Fans cheer Johnny Depp as he returns for Amber Heard libel trial

·3-min read
US actor Johnny Depp waves to fans as he arrives (AFP via Getty Images)
US actor Johnny Depp waves to fans as he arrives (AFP via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp smiled and waved to cheering fans as he arrived for his US defamation trial on Thursday.

Supporters lined the streets all night outside Fairfax County Courthouse, Virginia to catch a glimpse of Depp.

One held up a sign reading: “We love you Johnny, we believe you.”

Another had a painting of Pirates of the Caribbean actor Depp with angel wings.

On Wednesday, the star once again denied the “outlandish, outrageous” claims of abuse brought by his ex-wife Amber Heard, 36, as he returned to the stand.

The actor, 58, said he had told the truth and had “spoken up for what I have been carrying on my back reluctantly for six years”, and at times appeared to become frustrated during cross-examination from Heard’s legal team.

Depp gave testimony last month but was recalled by his legal team to rebut allegations made by his former partner during her own evidence last week.

Johhny Depp enters the court on Thursday (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Johhny Depp enters the court on Thursday (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The court heard that descriptions of his drug use and violence were exaggerated, and that claims he had not helped Ms Heard to land her role in DC blockbuster Aquaman were “not exactly true”.

Depp is suing Heard over a 2018 article she wrote in the Washington Post, which his lawyers say falsely implies he physically and sexually abused her while they were together.

He has denied all accusations.

During his second round of direct evidence on Wednesday, he said: “It’s insane to hear heinous accusations of violence, sexual violence that she has attributed to me, that (Ms Heard) accused me of.

“I don’t think anyone enjoys having to split themselves open and tell the truth, but there are times when one just simply has to because it’s gotten out of control.

He added that the accusations were: “Ridiculous, humiliating, ludicrous, painful, savage, unimaginably brutal, cruel and all false.”

Depp concluded: “No human being is perfect, certainly not, none of us.

“But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse.

“All these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things, and living with it for six years and waiting to bring the truth out.”

He continued: “This is not easy for any of us, I know that.

“But no matter what happens, I did get here and I did tell the truth and I have spoken up for what I have been carrying on my back reluctantly for six years.”

During his evidence Depp clashed with Heard’s legal team over their objections and offered flippant remarks during his cross-examination by her lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn.

When asked to provide a simple “yes or no” answer to one of Mr Rottenborn’s questions, the actor replied “I can’t please you with a yes or a no every time.”

The actor denied that he had ever referred to women as “rightfully mine” but the court was later showed text messages, seemingly sent by Depp to his manager, with the phrase included.

Fans cheer Johnny Depp in Fairfax, Virginia (AFP via Getty Images)
Fans cheer Johnny Depp in Fairfax, Virginia (AFP via Getty Images)

Depp suggested that occasionally people’s personal phones could be taken and “screwed with” and later labelled the message as “grotesque”.

He appeared to smirk as Mr Rottenborn finished his questioning and returned to his seat.

Earlier on Wednesday, the court heard short testimony from Kate Moss who said the actor had “never” pushed her down any stairs, contrary to rumours referenced by Ms Heard during her own evidence.

The supermodel said Depp, with whom she was in a relationship from 1994 to 1998, had not “pushed, kicked or threw me” down any stairs while they were together.

She appeared by videolink to give evidence which lasted barely two minutes.

Both Moss’s and Depp’s evidence came in the final week of the trial, with closing arguments expected on Friday.

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