Warning: This story contains graphic sexual language that may offend some readers.
Lawyers for Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard questioned Pirates of the Caribbean Thursday in his defamation case, showing text messages to jurors in which Depp referred to a “monster” within him that he was watching.
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 35, for US$50 million in Virginia court after accusing him of abuse. He argued that Heard was the one who turned violent in the relationship.
Beginning their cross-examination of Depp, Heard’s attorneys read text messages Depp sent in 2015 around the start of their roughly two-year marriage.
“We were perfect. All I had to do was send the monster back and lock him up, we were happier than ever,” he texted a former security guard.
“Amber and I have been absolutely perfect…I locked my monster kid in a cage deep inside me and it f—–g worked,” Depp said in a text to one of his doctors.
Depp said Heard used the word monster to describe when she thought he was using drugs or alcohol, although he said his perception was not always accurate.
Depp used disturbing language in texts referring to Heard
In other texts to friends or associates, Depp called Heard a “dirty whore” and other names.
Writing to actor Paul Bettany in 2013, Depp commented on Heard drowning and burning and then having sex with his corpse.
Depp apologized to Heard in a text message in 2014, saying he was a “savage” and had “gone too far”.
On Wednesday, Depp told a Virginia jury that Heard would “cross out” with a slap or a push. During an argument, Heard threw a bottle of vodka into Depp’s hand, cutting the top of his right middle finger, he said. Another time, Heard punched him repeatedly, he said.
WATCH | Depp-Heard’s defamation lawsuit began last week:
In a separate court case in Britain, Heard denied throwing a bottle and cutting Depp’s finger. She said she only threw objects to escape as he beat her, and 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 pirate the film was put on hold and Depp was removed from the fantastic beasts film franchise, 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.
The actor lost his libel case against a British tabloid in 2020
A state court judge in Fairfax County, Va., is overseeing the trial, which is in its second week and is expected to last six weeks.
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 repeatedly assaulted Heard.
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 US$100 million, will be decided at trial.