Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp testified Wednesday that his ex-wife Amber Heard would regularly “verbally decimate” him and once threw a vodka bottle at him, severing the tip of one of his fingers.
Depp, taking the witness stand for a second day of testimony in his blockbuster defamation case against Heard, said their relationship began to deteriorate about a year after their 2015 marriage.
“I was suddenly just wrong about everything,” the 58-year-old Hollywood star told the jury hearing the case in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
Heard, an actress who had a starring role in the movie Aquaman, would “verbally decimate me” with a “sort of rapid fire, endless parade of insults,” Depp said. “It seemed like pure hatred for me.”
The thrice Oscar-nominated actor, who was married to the Texas-born Heard from 2015 to 2017, said he would frequently retreat to another room to escape her rage.
“I would just go and lock myself in the bathroom,” he said.
“If I stayed to argue, eventually I was sure that it was going to escalate into violence and oftentimes it did,” he said. “In her rage and her anger she would strike out.
“She would begin with a slap. It could begin with a shove,” he said. “It could begin, you know, with throwing a TV remote at my head. It could be throwing a glass of wine in my face.”
Depp filed the suit after Heard, who turns 36 on Friday, wrote a column for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
The actress never named Depp, whom she met in 2009 on the set of the film The Rum Diary, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50m in damages.
Heard countersued, asking for $100m and claiming she suffered “rampant physical violence and abuse” at his hands.
Madness, chaos and violence
Depp recounted one incident for the jury in detail which took place while he was in Australia filming the fifth installment of the Pirates franchise.
Heard flew to Australia to be with him but was angry because one of his attorneys had discussed a possible post-nuptial agreement with her, he said.
“She was irate. She was possessed,” he said. “It escalated and escalated and turned into madness, chaos and violence.”
Depp said he had been sober for “many months” but after arguing with Heard he had “two or three stiff shots” of vodka.
Heard was upset to see him drinking again, he said, and threw the bottle at him. It smashed behind him.
Heard then grabbed another vodka bottle, Depp said, and threw it at him, making contact with the middle finger on his right hand which had been resting on the side of the bar.
The bottle “shattered everywhere,” Depp said, severing the tip of his finger.
“I was looking directly at my bones sticking out and the meaty portion of the inside of the finger,” he said, displaying the crooked digit for the jury.
Depp said he was in “shock” and “started to write in my own blood on the walls” – “lies that she told me” and “little reminders of my past.”
Depp said he told a doctor at the emergency room he had smashed the finger in a “large accordion door” because he did not want to get Heard in trouble.
Heard listened attentively taking occasional notes as Depp testified in a slow and measured voice.
Heinous and disturbing
On Tuesday, Depp said the allegations of physical abuse against him were “heinous and disturbing” and that he never hit Heard.
“Nor have I ever struck any woman in my life,” he said.
Depp filed the defamation complaint in the United States after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020 that he brought against the tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.”
Heard’s lawyers have claimed that Depp would become a “monster” during drug- and alcohol-fueled benders and physically and sexually abuse Heard.
According to Depp’s attorneys, the allegations have had a “devastating” impact on his career.
He left his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates and was asked to step down from the Fantastic Beasts movie series based on the book by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling.
Depp will be subject to cross-examination by Heard’s attorneys after his lawyers complete their questioning of him.
In 2016, Heard sought a divorce and a restraining order against Depp amid abuse allegations.
Their divorce was finalised in 2017.