Johnny Depp’s 3rd day of hearing focuses on his text messages about ex-wife Amber Heard | WFAE 90.7


Updated April 21, 2022 4:47 PM ET

Editor’s note: This story contains profanity and a racial slur.

Actor Johnny Depp returned to the witness box in a Virginia courtroom on Thursday in his $50 million defamation case against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard.

Depp says Heard falsely accused him of domestic violence – which he has repeatedly denied.

Thursday’s questions centered on Depp’s own words

Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn, continued his cross-examination of Depp Thursday morning by asking about the actor’s childhood experiences, including an episode where his father hit him.

Rottenborn then asked Depp about his drug use and read aloud a series of text messages in which Depp made vicious and profane remarks about Heard while they were married or dating. In them, Depp talked about killing Heard, and he called her a “dirty whore”.

“Let’s Burn Amber!!!” Depp said in a text message to fellow actor Paul Bettany that was shown on a courtroom screen and Rottenborn read aloud. In another text, Depp added, “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!”

Rottenborn repeatedly asked Depp about using the word “monster” to describe part of his personality. Depp said Heard used the word to describe him. But Rottenborn cited numerous texts in which Depp referred to his “monster” in messages with his close friends, including one in which he talked about locking up his “monster child” while trying to get off drugs.

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool/AFP via Getty Images


Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Actress Amber Heard talks to her attorney during the libel trial against her at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., on Thursday.

Heard’s lawyer attacked Depp’s credibility

Rottenborn sought to portray Depp as an unreliable narrator, questioning his ability to remember when certain events happened and trying to pierce a claim Depp made in court on Tuesday – that around the time he and Heard got married in February 2015, Depp had been 18 months sober.

“It’s just nonsense, right?” Rottenborn asked the actor.

“Thank you,” Depp replied.

Rottenborn then said that less than a year earlier, Depp had written in text messages that he had been drunk on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles. Depp replied in court that he only had champagne on that occasion, as well as opioid pills.

The attorney also accused Depp of lying on papers he signed as part of the insurance policy the Disney studio took out for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, that Depp began filming in Australia shortly after marrying Heard.

Rottenborn showed the jury a section of a casting insurance medical certificate, asking whether the insured performer had used illegal substances in the past 12 months. Depp had checked a box under “No,” Rottenborn said.

But in earlier questioning, Rottenborn noted, Depp admitted to texting Paul Bettany in May 2014, stating that he had been drinking heavily and using various drugs, including cocaine, before picking up Heard for the Boston-Los Angeles flight.

“What do you get? An aggressive, angry Injun in a power outage, shouting obscenities and insulting any f***s who come near,” Depp says itself in the text, according to Rottenborn. “I’m done. I’m admittedly too fucked up in the head to spray my rage on the one I love.”

born rotten played an audio recording Depp on the plane, moaning in pain.

Who cut off Depp’s finger?

Heard’s lawyer also spent time trying to undermine Depp’s claim that the actress cut off the tip of her middle finger with a broken vodka bottle.

Rottenborn suggested that Depp actually hurt himself, building a narrative using text messages, documents and audio recordings.

The jury saw documents in which Depp allegedly told doctors he cut his finger in an accordion door. Depp disputed this, saying someone else on his team may have made the statement.

Rottenborn also presented evidence that Depp told doctors he cut him with a knife.

In a text, Depp wrote: “I cut off my left middle finger to remind myself that I should never cut my finger again. I love you brother.”

Depp previously said he lied about the incident, in an effort to keep Heard’s name out of reports about it.

Rottenborn also released an audio recording of a conversation between Heard and Depp in which he can be heard saying, “The day I cut my finger.”

Later, Rottenborn presented jurors with a video clip showing Depp slamming kitchen cabinets in his home.

When asked to respond to the video on Thursday, Depp said, “Clearly I was having a bad time.”

The jury heard evidence of arguments and questions of violence

WednesdayDepp said: “Violence was unnecessary. Why would you hit someone to agree with you? I don’t think that works.”

Tuesdayhe said, “I myself never reached the point of hitting Mrs. Heard in any way, and I never hit any woman in my life.”

Instead, Depp said, it was Heard who was violent with him. During his testimony on Wednesday, he accused her of throwing two bottles of vodka at him in Australia after she suggested they get a post-nup agreement. The incident severed the tip of one of his fingers and subsequently delayed the filming of the Pirates of the Caribbean film he was working on at the time, Depp said.

The court also heard recordings of the couple arguing.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you in the face with a good slap, but I was hitting you,” was heard in another incident. “I wasn’t hitting you. Baby, you’re not hitting.”

Heard’s domestic violence essay sparked lawsuit

In December 2018, Heard wrote an editorial in the Washington Post expressing support for the Violence Against Women Act. In it, she drew on her own experiences as a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence.

The essay did not directly refer to Depp by name, but his 2019 court complaint states, “The editorial was clearly about Ms Heard’s alleged victimization after she publicly accused her former husband, Johnny Depp, of domestic abuse in 2016, when she appeared in court with an apparently battered face and obtained a temporary restraining order against Mr. Depp.”

Depp is suing Heard on three counts of defamation, citing his op-ed published on The Washington Post website and in its print journal, as well as Heard posting a link to the article via its Twitter account.

Depp is seeking at least $50 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages of at least $350,000, as well as attorneys’ fees and court costs.

The jury will also consider Heard’s countersuit against Depp, which seeks $100 million in damages and alleges that her legal team falsely accused her of fabricating claims against Depp.

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