By Jill Lawless, Associated Press
(AP) — Johnny Depp said Tuesday that ex-wife Amber Heard had made “sick” claims of abuse and falsely branded him a monster, as the actor testified in a U.K. libel case that hinges on who was the aggressor in the celebrity couple’s violent, toxic relationship
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star strongly denies Heard’s claims that he assaulted her during their tempestuous marriage, and is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
“These sick claims are totally untrue,” Depp said in a written witness statement, adding that Heard’s allegations hurt his career and had “been a constant issue in my casting.”
Depp entered the witness box of the wood-paneled courtroom wearing a dark suit and tie, and began by taking the court oath and giving his full name: John Christopher Depp II.
Depp acknowledged that he had struggled with fame, saying it meant he was “forced to live the life of a fugitive” with no anonymity.
Depp acknowledged taking myriad drugs over the years, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and prescription painkillers.
He said his drug use began when he was an 11-year-old child in an unstable home. It was “the only way that I found to numb the pain,” he said.
Depp, who appeared calm and considered while giving his answers, acknowledged that he gave his daughter Lily-Rose Depp marijuana when she was 13, saying he wanted to be sure she tried the drug for the first time safely.
“If that is wrong in your eyes. I appreciate what you think. But I was raising a daughter and I was being a responsible parent as far as I’m concerned,” he told the newspaper’s lawyer.
Aaron Chown PA via AP