By Lisa Richwine (Reuters) -Actor Johnny Depp returned to the witness stand on Wednesday to refute his ex-wife Amber Heard’s testimony in their multi-million dollar defamation battle, saying the abuse claims she leveled against him were “unimaginably brutal, cruel and false.” The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 58, is suing Heard for $50 million, saying […]
Johnny Depp, back on stand, calls Heard abuse claims ‘cruel’ and ‘false’
By Lisa Richwine
(Reuters) -Actor Johnny Depp returned to the witness stand on Wednesday to refute his ex-wife Amber Heard’s testimony in their multi-million dollar defamation battle, saying the abuse claims she leveled against him were “unimaginably brutal, cruel and false.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 58, is suing Heard for $50 million, saying she defamed him when she said she was a victim of domestic abuse. Heard, 36, has countersued for $100 million, arguing that Depp smeared her when his lawyer said her claims were a “hoax.”
On Wednesday, Depp’s team called him back to testify to help rebut Heard, who accused Depp of multiple instances of physical and sexual abuse before and during their brief marriage.
Under questioning by his attorneys, Depp used a string of adjectives to describe how it felt to listen to Heard’s accounts during the trial, now in its sixth and final week.”Horrible, ridiculous, humiliating, ludicrous, painful, savage,” Depp said, then added: “Unimaginably brutal, cruel and false. All false.”
“No human being is perfect” he added. “But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse.”
Closing arguments in the trial, which is being held in Vriginia, are scheduled for Friday.
Earlier on Wednesday, British model Kate Moss appeared briefly to rebut Heard’s claim that she had heard “rumors” of an altercation involving a staircase when the pair were dating in the 1990s.
Moss testified that she slipped on the staircase and injured her back during a vacation the couple took in Jamaica. Depp rushed to help her, carried her to her room and summoned medical services, she said.
“He never pushed me, kicked me or threw me down any stairs,” said Moss, who appeared via video from England.
Depp in earlier testimony told jurors that he never hit Heard and argued that she was the one who turned violent.
Heard, best known for her role in “Aquaman,” met Depp in 2011 while filming “The Rum Diary” and the pair wed in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized about two years later.
At the center of the legal case is a December 2018 opinion piece by Heard that appeared in the Washington Post. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but his lawyer told jurors it was clear that Heard was referring to him when she said she was “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Depp, once among Hollywood’s biggest stars, said Heard’s allegations cost him “everything.” A new “Pirates” movie was put on hold, and Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spinoff.
Heard’s attorneys have argued that she told the truth and that her opinion was protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Depp lost a libel case less than two years ago against the Sun, a British tabloid, that labeled him a “wife beater.” A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.
Depp’s lawyers filed the U.S. case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Mark Porter, Alexandra Hudson)