- Johnny Depp was back on the stand Monday in his $100million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard
- The court heard a number of audio recordings of Depp and Heard arguing – it was not clear who took each one but it was one of the parties
- ‘The next move, if I don’t walk away, it’s just going to be a bloodbath. Like it was on the island, it’s not worth it. Why be miserable, can we just have some understanding?’ Depp said
- During another recording Heard and Depp can be heard arguing when Depp shouts: ‘You’re a f**king c**t!’
- Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a piece she wrote in the Washington Post in which she described how she had been a victim of domestic abuse
- She is countersuing for $100 million claiming Depp libeled her by calling her a liar
Johnny Depp was back on the stand Monday in his $100million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard. The court heard a number of audio recordings of Depp and Heard arguing during cross-examination by Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn. It was not clear who took each one but it was one of the parties.
In one audio clip, Depp tells Heard: ‘Walking away is necessary, is necessary, especially between you and I. It’s of utmost importance. ‘The next move, if I don’t walk away, it’s just going to be a bloodbath. Like it was on the island, it’s not worth it. Why be miserable, can we just have some understanding?’
Heard says that given a choice between a bloodbath and walking away ‘obviously’ she will choose the latter. Depp says: ‘Then why has it (a bloodbath) been chosen so many times?’ Rottenborn told the court that this was not the first time the description ‘bloodbath’ had come up during the trial.
On March 12 2013 Depp texted Heard: ‘Just thought you should know there exists a book titled Disco Bloodbath, that’s all.’ The title appeared to refer to the novel by Manhattan celebutante James St. James written in 1999 about a murder among his circle of friends, known as the ‘Club Kids’.
Heard said: ‘We need that book! Is it about last Friday night by any chance?’ Depp replied: ‘How can you make me smile about such a hideous moment. Yes, it is. Funny bi**h. I f**king love you, c**t.’ In another audio Heard tells Depp: ‘You wouldn’t have used that as a way to hit me. I was pouring my heart out to you, what do you do?
‘You do without thinking. Throw a swing when you can. What better than when I’m on the floor because that’s when it’s really good to hit someone. In one audio Heard tells Depp: ‘Put your f**k*ing cigarette out on someone else.’ Depp replies: ‘Shut up fat a**.’
Asked about it in court, Depp said: ‘I think that was another grossly exaggerated moment of Miss Heard. I didn’t put a cigarette out on her.’ In another clip Heard says: ‘I cry in my bedroom after I dumped you a week prior after you beat the s*** out of me. A week later you show up saying you want to say goodbye.’ Depp says: ‘I made a huge mistake. I won’t do it again.’
During another recording Heard and Depp can be heard arguing when Depp shouts: ‘You’re a f**king c**t!’. In yet another audio clip, Depp tells Heard: ‘You stupid f**k! I don’t f**king care, you shut up with that!’ Rottenborn said: ‘You heard Miss Heard say get off me? referring to the clip, which was faint.
Depp said: ‘(I heard) distant screaming and I’ll talk to you later.’ The court heard a text sent by Depp to his agent Christian Carino on August 15, 2016. Depp said of Heard: ‘She will hit the wall hard!!!!’ ‘I can only hope that karma kicks in and takes the gift of breath from her.’
Texts read in court were read out by Rottenborn, Heard’s lawyer, to Depp while he was in the witness box. The court heard a message that Depp sent to his security guard Malcolm Connolly in February 2016 around the time he supposedly smashed up the kitchen of his Los Angeles home.
Depp says that ‘I feel like I’m going to puke all the time’ and says he wants to ‘get myself out of her (Heard’s) level of s**t.’ Depp says: ‘I will never mention this c**t’s name ever again. The first prick that mentions her name will get a warning.’
Depp wrote that the next person who mentions Heard’s name will get ‘his nose bit off, chewed up and swallowed by Johnny Depp.’ Depp said that the individual will have to ‘force him to watch me mangling’ his nose. Rottenborn asked: ‘Miss Heard was not the only one who disapproved of your drinking?’
Depp said: ‘If anyone had a problem with my drinking it was me. The only person I’ve abused is myself. The court heard a text from Depp to Kevin Murphy, his assistant, on January 21, 2014, that referred to Vanessa Paradis, his ex-wife, and mother to their two children, including daughter Lily-Rose.
Depp said: ‘Just trying to get over my shocking discussion with Vanessa that lasted five-plus hours. Now Lily-Rose hates me because she thinks I’m drinking and she’s right but I can’t admit or I f**king die in her eyes.’
Rottenborn turned to Depp’s views on Heard’s career as an actress. On October 29, 2013, Heard was texting Depp that she was in a coffee meeting which appeared to frustrate him. Depp replied asking what ‘species’ of meeting it was. He told her: ‘No goddam movies, no movies. Why deviate from our agreement?’
Rottenborn asked: ‘You didn’t want her to take the meeting?’ Depp said: ‘It seems as though he had an agreement to do something together. I’m asking what species of meeting. ‘It’s not necessarily an angry text, it’s why did you deviate from our agreement. It’s not about her doing films. How do you think she got Aquaman?’
Rottenborn asked: ‘You want to control her career?’ Depp said: ‘That’s patently untrue.’ Depp was shown a series of unflattering articles about him as Heard’s lawyers sought to show that there were many negative stories about him prior to her 2018 op-ed that he did not sue over.
Depp dismissed the reports as a ‘stack of hit pieces generated by Miss Heard’s publicity team.’ Rottenborn readout 12 headlines including one describing how he was drunk at an award ceremony and got cut off by the organizers. A May 2016 piece said that Depp’s ‘friends and family are seriously concerned about him, here’s why.’
Depp responded: ‘How did they know?’ Depp dismissed a May 2017 story about his former manager saying he had an ‘epic sense of entitlement because he was in a lawsuit with them. Depp said that another headline from the same month about how he drank heavily and was constantly late to the set of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 was ‘pathetic’ and a ‘hit piece.’
Rottenborn read a headline for another story that said: ‘Where did it all go wrong for Johnny Depp?’ The article noted that ‘after a string of flops’ Depp’s career looks as ‘wobbly as Jack Sparrow on a plank.’ Rottenborn asked Depp if he read that correctly. He responded sarcastically: ‘You read it very well.’
A number of the headlines were from the Hollywood Reporter and Depp said bitingly they were ‘very nice to me.’ Another headline read out to Depp by Rottenborn read: ‘Why Johnny Depp’s movies are bombing at the box office.’ To a headline about Depp showing up drunk to a movie premiere, Depp protested: ‘This is hearsay, is it not?’
Rottenborn read out a headline published six months before Heard’s op-ed which talked about how his life was a ‘haze of booze and hash, a lifestyle he can’t afford.’ Rottenborn asked if he read it correctly. Depp shot back: ‘You should read the article,’ sparking laughter in court.
Rottenborn read a Daily Mail headline by journalist Alison Boshoff from June 2018 which read: ‘Vodka for breakfast, 72-hour drug binges and spending sprees that beggar belief: ALISON BOSHOFF reveals why Hollywood’s reeling over what’s being called Johnny Depp’s career suicide note.’ Depp said: ‘Who is Alison Boshoff and how does she know?’ Depp’s lawyer Camille Vasquez questioned Depp about how it felt when the op-ed came out.
He said: ‘Hurt. A blinding hurt. It was like somebody had hit me in the back of the head with a 2×4 and as it said, I had no ability to speak prior because even if I’d done an interview it turned into a hit piece. ‘My mouth was shut and this was the opportunity where I thought something’s got to be done, I couldn’t take it anymore.’ Depp said he was shocked when Disney dropped him from the Pirates franchise.
He said: ‘I didn’t quite understand how after that long relationship and quite a successful relationship certainly for Disney that suddenly I was guilty until proven innocent.’ But Depp said that ultimately he soured on Disney and felt that there was a very deep and distinct sense of having been betrayed.’ There was laughter in court as Depp struggled to name the other franchises he was in beyond Pirates.
Depp said Alice in Wonderland but struggled and said: ‘Boy.’ He said: ‘I’m so pathetic when it comes to knowing what movies I’ve done. I feel better not watching them. What was the question again?’ At that point, Depp’s supporters laughed loudly in court. Judge Penney Azcarate said: ‘Order in the court or I will have you removed.’
Vasquez asked Depp about texts he exchanged with the British actor Paul Bettany in which they joked about drowning and burning Heard. Depp said: ‘Mr. Bettany and I met when I was making The Tourist in Venice. It was an instant connection. He’s born and bred in the UK and has that English dry obtuse, abstract sense of humor. That was one of the things we connected on.
‘Even if it was a difficult or unpleasant situation we’d do our best to deal with it with humor as opposed to just a constant complaint or whining. ‘There was a lot of in context it’s important to know that none of it was ever intended to be real. The language that’s used, which I’m ashamed has to be spread on the world like peanut butter.
‘The text that is about burning Miss Heard, it’s directly from Monty Python in the sketch about burning witches and drowning witches. ‘This is a film we’d all watched when we were 10. It’s just irreverent and abstract humor. That’s what we were referring to’.
Depp said that Bettany had an ‘abominable’ relationship with Heard and recounted an incident on his private island in the Bahamas. He said: ‘Miss Heard despised Mr. Bettany mainly because we’d become such close friends and for her, he was a threat and would take me away from her with regard to. If Paul Bettany was getting the attention from me that was a showstopper.
‘It would cause all kinds of unpleasantries to the point where when we were on the island with Mr. Bettany, his wife, and his four children, Miss Heard and Mr. Bettany got into some debate over lunch and I remember that whenever Mr. Bettany tried to make a point she would talk over him and it started to get quite rude.
‘She got mean and she got loud and then his 18-year-old boy who was getting ready to go – very bright, brilliant kid – entered the conversation because it was something to do with what he studied. He voiced his opinion and Miss Heard demeaned that young man to the point where he burst into tears and walked away.
‘It was at that point that I’d spoken to Miss Heard and said that’s unacceptable, you have no right to demean that boy, you cannot always be right. You should try being wrong sometimes because you might learn something. I thought it best if she leave the island.’
Vasquez asked Depp about a text he sent to his personal doctor after the incident in Australia in which he says he cut his finger off. Depp denied this was an admission he had done it himself.
He said: ‘I’m a guitarist and have been since 12, that was the only peace I’ve found where I knew I could escape into music and learn music. ‘There is no reason in the world, literally, I’d cut my finger off to ruin this beautiful opportunity I was given at 12 to learn how to play the guitar
‘Why would I start lopping off digits in my 50s if as Mr. Rottenborn suggests I am a walking tantrum. When I was younger, why wouldn’t I start chopping off fingers? Why would I ruin the only thing that was really good in my life aside from my children?
‘When the tip of this finger went the only thing I could think in my mind was thank god it wasn’t the left hand which is the fretting hand. ‘If you lose a finger from your left hand, I’d have had to relearn how to play the guitar all over again. That’s not the case.
‘If I was going to admit to someone I actually chopped my finger off, it would have been a long explanation. Not I can’t take responsibility for what I now call Little Richard, my chopped finger.’