Actor Johnny Depp concluded a grueling four days on the witness stand Monday, telling jurors in a calm voice that he filed his libel lawsuit 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 Heard.
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.
The clips were part of a lengthy cross-examination of Depp that began last week and concluded late Monday morning.
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.
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.
Watch highlights in the video above.