Lawyers for Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard questioned the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star on Thursday in his defamation case, showing jurors graphic text messages in which Depp referred to a ‘monster’ within him that he had to control. Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 35, for $50 million after accusing him of abuse before and during their roughly two-year marriage. He argued that Heard was the one who turned violent in the relationship.
In a Virginia courtroom, Heard’s lawyers spent much of Thursday presenting emails and text messages that Depp sent to Heard, friends, family and associates and often filled out swear words and vulgar descriptions. “We were perfect. All I had to do was send the monster away and lock him up, we were happier than ever,” he texted a former security guard in 2015 shortly after her marriage to Heard.
In another message to one of his doctors, Depp said he “locked my monster kid in a cage deep inside of him and it worked.” Depp said Heard used the word monster to describe when she thought he was drunk or doing drugs, although he said his perception was not always accurate.
In other texts, Depp called Heard a “dirty bitch” and other names and said he wanted her dead. Writing to actor Paul Bettany in 2013, Depp said, “Let’s drown her before we burn her” and “I’ll fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”
Depp said he was “not proud of the language he used in anger.” In other posts, Depp has spoken about alcohol and drug use.
“I, of course, hammered and flaunt some ugly colors in Amber on a recent trip,” he wrote to Bettany. “I’m a crazy person and not so fair after drinking too much.” Jurors also saw video, filmed by Heard, that showed the actor smashing and kicking kitchen cabinets at his West Hollywood home.
On Wednesday, Depp said it was Heard who got physical during arguments and would slap or push him. Heard once threw a bottle of vodka into Depp’s hand, cutting the top of his right middle finger, he said. In a separate court case in Britain, Heard denied throwing a bottle and cutting off Depp’s finger. She said she threw objects only to get away as he beat her and she once hit her because she was afraid he would push her sister down the stairs.
Depp said he never hit Heard or any woman. He accused Heard, also an actor, of defaming him when she wrote a December 2018 opinion piece in The Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic violence. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his attorney told jurors it was clear Heard was referring to the Hollywood leading man.
Depp said Heard’s allegations cost him “nothing less than everything”. A new ‘Pirates’ movie has been put on hold, and Depp has been dropped from the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film franchise, a ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off. Heard’s lawyers argued that she had spoken the truth and that her opinion was protected by free speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In opening arguments, Heard’s attorneys said Depp physically and sexually assaulted her while she was using drugs and alcohol.
A state court judge in Fairfax County, Va., is overseeing the trial, which will resume Monday. Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against The Sun, a British tabloid that called him a “wife beater”. A High Court judge in London ruled that he assaulted Heard on several occasions.
Depp’s attorneys said they filed the US case in Fairfax County, outside the nation’s capital, because The Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not accused. Heard, known for his roles in “Aquaman” and “Justice League,” and Depp were married for about two years. Their divorce was finalized in 2017.
Heard filed her own libel suit against Depp, claiming he defamed her by calling her a liar. Heard’s counterclaim, seeking $100 million, will be decided at trial.
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