The jurors in Johnny Depp’s defamation trial were shown several text messages on Thursday in which he used violent and obscene language, and discussed copious drug and alcohol use.
Depp took the stand for the third consecutive day in a courtroom in Fairfax, Va., as his trial against ex-wife Amber Heard continued. Depp claims that Heard lied when she accused him of hitting her, and is seeking $50 million in damages for the harm she caused to his career.
In his testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, Depp denied that he had ever hit any woman. He also alleged that Heard had repeatedly attacked him, and had thrown a bottle at him, severing the tip of his middle finger. Depp testified that he would customarily flee to a bedroom or a bathroom to get away from Heard when she was violent.
On Thursday, Heard’s attorney Ben Rottenborn read aloud from messages in which Depp referred to himself as a “fucking savage” and a “lunatic,” and fantasized about killing Heard.
“Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!” Depp wrote to actor Paul Bettany in June 2013. “I will fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”
The text messages first surfaced during Depp’s libel trial against the publisher of The Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom in 2020. In that case, the judge ruled that Heard’s abuse allegations were “substantially true,” and rejected Depp’s suit.
Rottenborn also read a message in which Depp referred to ex-wife Vanessa Paradis as “the French extortionist, ex-c—.”
Depp was asked about drug use, including with his friend Marilyn Manson.
“Yes, we drank together. We’ve had cocaine together maybe a couple of times,” Depp testified. “I once gave Marilyn Manson a pill so he would stop talking so much.”
Depp was also asked about a private plane flight from Boston to Los Angeles in 2014. Heard alleges that he slapped her and kicked her on the flight. Depp testified that he spent much of the flight sleeping in the bathroom, and denied that he had gotten violent.
In a text message describing the flight, Depp described himself as “an angry aggro injun in a fucking blackout, screaming obscenities and insulting any fuck who got near.”
Rottenborn also asked Depp if he had destroyed hotel rooms.
“I have assaulted a couch or two, yes sir,” Depp responded.
On Wednesday, Depp’s attorney played audio clips of an argument between Depp and Heard, in which Heard admitting to “hitting” Depp and called him a “baby.”
Rottenborn played his own clip for the jury on Thursday, in which Heard expressed concern over Depp’s substance use and vomiting.
“Yes, you do vomit a lot,” Heard said on the tape. “This is news to you? This is affecting you a lot more than I thought it was.”
Rottenborn also showed Depp several text messages in which Deep indicated that he had cut his own finger. In one of them, Depp wrote to his doctor that he had “chopped off my left middle finger as a reminder that I should never cut my finger off again.”
The attorney also showed the jury pictures of messages that Depp had scrawled in paint and blood after the finger injury, including one that read “starring Billy Bob and easy Amber.” Heard had just filmed “London Fields” with Billy Bob Thornton. Rottenborn played an audio clip in which Depp said he became “jealous” and “weird” when Heard worked on movies.
In another audio clip played for the jury, Heard referred to having “bruises, a broken blood vessel under my eye, missing chunks of hair, a black eye,” and “a swollen nose.”
The jury was also shown a text message that Depp sent to Heard’s father in December 2015, when Depp wrote, “Yes I fucked up and went too far in our fight.”
“It doesn’t say physical fight,” Depp said on the stand.
Rottenborn also played a video that Heard had recorded, in which Depp could be seen yelling, banging things, and pouring himself a giant glass of wine.
“Clearly I was having a bad time,” Depp said, adding that the video was “illegally recorded.” “I did assault a couple of cabinets but I did not touch Ms. Heard.”
Rottenborn ended the day’s testimony by playing an audio recording from July 2016 in which Depp appeared to be holding a knife, and Heard repeatedly urged him not to cut himself.
Depp’s cross-examination will resume on Monday.