Johnny Depp calls Amber Heard’s abuse claims ‘cruel’ and ‘false’ as actor returns to witness stand in $150m defamation trial

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Johnny Depp reacts as he testifies in the courtroom on Wednesday  (REUTERS)
Johnny Depp reacts as he testifies in the courtroom on Wednesday (REUTERS)

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 levelled 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.

Amber Heard listens to her ex-husband’s testimony (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Amber Heard listens to her ex-husband’s testimony (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“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, model Kate Moss appeared briefly to rebut Heard’s claim that she had heard “rumours” of an altercation involving a staircase when the pair were dating in the 1990s.

Kate Moss is sworn in to testify via video link during her ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp's defamation trial (REUTERS)
Kate Moss is sworn in to testify via video link during her ex-boyfriend Johnny Depp's defamation trial (REUTERS)

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 Gloucestershire.

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 finalised about two years later.

At the centre 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”.

Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation lawsuit in Virginia (2022)

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 US Constitution’s First Amendment.

Depp lost a libel case less than two years ago against The Sun, which labelled him a “wife beater.” A High Court judge in London ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Depp’s lawyers filed the US case in Fairfax County, Virginia, because the Washington Post is printed there. The newspaper is not a defendant.

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