Johnny Depp in starring role at defamation trial
Testy at times, rambling and poetic at others, Johnny Depp has embraced a familiar role at his defamation trial against his former wife Amber Heard, the leading man.
During three days on the witness stand, the three-time Oscar nominee has sought to convince a jury that the allegations of domestic abuse made against him by Heard are untrue and have destroyed his career.
Lawyers for the 36-year-old Heard have hammered away at the 58-year-old Depp’s history of drug and alcohol use in a bid to undermine his credibility.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star has mostly kept his cool under cross-examination by Heard’s lawyers but has shown the occasional flash of anger.
Asked by her attorney Ben Rottenborn to answer a “simple yes or no question,” Depp snapped back: “Nothing is simple in this case.”
Depp has also gotten the hang of the back-and-forth of the Virginia courtroom where high-powered lawyers for both sides are constantly interrupting each other to complain about hearsay.
“That’s hearsay I guess,” Depp said of one of his own comments, drawing laughter from a gallery that includes some of the actor’s fans. “I’m learning.”
At other times, the actor has waxed lyrical during his frequently long-winded answers.
Asked about the domestic abuse allegations against him, Depp compared it to “running between drops of lava.”
“You’re trying to run between raindrops that kill you and destroy you.”
Depp has turned up for the trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court with his hair tied back in a ponytail, earrings and chunky rings.
The Texas-born Heard, who had a starring role in the movie “Aquaman,” has remained mostly stoic during Depp’s testimony, listening attentively, whispering with her lawyers and taking notes on a yellow legal pad.
Heard’s attorneys have alleged that Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” when he was drunk or on illegal drugs and have questioned him extensively about his substance use.
Asked about partying with the shock rocker Marilyn Manson, Depp said: “We drank together. We’ve had cocaine together maybe a couple of times.”
In a text message to another friend, the actor Paul Bettany, Depp talked about taking a plane flight having had “no food for days, powders, half a bottle of whiskey, 1,000 Red Bull and vodkas, pills and two bottles of champers.”