped” his finger out while telling his doctor that it had been Amber. Depp answered that in a moment of shock, one does not think about getting into details with the doctors. He also admitted that he had used the blood from his finger to write on the walls.
Regarding his substance abuse, especially alcohol, Johnny Depp had previously declared that he had never gotten into a state of full inebriation to what Heard’s lawyers presented evidence where he claims he was drunk and also contradicting the number of drinks he had at determined events. Still, not such strong evidence compared to the audio presented by Depp’s team where Amber Heard admits to having gotten physical with him.
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After one day on the stand talking about his abusive upbringing, how his career started, and briefly about how his relationship with Amber Heard started, Johnny Depp took the stand once again to get into the core of the case, Heard and Depp’s accusations of violence during their short marriage.
The session started with Depp’s layers asking about the changing nature of their relationship that, as he had explained the day before, was full of love and care at the beginning. According to the actor, it soon all started to change when Heard started displaying a “need for conflict and a need for violence.” According to his testimony, she would start making hurtful and demeaning comments about him that would escalate into more serious arguments, and eventually physical confrontations on Heard’s hands:
“It could begin with a slap. It could begin with a shove. It could begin with, you know, throwing a TV remote at my head. It could be throwing a glass of wine in my face. But all in all, it was just constant.”
Johnny Depp detailed how one of their most violent encounters and one that made it to the news and tabloids came to happen. He recalled that by the time of their wedding they hadn’t signed a prenup agreement because every time he would bring the topic to the table it would lead to an argument. After the wedding in 2015, where he recalled most of the guests had consumed substances and alcohol (except him who only smokes marihuana), he suggested signing a postnup agreement.
According to Depp, this was “the beginning of the Australian fight.” By that time, he was in the country shooting the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. His lawyers had approached Heard to settle on the said postnup agreement, which infuriated the actress. According to the testimony, she flew to Australia to confront Depp:
“By the time she arrives in Australia, that had sunk very deep into her psyche, so much so that what really surprised me is that she kept saying ‘I’m not even in your will.’ I thought that was an odd thing to say. [...] Those things, it felt wrong, and she could not let go of the fact that I was ‘in’ on this postnup agreement.”
Depp declared he had kept himself sober for some months by that time, and seeing that the argument was violently escalating, tried his best to get away from her, but still she kept screaming and using offensive language at him. At some point, he managed to lock himself in the bathroom but Amber “kept banging on the door and screaming obscenities and wanting to have a physical altercation.”
Finally, he managed to leave the apartment and went into a bar where he took vodka shots for the first time in months. Heard went into the bar and kept fighting and scolding him for drinking. According to Johnny Depp, that’s when things hit the roof. She grabbed a bottle from the bar and threw it at him missing for a bit. “She then threw the large bottle and it made contact with my hand and shattered everywhere. Then I looked down and realized that the tip of my finger had been severed.”
Depp was taken to a hospital and eventually had surgery on his hand. However, just a couple of weeks after the altercation, the couple returned to the US where another incident took place. According to Depp, it was the “staircase incident” where heard punched him in the face giving him a bruise on his face. Images of both lesions were shown at the trial. Also, Depp’s legal team offered audio evidence of Amber Heard admitting she had been physical with the actor.
Finally, Johnny Depp’s attorney asked him what many of his detractors have questioned, and why he stayed in such an abusive and violent relationship. One of the first things he mentioned is that he wanted to make this marriage work after his previous marriage to Vanessa Paradis, the mother of his children had failed. However, he also added that Amber had spoken about suicide “so, that also becomes a factor, that’s something that lives in the back of your brain.”
Adding to the question, he brought back the relationship of abuse his parents had and mentioned that it was possible that his father’s stoic way to deal with his violent mother might’ve had something to do with how he reacted to Amber’s violent ways. Still, he reiterated once again, that even though things would get extremely aggressive with Heard he has never “struck a woman.”
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