NATIONAL NEWS

Depp takes stand for 4th day in libel trial against Heard

Apr 25, 2022, 9:13 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:33 pm
Johnny Depp steps outside court during the 8th day of his civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Cou...
Johnny Depp steps outside court during the 8th day of his civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on April 19, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp is seeking $50 million in alleged damages to his career over an op-ed Heard wrote in the Washington Post in 2018. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Jurors in Johnny Depp’s libel lawsuit against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, on Monday heard audio recordings in which he referred to the violence that could ensue if their arguments were allowed to escalate.

“The next move, if I don’t walk away … it’s going to 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 degrading name and yelling, “You stupid f—-” at her.

Depp winced on the stand as the clips were played, while Heard appeared to fight back tears.

The clips were part of grueling cross-examination of Depp, who took the stand for a fourth day of testimony over his allegations that Heard falsely portrayed him as a domestic abuser.

Heard’s lawyers are expected to continue their onslaught of questions during their cross-examination. Questions have focused on Depp’s drinking, drug use and charged interactions with Heard during their relationship.

Heard’s attorneys argue that Depp physically and sexually abused her and that his denials lack merit because he was often drunk and high to the point of blacking out.

Depp’s last previous day on the stand was Thursday. Heard’s attorneys referenced his history of trashing hotel rooms as well as the time he smashed a bathroom sconce during an argument with Heard. Depp is also facing a lawsuit filed by a member of a film crew who alleges the actor assaulted them in 2018.

The jury has seen dozens of Depp’s texts to friends regarding his drinking, drug use and interactions with his then-wife, as well as his notes of contrition to Heard and her father.

Depp is suing Heard for libel over a 2018 op-ed piece she wrote in The Washington Post. She refers to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The piece doesn’t name Depp. But his attorneys argue that it clearly references a restraining order that Heard sought in May 2016, right after Depp told her he wanted a divorce.

Depp said the accusations and the article contributed to an unfairly ruined reputation that made him a Hollywood outcast and cost him his role in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise. Heard’s attorneys say Depp’s damaged reputation is the result of his own bad behavior.

Depp has been on the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court since Tuesday afternoon. His previous testimony described the couple’s volatile relationship. He denied that he ever abused Heard.

The actor said that Heard abused drugs and often violently attacked him. He called the drug addiction accusations against him “grossly embellished,” though he acknowledged taking many drugs.

___

Associated Press writer Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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Depp takes stand for 4th day in libel trial against Heard