Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s courtroom showdown is off to an explosive start
Johnny Depp admitted in court Tuesday that he has taken “every drug known to man” — but insisted he was not a “monster” who beat ex-wife Amber Heard.
Depp was quickly confronted over his heavy drug use, troubled childhood and his notorious hotel-trashing tantrum in New York as he took the stand in the UK’s High Court on the first day of his three-week libel case.
The 57-year-old actor repeated an earlier confession that he taken “every drug known to man” by the age of 14 — but insisted he was not the “wife beater” he was called by The Sun, the newspaper he is suing.
His ex-wife had “said to the world that she was in fear of her life from me, and I had been this horrible monster, if you will,” Depp told the court, insisting it was “not the case.”
Instead, she was the abusive one, he said, with his barrister accusing her of concocting “a catalog of ever more extreme and shocking lies.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star admitted having used cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, mushrooms and cannabis, calling them the “only thing I found to numb the pain.”
Complaining of a difficult childhood, he said he struggled with his fame, saying, “Even when I speak my own name it sounds foreign to me.”
He denied having a “nasty, angry side” even as he was confronted about trashing a New York’s Mark hotel in 1994.
“I don’t know the exact amount of damage,” Depp said when it was suggested he caused $10,000 damage, dismissing it as “a few dents. Yes.”
He blamed it on a “particularly bad couple of days,” saying, “I was angry. That didn’t mean I had an anger problem. On that occasion I chose to express my anger.”
The court also heard a statement from actress Ellen Barkin, who said Depp had thrown a bottle of wine across a hotel room on one occasion and had got jealous and angry.
“Untrue,” Depp replied, saying Barkin held a grudge.
Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, also read an extract from a 2015 tape in which Heard called the actor “a f–king baby” during an alleged attack, the Daily Mail said.
“You got hit … but I did not punch you,” Heard, 34, told him on the tape, according to report. “I did not f–king deck you. I f–king was hitting you,” the Mail said.
Depp’s legal team is using the tapes to show that the Hollywood star’s ex was behind the violence in their marriage as he sues The Sun newspaper for libel for an article that branded him a “wife beater.”
“He is not and never has been a wife beater,” Sherborne told the High Court hearing, according to the Evening Standard.
The tapes help prove that Heard was the violent one, the barrister said, according to the Standard.
“Ms. Heard has invented these stories of serious violence,” Sherborne said.
Depp painted himself as the peacemaker who tried to de-escalate things. “Whenever it would escalate, I would try to go to my own corner, as it were … before things got out of hand,” he said.
Depp and Heard arrived by separate entrances at the court on the first day of the three-week trial, one of the first to be held in person since Britain began to lift its coronavirus lockdown. Both wore face coverings over their noses and mouths.
Proceedings have been spread over several courtrooms to allow for social distancing.
Depp’s claim centers on an April 2018 story in the British tabloid headlined: “Potty – How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
While Heard isn’t on trial, the case is also a showdown between the former spouses, who accuse each other of being controlling, violent and untruthful during their tempestuous marriage.
Witnesses are likely to include Depp’s former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, both of whom have submitted statements supporting the Hollywood star.
With Post wires
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