Johnny Depp takes stand for fourth day in libel trial against Amber Heard

Jurors in lawsuit heard audio clips of actor shouting obscenities at ex-wife, warning of a 'bloodbath'

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 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 in the recording.

In other audio clips, Depp loudly shouts obscenities at his wife, calling her degrading names.

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

Actress Amber Heard listens in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia. EPA

The clips were part of a gruelling cross-examination of Depp, who took the stand for a fourth day to give evidence 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 lawyers argue that Depp physically and sexually abused her and that his denials lack merit because he was often intoxicated to the point of blacking out.

Depp's last day on the stand was Thursday. Heard's lawyers referenced his history of trashing hotel rooms as well as the time he smashed a bathroom sconce during an argument with Heard.

He is also facing a lawsuit filed by a member of a film crew who has claimed 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 former 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, in which she refers to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse”.

The piece does not name Depp but his lawyers 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 lawyers say Depp's damaged reputation is the result of his own bad behaviour.

The actor has been on the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court since Tuesday afternoon. His previous evidence described the couple’s volatile relationship, but he has denied that he ever abused Heard.

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

Updated: April 25, 2022, 4:08 PM
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