Attorneys for actor Amber Heard resumed their cross-examination of her ex-husband Johnny Depp in a Virginia courtroom on Thursday as they try to derail his libel lawsuit against Heard over allegations that he abused her.
Depp has been on the stand in Fairfax County Circuit Court since Tuesday afternoon. The actor has spent much of that time describing the couple’s volatile relationship and denying that he ever physically or sexually abused Heard.
Depp said that Heard often violently attacked him. And he argued that his movie career suffered after she wrote a 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Heard never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp’s lawyers said it was a clear reference to accusations Heard made when she sought a 2016 restraining order against him.
Depp said the accusations and the article contributed to an unfairly ruined reputation that made him a Hollywood pariah and cost him his role in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise.
But when cross-examination began late Wednesday afternoon, Heard lawyer J. Benjamin Rottenborn pointed to evidence that Disney made that decision months before the article’s publication.
Heard’s lawyers have argued that Heard’s opinion piece was accurate and did not defame him. They have said that Depp’s ruined reputation was due to his own bad behavior.
Heard’s lawyers have also argued that Depp has no credibility when he denies abusing Heard because he frequently drank and used drugs to the point of blacking out and failing to remember anything he did.
On the stand Tuesday, Depp called the accusations of drug addiction “grossly embellished,” though he acknowledged taking many drugs. He said his drug use started at age 11 when when he secretly took his mother’s “nerve pills.”