Johnny Depp returned to the witness stand Thursday morning for questioning in his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
He was asked about texts saying he wanted to “burn” and “drown” Ms. heard. Depp was asked if English actor Paul Bettany was “a good friend you made rugs with” – a question that Depp said was odd, but he later confirmed both aspects.
The trial between Depp and Heard began last week in Fairfax, Virginia, following Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 editorial published in The Washington Post titled “I Speak Out Against Sexual Violence – and I Faced the Wrath of Our Culture. That has to change”.
Heard’s lawyer asked Depp about his testimony in his trial in England against The sun, who he sued for defamation after the newspaper branded him a “wife beater”.
Lawyer Ben Rottenborn then asked whether Depp and Bettany “shared the pleasure of alcohol and controlled drugs,” to which Depp agreed.
Rottenborn then proceeded to read text messages between Depp and Bettany.
According to court documents, Depp texted Bettany “Let’s burn Amber!!!” on June 11, 2013.
“Having thought about it, I don’t think we should burn Amber – she’s delightful and pleasant company, plus I’m not sure she’s a witch,” Bettany replied. “Of course we could try the English course of action in these situations – we do a drowning test. Thoughts? NB, I have a pool.”
“Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I’m going to fuck her burnt corpse afterward to make sure she’s dead…” replied Depp.
“My thoughts entirely!” Mr. Bettany wrote. “Let’s be SURE before we pronounce her a witch.”
The interrogation began briefly Wednesday afternoon, with Depp being asked if he knows the lawsuit is about the op-ed and nothing that came before its publication in 2018.
There was some dispute between Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, and Depp, as the actor said he would have to be a “simpleton” to think Heard’s words didn’t affect his career.
Asked to read another two-month article before Heard says Depp won’t be in another pirates film, Mr Rottenborn tried to show that his words in Publish are not responsible for your alleged career problems.
Depp stated that his image is still in use on toys and merchandise related to the franchise at Disney.
At the start of Wednesday’s hearing, Depp laughed at the courtroom when he predicted a rumored objection from Heard’s attorneys after frequent interruptions from his team.
The actor was talking about a chef making a Mexican meal for Heard on his 30th birthday when he noted that the testimony could face an objection.
“That’s hearsay, I think,” he said to the court’s laughter.
“I’m not sure it’s being offered for the truth of the matter,” the judge replied. Legal observers said on Twitter that this observation suggests the judge believes the story is not hearsay.
“He got it,” Heard’s lawyer said.
“I’m learning,” Depp said.
The actor also accused his ex-wife of denying him medication while he was detoxing from opioids.
“The effects of the withdrawals were really kicking in and I told Ms. Heard ‘I’m going to need the meds now’. And she looked at her watch and said, ‘It’s not time,'” Depp said.
“I said ‘no, no, no, you don’t understand, it’s not about watches and watches and stuff, I’m getting into shit,'” he added.
“I hate to say this, and I hate to have to admit it, but this was, I believe it was the lowest point in my life, which was the lowest I ever felt as a human being because I had to say, ‘Why? please please can i have the meds? Because it’s really working. And she was adamant: ‘No, it’s not time, it’s not time,’” Depp recalled.
In her 2018 editorial, Heard wrote in part that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted in college. But I kept silent – I didn’t expect the filing of grievances to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”
“Two years ago I became a public figure representing domestic abuse and felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women speaking out,” she added at the time.
Although Depp is not named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Depp is seeking damages of “no less than $50 million.”
Heard has filed a $100 million counterclaim against Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.