It was Johnny Depp‘s turn to take the stand on Tuesday (Apr. 19) in his defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. During the first day of his testimony, Johnny, 58, addressed the offensive text messages he sent about Amber, 35, in which he referred to her as “c–t” and other graphic terms. “I am ashamed of some of the references made,” said Johnny. “I’m embarrassed at the time [of] the heat of the moment, the heat of the pain that I was feeling, [I] went to dark places. If you’re writing, there is no set place that you have to stay in. you can travel. and sometimes pain can be, has to be dealt with humor and sometimes dark very dark humor.”
“I grew up watching Monty Python, so it can tend to get into dark humor,” continued Depp. “It can tend to get to, words are used that for emphasis, and words are used to express what you’re feeling at the time, and it’s just like growing up. You learn from those mistakes, and you move forward, and that’s how you begin to understand your own vernacular.”
The text messages in question were read aloud in the court on Apr. 13. Johnny called Amber a “c—t” when writing to a friend and once hoped her “rotting corpse was decomposing in the f–king trunk of a Honda Civic.” The friend, Isaac Baruch, wrote off the messages while being cross-examined, saying that Johnny “called me a c—t in a text” (per the New York Post).
That is not all. “I’m not sure we should burn Amber. She is delightful company and pleasing on the eye. We could of course do the English course of action and perform a drowning test. Thoughts? You have a swimming pool,” actor Paul Bettany texted to Johnny in 2013. Johnny wrote back with, “Let’s drown her before we burn her.”
“My goal is the truth,” Johnny said when he first took the stand during his testimony. He claimed that “lies build upon lies,” and struck back against the domestic accuse claims made by his former wife. Depp referred to the allegations as “diabolical” and that he was “doing the right thing” by pursuing this litigation against her. “There were arguments and things of that nature, but never did myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in anyway, nor have I struck anyone in my life,” he said. “It was my responsibility to not only clear my name …I wanted to clear my children of this horrid thing they had to read about their father, that was untrue.”
Johnny’s testimony comes a week after his sister and personal manager, Christi Dembrowski, 61, testified that she heard Amber berate Johnny after sharing the news that Dior wanted to do a campaign with him. Amber supposedly said, “ ’Dior, why would Dior want to do business with you? They’re about class and style, and you don’t have style,’” Amber supposedly said, according to Christi. Johnny’s sister also testified that she would book an extra hotel room for Johnny and Amber when they traveled if they fought, and he needed a room for himself.
When recalling hearing that Johnny was going to propose to Amber, Christi said she was “scared” for her brother. “Devastated, actually. I actually tried to talk him into waiting a bit longer.”
When Amber’s lawyers cross-examined Christi, they asked about Johnny’s alleged drug use, bringing up text messages she apparently sent her brother where she asked him to “stop drinking, stop coke” and “stop pills.” Christi couldn’t recall the texts and didn’t confirm the nature of the requests.
Christ’s testimony followed the opening statements in which Amber’s lawyers accused Johnny of sexually assaulting her during a trip to Australia. In graphic detail, Amber’s legal team accused Johnny of hurling bottles at his then-wife, dragging her “across the floor on the broken bottles and the liquor,” of punching and kicking Amber before allegedly assaulting her with one of the bottles. The allegations left Amber in tears in the courtroom.
Johnny and Amber’s legal showdown first began on Apr. 11, with the former lovers arriving at the Fairfax, Virginia courthouse to attend the jury selection. Both dressed in three-piece suits for the hearing, maintaining an air of professionalism as their legal teams picked the jurors that would rule on the $50 million defamation lawsuit. Depp is suing his ex-wife over a December 2018 op-ed that Amber wrote for the Washington Post. In the piece, she claimed she had become “a public figure representing domestic abuse” who felt “felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
Though Amber didn’t cite Johnny by name, Depp filed a libel lawsuit against her. Depp’s lawyers accused Amber of fabricating the claims to advance her career, prompting her to file a $100 million countersuit, alleging that Johnny is engaging in a campaign of “abuse and harassment,” per Page Six. “Not content to let the jury decide this lawsuit, Mr. Depp and/or his agents acting on his behalf have orchestrated a false and defamatory smear campaign,” Amber’s suit alleges.