Johnny Depp on the witness stand for the first time

DEFAMATION PROCESS

AP

Hollywood star Johnny Depp has testified for the first time in the defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard. He  denied ever hitting his former partner. Depp has sued his ex-wife Heard for $50 million in damages. Heard responded with a counterclaim, demanding $100 million from Depp.

“There were arguments and things like that, but it never got to the point where I would hit Ms. Heard in any way,” the actor said Tuesday in court in Fairfax, Virginia, near Washington, DC “I’ve never hit a woman in my life,” Depp said before Judge Penney Azcarate, who authorized cameras and live broadcast of the trial.

Heard’s allegations of domestic violence against him are “nefarious and disturbing,” the Pirates of the Caribbean star said. They were based on “no kind of truth” and were a “total shock” for him. “My goal is the truth,” Depp said at the trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

“Not only for me, also for my children”

When asked by one of his lawyers why he was suing Heard, to whom he was married between 2015 and 2017, for defamation, the 58-year-old said: “I saw it as my responsibility not only to stand up for myself, but also for me my children.” His children had to read a “horrible thing” about him that was not true. “It’s weird when you’re like Cinderella one day and Quasimodo 0.6 seconds later,” the actor added.

Heard responded to Depp’s lawsuit with a counterclaim

The background to Depp’s 50 million lawsuit is an article by Heard for the Washington Post newspaper from the end of 2018, in which the 35-year-old described herself as a victim of domestic violence. The actress did not name her ex-husband. However, Depp argued that he was implicitly accused of domestic violence, especially since Heard had publicly accused him of an assault in 2016.

Musk, Bettany and Franco expected to take the stand

APA/AFP

The trial began last week with jury selection and testimony, including the actors’ assistants, a doctor and a marriage counselor. In addition to Depp and Heard, other prominent witnesses are expected in the trial, which lasts several weeks, including Tesla boss Elon Musk and actors Paul Bettany and James Franco.

APA/AFP/Brendan Smialowski

Tesla boss Elon Musk: Depp accuses Heard of having an affair with the entrepreneur

Depp and Heard married in 2015 but split after just 15 months of marriage. In a process in London, the two already faced each other in 2020. The ongoing trial is, in a sense, a remake of the 2020 trial that Depp brought against the British tabloid The Sun. The newspaper had described him in 2018 as a “wife beater”. After a week-long war of roses with fierce allegations, Depp suffered a defeat and the lawsuit was dismissed. The majority of the allegations mentioned in the newspaper turned out to be true, the judges had determined in their verdict.

Memories of trial two years ago

At the London trial, Heard testified and accused Depp of repeatedly assaulting her while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. “Some incidents were so serious that I was afraid he would kill me – either on purpose or because he had lost control,” the actress, known for films such as Aquaman and The Danish Girl, said at the time.

AP/Joel Ryan

Heard and Depp met each other in 2010

Depp, who met Heard while filming The Rum Diary in 2010 and married in 2015, firmly denied the allegations. In truth, his ex-wife was the “aggressive part” in their conflicted relationship. He also accused her of having affairs with Musk and Franco during their marriage, which Heard denied. Depp was defeated in the London trial. His career also took serious damage.

The actor, known for eccentric performances, had to give up his role as the evil magician Grindelwald in the fantasy film series “Fantastic Beasts”. Irony of history and the schedule: The third part of the series is coming to US cinemas just in the week of the trial in Fairfax – without Depp