Jurors who heard testimony in Johnny Depp’s libel trial against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, listened to audio recordings on Monday in which he discussed the violence that could ensue if their arguments were allowed to intensify.
“The next move, if I don’t walk away…it’s gonna be a bloodbath, like it was on the island,” Depp says on the recording.
In other audio clips, Depp loudly shouts vulgarities at his wife, calling her a demeaning name and shouting “You’re stupid f—“.
Depp grimaced on the stand as the clips played, while Heard appeared to be fighting back tears.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post. She describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence”.
Depp’s cross-examination ended Monday morning
The clips were part of a grueling cross-examination of Depp that ended late Monday morning as he spoke for a fourth day of testimony on his allegations that Heard had falsely described him as a domestic abuser .
Heard’s attorneys continued their onslaught of questions during their cross-examination. focusing on Depp’s drinking, drug use, and charged interactions with Heard during their relationship.
During Monday’s testimony, Depp actually said very little, although on his attorney’s redirection he sought to explain some of his foul language and again denied cutting his finger in a fight. with Heard – even though he told people as much at the time. He now says the finger was severed when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him.
“Why would I start cutting numbers in my 50s?” he said, showing his right hand to the jury. “I can’t take responsibility for what I now call Little Richard, my severed finger.”
Most of the interrogations consisted of Heard’s attorney playing audio clips or reading vulgar text messages sent by Depp and asking Depp if he had read them correctly.
Throughout cross-examination, Depp showed his displeasure with questions from J. Benjamin Rottenborn, Heard’s attorney. When he cut off a response, Depp said, “I was talking.” When Rottenborn said he considered the question fully answered, Depp replied, “As long as you’re happy.”
Depp also expressed his disapproval as Rottenborn read the headlines of a series of negative articles written about the actor, some dating back to 2014.
“These are all hit tracks. They’re bonkers,” the actor said.
Rottenborn presented the articles in an attempt to demonstrate that the 2018 Washington Post article at the center of the case is not what damaged his reputation, but rather a long history of bad behavior.
The lawsuit focused on the ugly details of the couple’s marriage
While the defamation lawsuit is supposed to focus on whether Depp was defamed in the article, the bulk of the lawsuit has focused on ugly details of the couple’s brief marriage.
Depp denies ever hitting Heard, while Heard’s lawyers argue that Depp physically and sexually assaulted her and that his denials lack merit as he was often drunk and high to the point of passing out.
Depp was last at the helm Thursday. Heard’s lawyers discussed his history of trashing hotel rooms, as well as the time he smashed a bathroom light during an argument with Heard. Depp is also facing a lawsuit brought by a member of a film crew who alleges the actor assaulted them in 2018.
The jury saw dozens of texts from Depp to friends regarding his drinking, drug use and interactions with his then-wife, as well as his notes of contrition to Heard and his father.
Depp said the accusations and the article contributed to an unjustly ruined reputation that made him a Hollywood pariah and cost him his role in the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. Heard’s attorneys say Depp’s damaged reputation is the result of his own bad behavior.
Depp has been on the helm of Fairfax County Circuit Court since last Tuesday afternoon. The actor testified that Heard abused drugs and that she was the one who physically assaulted him. He called the drug charges against him “grossly embellished”, although he admitted to taking numerous drugs.