Johnny Depp in court: I never hit Amber Heard

Johnny Depp said in a Virginia court on Tuesday that he never hit his ex-wife Amber Heard, dismissing her accusations in a defamation lawsuit to correct his public image and support his two children.

Speaking calmly and slowly for nearly three hours, Depp said in the courtroom that he had been “completely shocked” about six years ago when Heard “made gruesome and disturbing allegations” that he had become violent during their relationship.

“I’ve never gotten to the point of hitting Mrs. Heard in any way, and I’ve never hit a woman in my life,” said Depp, who was wearing a dark jacket and his hair in a ponytail.

“I felt it was my responsibility to stand up not just for myself in that situation but for the sake of my child,” added the “Pirates of the Caribbean” hero. His two children were from a previous high school relationship at the time.

“It is very strange that one day Cinderella, so to speak, and then broken again is Quasimodo (a fictional character and the main protagonist of The Hunchback of Notre Dame),” added Depp, who is due to return to the witness stand on Wednesday to face questioning by Heard’s legal team.

Depp, 58, said Heard, 35, discredited him when she wrote an opinion piece in December 2018 in the Washington Post about being a domestic violence survivor. He sued Heard, seeking $50 million in damages, in 2018.

The article never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp’s attorney, Benjamin Chew, told jurors that Heard was clearly referring to the Hollywood megastar.

counter suit

Heard’s lawyers, who is also an actress, argued that she told the truth and that her opinion is protected as freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution. In opening arguments, Heard’s lawyers said Depp physically and sexually assaulted her while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Heard continued the testimony without expression, sometimes nodding her head or taking notes.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a defamation case against the British newspaper, The Sun, which described him as a “wife-beater”. The London High Court judge ruled that he repeatedly assaulted Heard and made her fear for

her life.

In the US case, Depp and Heard provided long lists of potential witnesses they might contact, including Heard’s ex-boyfriend and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and actor James Franco.

The United States is a difficult forum for libel prosecutors, especially public figures like Depp, who must prove with clear and convincing evidence that Heard intentionally made false allegations.

Heard, known for her roles in “Aquaman” and “Justice League,” has filed a defamation suit against Depp, saying he tarnished her reputation by calling her a liar.

Heard’s lawsuit, which is seeking $100 million in damages, will be decided at trial.

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