Johnny Depp grilled in Amber Heard defamation trial about drug and alcohol use

Actor testified that he gave shock rocker Marilyn Manson a pill 'so he would stop talking so much'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp was questioned about his history of drug and alcohol use as he took the witness stand for the third day in his defamation case against his former wife, actress Amber Heard, on Thursday.

Depp, 58, was also asked by Heard's lawyers about trashing hotel rooms and text messages he wrote in which he referred to his former wife as a "filthy whore" and an "idiot cow".

Depp filed a defamation suit against Heard over a column she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018, in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse".

Actress Amber Heard speaks with her legal team. AP

Heard, who starred in the movie Aquaman, never named him, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.

Heard, who turns 36 on Friday, counter-sued, asking for $100m and claiming she suffered "rampant physical violence and abuse" at his hands.

Depp has denied the allegations and claimed that it was she who was frequently violent during their relationship.

Quote
Let's burn Amber. Let's drown her before we burn her"
Johnny Depp to Paul Bettany

Depp and Heard met in 2009 on the set of the film The Rum Diary and were married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalised two years later.

Heard's lawyers have claimed Depp would become a "monster" during drug and alcohol-fuelled sessions and physically and sexually abuse Heard.

Under cross-examination on Thursday, Ben Rottenborn, one of Heard's lawyers, quizzed Depp extensively about his drug and alcohol use, including with shock rocker Marilyn Manson.

"We drank together. We've had cocaine together maybe a couple of times," Depp said. "I once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so that he would stop talking so much."

Depp admitted to using drugs and alcohol to "numb the residual pain from my youth", but denied Mr Rottenborn's suggestion that it was to excess.

The lawyer read text messages from Depp to various people in which he apologised for his behaviour and sought the advice of Elton John on how to get clean.

"Once again I find myself in a place of shame and regret," he said in a May 25, 2014, text to Heard. "I will never do it again. I want to get better for you."

Depp has not been asked so far if he ever assaulted Heard, but he acknowledged during cross-examination that he has taken out his anger on objects in the past.

"I don't believe I'm the only human being who has ever punched a door," he said. "I have assaulted a couch or two."

Heard's lawyers also introduced text messages in which Depp used crude and harsh words about her.

"Let's burn Amber," he said in a June 11, 2013, text message to the actor Paul Bettany, a friend. "Let's drown her before we burn her."

In an April 9, 2015, text to Heard's sister, Depp said: "I never want to lay eyes on that filthy whore Amber."

He was also asked about a "heated argument' he had with Heard over his suspicion that she was having an affair with actor James Franco on the set of a film they were making.

Testifying on Wednesday, Depp said Heard would regularly insult him and once threw a vodka bottle at him, severing the tip of one of his fingers.

The thrice Oscar-nominated actor said the allegations that he was a "drunken, cocaine-fuelled menace who beat women" have cost him "nothing less than everything".

The actor said that a "couple of days" after The Washington Post column appeared, Disney announced he would no longer appear as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Depp filed the defamation complaint in the US after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020, which he brought against the UK-based publication The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater".

Updated: April 22, 2022, 5:29 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS