Johnny Depp asked about texts saying he wanted ‘burn and drown’ Amber Heard during cross-examination

Cross-examination began on Wednesday afternoon, the second day of Depp’s testimony

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 21 April 2022 20:50 BST

Watch live as Johnny Depp testimony continues in defamation case against Heard

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Johnny Depp returned to the witness stand on Thursday morning for cross-examination in his defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.

He was asked about texts saying he wanted to “burn” and “drown” Ms Heard. Mr Depp was asked if English actor Paul Bettany was “a good friend you’ve done drugs with” – a question Mr Depp said was strange, but he later confirmed both aspects.

The trial between Mr Depp and Ms Heard began last week in Fairfax, Virginia, following Mr Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Mr Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December 2018 op-ed published in The Washington Post titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.

Heard lawyer Ben Rottenborn asked if Mr Depp and Mr Bettany “shared an enjoyment of alcohol and controlled drugs”, to which Mr Depp agreed.

Mr Rottenborn then moved on to reading text messages between Mr Depp and Mr Bettany.

According to court documents, Mr Depp texted Mr Bettany “Let’s burn Amber!!!” on 11 June 2013.

“Having thought it through, I don’t think we should burn Amber – she’s delightful company and easy on the eye, plus I’m not sure she’s a witch,” Mr Bettany responded. “We could of course try the English course of action in these predicaments – we do a drowning test. Thoughts? N.B I have a pool.”

“Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead...” Mr Depp responded.

“My thoughts entirely!” Mr Bettany wrote. “Let’s be CERTAIN before we pronounce her a witch.”

On 30 May 2014, Mr Depp texted Mr Bettany saying, “I’m gonna properly stop the booz thing, darling...Drank all night before I picked Amber up....Ugly, mate...No food for days...”

Mr Rottenborn also read a text from Mr Depp to Ms Heard’s sister, which read, “I never ever want to lay eyes on that filthy whore Amber”.

Former security guard Jerry Judge texted Mr Depp on 26 April 2015, “Johnny it is lovely to see how you and Amber are so happy...” to which Mr Depp responded “Very, very kind mate!! All I had to do was send the monster away and lock him up!!”

On 28 June 2015, Mr Depp texted his personal doctor David Kipper, “Amber and I have been absolutely perfect for 3 f***** months solid!! I have locked my monster child away in a cage deep within and it has f***** worked!”

Mr Depp has testified that he only used the word “monster” to describe himself to placate Ms Heard.

Cross-examination began on Wednesday afternoon with Mr Depp being asked whether he knows that the lawsuit is about the opinion piece and nothing that came before its publication in 2018.

There was some contention between Mr Rottenborn and Mr Depp as the actor said he would have to be a “simpleton” to think that Ms Heard’s words did not impact his career.

Asked to look at another article from two months prior to Ms Heard’s, which stated Mr Depp was not going to be in another Pirates movie, Mr Rottenborn tried to prove that her words in The Washington Post were not responsible for his alleged career issues.

Mr Depp contended that his image is still in use on rides and merchandise connected to the franchise at Disney.

Earlier in Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Depp got a laugh out of the court when he predicted a hearsay objection from Ms Heard’s lawyers following frequent interruptions by her team.

The actor was speaking about a chef making a Mexican meal for Ms Heard on her 30th birthday when he noted that the testimony may face an objection.

“That’s hearsay, I guess,” he said to laughter from the courtroom.

“I’m not sure it’s even being offered for the truth of the matter,” the judge replied. Legal observers said on Twitter this remark suggested the judge believed the story to not be hearsay.

“He got it,” Ms Heard’s attorney said.

“I’m learning,” Mr Depp said.

The actor also accused his ex-wife of denying him medication as he was detoxing from opioids.

“The effects of the withdrawals were really coming on and I said to Ms Heard ‘I’m gonna need the meds now.’ And she looked at the clock and said ‘It’s not time’,” Mr Depp said.

“I said ‘no, no, no, you don’t understand, this is not about clocks and watches and things, I’m going into the s***’,” he added.

“I hate saying this, and I hate to have to admit this, but that was, I believe that was about the lowest point in my life, that was the lowest I had ever felt as a human being because I had to say, ‘please, please, may I have the meds? Because it’s really kicking in.’ And she was adamant, ‘No, it’s not time, it’s not time’,” Mr Depp recalled.

In her 2018 op-ed, Ms Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet – I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim”.

“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,” she added at the time.

While Mr Depp isn’t named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Mr Depp is seeking damages of “not less than $50m”.

Ms Heard has filed a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.

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