Actor Johnny Depp concluded a grueling four days on theMonday, telling jurors in a calm voice that he filed his against his ex-wife because it was his best chance to reclaim his reputation, just hours after they heard audio clips of him berating his wife with coarse vulgarities.
"It was the only time I was able to fight back and use my own voice," Depp said of his decision to sue Amber Heard for a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post in which she refers to herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse."
He continued to deny that he ever hit Heard, and accused her of hitting him and throwing items including paint cans and vodka bottles at him. And jurors heard an audio clip of a conversation between Depp and Heard in which she seems to taunt him and suggests he won't be believed or respected if he were to publicly cast her as an abuser.
"Tell them, I, Johnny Depp, I'm a victim of domestic abuse ... and see how many people believe or side with you," Heard says on the recording.
Earlier Monday, though, they heard recordings in which Depp referred to the violence that could ensue if their arguments were allowed 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 on the recording.
In other clips, Depp loudly shouts vulgarities at his wife, calling her a degrading name and yelling, "You stupid f—-" at her.
Depp winced on the stand as one of the clips was played; Heard appeared to fight back tears at several points as she listened to the recordings.
Heard's op-ed never mentions Depp by name, but he argues that he was defamed nonetheless because parts of the piece clearly refer to allegations of abuse she made in 2016 when she filed for divorce and obtained a temporary restraining order.
The clips were part of a lengthy cross-examination of Depp that began last week and concluded late Monday morning.
Heard's lawyers focused throughout the cross-examination on Depp's drinking, drug use and charged interactions with Heard during their relationship.
During Monday's cross-examination, Depp actually said very little. Most of the questioning consisted of Heard's lawyer playing audio clips or reading vulgar text messages sent by Depp and asking Depp if he'd read them correctly.
Throughout the cross-examination, Depp showed his displeasure with Rottenborn's questions. When Rottenborn interrupted one response, Depp said, "I was talking." When Rottenborn said he considered the question to be fully answered, Depp responded, "as long as you're happy."
Depp also expressed disapproval as Rottenborn read headlines from a series of negative articles written about the actor, some dating back to 2014.
"These are all hit pieces. These are dreck," Depp said.
Rottenborn introduced the articles to try to demonstrate that it was Depp's long history of bad behavior, not the 2018 Post article, that damaged his reputation.
While the libel lawsuit is supposed to center on whether Depp was defamed in the article, most of the trial has focused on ugly details of the couple's brief marriage. Heard's attorneys say Depp physically and sexually abused her and that Depp's denials lack merit because he was often drunk and high to the point of blacking out.
On redirect Monday afternoon, Depp sought to explain some of his coarse language. He said he was often speaking figuratively or making inside jokes with friends, but added, "I'm ashamed that that has to be spread on the world like peanut butter."
And he again denied that he cut off his own finger during a fight with Heard, even though he told people as much at the time. He now says the finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him.
"Why would I start lopping off digits in my 50s?" he said, showing his right hand to the jury. "I can't take responsibility for what I now call Little Richard, my chopped finger."
The jury has seen dozens of Depp's texts to friends regarding his drinking, drug use and interactions with his then-wife, as well as his notes of contrition to Heard and her father.
He called the drug addiction accusations against him "grossly embellished," though he acknowledged taking many drugs.
Depp says the Post 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 attorneys say only Depp is to blame for his marred career.
Depp's testimony on April 21
Attorneys for actor Amber Heard sought to undermine Johnny Depp's libel lawsuit against her during cross-examination Thursday by spending hours in court focused on the actor's drinking, drug use and texts he sent to friends — including one about wanting to kill and defile his then-wife.
"I, of course, pounded and displayed ugly colors to Amber on a recent journey," Depp said in a text message to a friend, the actor Paul Bettany, in July 2013, which was shown to jurors.
"I am an insane person and not so fair headed after too much of the drink," Depp continued. "Weed, pills ... Fine!!! Booze??? My capacity is too large and I won't stop ... Ugly and sad ... Oh, how I love it."
Heard lawyer J. Benjamin Rottenborn also focused on another exchange that year between Depp and Bettany in which Depp wrote: "Let's burn Amber!!!"
Bettany responded: "Having thought it through I don't think we should burn Amber."
Depp texted: "Let's drown her before we burn her!!! I will (expletive) her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she's dead."
Depp has previously apologized to the jury for the vulgar language in the texts and said that "in the heat of the pain I was feeling, I went to dark places."
Rottenborn also showed the jury one of Depp's texts to Bettany in 2014 in which he referenced whiskey, pills and cocaine.
The texts were sent during a period in which Depp said he had stopped drinking. And they were sent around the time of a private flight from Boston to Los Angeles, during which Heard had said that Depp became blackout intoxicated and assaulted her.
Rottenborn presented texts that Depp sent to Bettany that said he drank "all night before I picked Amber up to fly to LA this past Sunday … Ugly, mate … No food for days … Powders … Half a bottle of Whiskey, a thousand red bull and vodkas, pills, 2 bottles of Champers on plane …"
Depp had previously testified that he took two oxycodone pills — an opiate to which he admits he was addicted at the time — and locked himself in the plane bathroom and fell asleep to avoid her badgering. He also disputes that he was drunk on the flight, saying he drank only a glass of champagne as he boarded the plane.
See highlights in the video above.
Depp's testimony on April 20
Actor Johnny Depp'sincluded details about the former couple's fights and substance use.
Heard has said the first time she was assaulted was when Depp slapped her in 2013 after she made fun of a tattoo he had — one that used to say "Winona Forever" when he was dating the actress Winona Ryder that he altered to "Wino Forever" after they broke up.
"It didn't happen," he said of the alleged assault. "Why would I take such great offense to someone making fun of a tattoo on my body? That allegation never made any sense to me."
Later, he addressed an alleged assault on a private plane flight in 2014 from Boston to Los Angeles during which he said he took oxycodone pills — an opiate to which he admits he was addicted at the time — and drank Champagne. Heard has said Depp became blackout intoxicated and assaulted her on the plane ride. He also discussed a violent 2015 argument in Australia that resulted in the tip of his middle finger being cut off. He said Heard was irate that Depp's lawyers had asked her to sign a post-nuptial agreement.
"I don't know what a nervous breakdown feels like, but that's probably the closest I've ever been," he said.
Depp said he began to write on the walls in his own blood to recount lies in which he had caught Heard.
Depp told hospital doctors he had injured himself, and contemporaneous text messages introduced as evidence refer to Depp injuring himself. Depp testified he lied about the cause of the injury to protect her. Heard's lawyers have said the laws of physics don't support Depp's story and they will introduce evidence to prove that.
Depp also gave a graphic description of a final fight as the couple drifted toward divorce, accusing Heard and her friends of pretending that he was assaulting her. Soon after, Heard sought a restraining order and was photographed with marks on her face.
The fight had started as Depp said he'd realized it was time for the couple to split. The argument intensified, he said, as Depp accused her of leaving human fecal matter on his side of the bed in the penthouse they'd shared. He said Heard kept denying it, blaming it on their small dogs, but he was convinced she was lying.
Depp said he used drugs and drank alcohol as a way to cope with Heard's abuse and said she was also a heavy drinker. Depp said he at one point stopped drinking to try to save the relationship, but Heard refused to abstain.
Depp's testimony on April 19
The trial began more than a week earlier, but, prior to Tuesday, jurors had only seen Depp sitting silently with his team of lawyers as each side has tried to embarrass the other in a trial that Heard's lawyers accurately predicted would turn into a mudslinging soap opera.
After denying Heard's abuse allegations, Depp spoke at length about a childhood in which he said physical abuse from his mother was "constant."
Depp said Heard's allegations of his substance abuse have been "grossly embellished" and that there have been no moments where he's been out of control.
Watch more of the highlights in the video above.