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Johnny Depp locked himself in bathroom to escape abuse, court hears


“She was flinging insults left, right and centre, and she then grabbed that bottle and threw that at me,” Depp told the court.

Amber Heard talks to her attorneys.

Amber Heard talks to her attorneys.Credit:AP

“It made contact and it shattered everywhere. I honestly didn’t feel the pain at first at all. I felt no pain whatsoever. What I felt was heat… as if something were dripping down my hand, and then I looked down and realised that the tip of my finger had been severed.”

“I’ve never had a nervous breakdown, but that was probably the closest that I’ve ever been. Nothing made sense, and I knew in my mind and in my heart that this is not life. No one should have to go through this.”

Two years after losing a similar case in London, Depp is once again suing Heard for defamation, claiming she damaged his reputation when she wrote about domestic abuse in a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece, in which she said she had become the “public figure representing domestic abuse”.

While the article never mentions Depp by name, his lawyers argue it indirectly refers to allegations of domestic violence that Heard made against him in 2016 when the couple divorced.

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Depp – who was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise days after the piece was published – said the op-ed damaged his career and reputation. He is suing his ex-wife for $US50 million.

In response, Heard, who has denied abusing Depp, is counter-suing him for $US100 million for defamation after his lawyer called her claims a hoax.

The blockbuster trial is expected to last six weeks, with a witness list that includes billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and actors James Franco, Ellen Barkin, Jason Momoa and Paul Bettany. It is taking place in Fairfax County, about 15 miles from Washington DC because that is where the Washington Post’s online servers are located.

Spectators – many of them fans of Depp – have flocked to the Fairfax County Courthouse each day to catch a glimpse of the pair, some standing for hours in the cold to get a wristband guaranteeing entry into the trial courtroom, which only allows 100 people, including the media.

Heard is yet to give evidence, and so far, Depp’s account has been based on soft questioning from his own lawyer. He is due to be cross-examined later today.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. Credit:Disney

His testimony has nonetheless been compelling, peeling back the layers on a toxic relationship that spilled out publicly several years ago when the pair separated and Heard took out a restraining order against him.

Today, however, members of the jury were shown graphic images designed to back up Depp’s claim that he was the victim of Heard’s aggression, not the other way around. One image included his bloodied, severed finger; another showed a bruise which he claims he received after Heard “landed a roundhouse” punch.

The jury also heard audio that Depp had recorded, in which Heard admits to him: “I did start a physical fight, but adds: “I was hitting, it was not punching you out, babe. You were not punched.” When Depp replies: “don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched, she tells him: “You are such a baby, grow the f–k up Johnny.”

Depp told the court how he started recording Heard’s tirades in the hope that he could play them back to her, as she would often deny lashing out at him.

“It was a sort of rapid-fire, sort of endless parade of insults, looking at me like I was a fool. I was having difficulty in my mind, of course, and in my heart, dealing with that sort of barrage,” he said, likening it to the abuse he suffered from his mother as child.

The trial continues.

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National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line: 1800 737 732. Crisis support can be found at Lifeline: (13 11 14 and lifeline.org.au)



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