Depp retakes witness stand, calls Heard's allegations insane
Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, May 25, 2022 9:46AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 25, 2022 4:22PM EDT
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) - Johnny Depp called his ex-wife's accusations of sexual and physical abuse “insane” Wednesday as he returned to the witness stand in his libel suit against Amber Heard.
“Ridiculous, humiliating, ludicrous, painful, savage, unbelievably brutal, cruel, and all false,” Depp said when asked about his reaction to hearing Heard's allegations when she testified earlier in the trial.
Depp was testifying Wednesday as a rebuttal witness - both he and Heard each testified extensively earlier in the trial.
He gave some specific responses to some of the particular allegations levied by Heard and also her sister, Whitney Henriquez, who provided some of Heard's strongest corroborating testimony.
He concluded his testimony with a final denial of the allegations.
“I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse, all these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things,” he said. “And living with it for six years, and waiting to be able to bring the truth out.”
He said that “no matter what happens I did get here and I did tell the truth and I have spoken up for what I've been carrying on my back, reluctantly, for six years.”
On cross-examination, jurors saw text messages from Depp's phone to his assistant in which he used vulgar terms to refer to a woman's sexual organs and said “I NEED. I WANT. I TAKE.”
When Heard's lawyers asked whether the text message shows Depp believes he can claim ownership rights over a woman he desires, Depp denied he wrote the message.
“I don't have that kind of hubris,” he said, suggesting the text was doctored or someone might have commandeered his phone. “That's quite grotesque.”
Depp is suing Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
Depp has denied he ever struck Heard and says she was the abuser in the relationship. Heard has testified about more than a dozen separate instances of physical abuse she says she suffered at Depp's hands.
Depp also disputed a claim made by Heard that Depp had nothing to do with getting her a role in the superhero blockbuster “Aquaman.” When Heard testified, she was clearly offended by a question from Depp's lawyers insinuating Depp got her the role.
Depp, though, said that after Heard auditioned for the role, he talked to the studio on her behalf. He was barred from discussing the details of his conversations when Heard's lawyers objected, but said that “ultimately she did get the job, so hopefully, I suppose, I had curbed their worries to some degree.”
On cross-examination, though, jurors saw a text message sent after Heard filed for divorce in which Depp told his sister “I want her replaced in that WB (Warner Bros.) film.”
Still, when Heard's lawyer, J. Benjamin Rottenborn, asked Depp whether he tried to get Heard fired from “Aquaman,” he denied it. He said instead that he just felt duty-bound to let the studio know “that it was going to end up ugly” if they kept Heard in the film.
Also Wednesday, supermodel Kate Moss, a former girlfriend of Depp, denied that she had ever been pushed or assaulted by Depp during the course of their relationship.
Moss also testified as a rebuttal witness. Heard, in her testimony, made a reference to Moss and a rumor that Depp had pushed Moss down a set of stairs when they dated.
Moss, in testimony provided by video link, said Depp never assaulted her. She said she did once slip down a flight of stairs after a rainstorm at a Jamaican resort, and that Depp came to her aid.
She testified for less than 5 minutes and was not cross-examined.
Depp also addressed the accusation in his testimony, saying it happened just as Moss said. He said he'd told the story about Moss to Heard years ago and “Ms. Heard took the story and turned it into a very ugly incident, all in her mind.”