Johnny Depp says he felt ‘blinding hurt’ over Amber Heard’s op-ed, and that Disney canned him shortly after
Johnny Depp is testifying that the op-ed penned by ex-wife Amber Heard at the center of his defamation lawsuit against her made him feel “blinding hurt” and that Disney fired him from his role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise shortly after.
This occurred Tuesday as part of Depp’s redirect testimony under questioning by his own lawyer following the conclusion of cross-examination by Heard’s team amid a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits.
Pirates of the Caribbean actor Depp is suing Aquaman star Heard for $50 million for defamation for what he alleges are false claims of domestic abuse against him that have hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing, also for defamation, for $100 million.
The trial, live streamed on the Law & Crime YouTube Channel, so far has focused a lot on conflicting accounts of domestic abuse, with Heard maintaining she was abused by Depp and Depp contending he was abused by her, not the other way around.
But the 2018 Washington Post op-ed written by Heard, and Depp’s allegations that it damaged his career, are finally at the center of discussion in the trial in Fairfax, Virginia, which has so far painted a sad portrait of a relationship on the rocks.
Depp is not named in the article, but he says he is implied as the abuser in the piece — an allegation he denies and says damaged his career. In previous testimony, Depp confirmed Heard made domestic abuse allegations against him as far back as 2016.
Depp says he felt “a blinding hurt,” like somebody hit him in the back of the head with a two-by-four, when he first saw the 2018 op-ed. Depp further claims he couldn’t even respond to the piece at the time, saying any interviews he might do to explain himself would “turn into a hit piece.”
Depp says that when a team member showed him the Washington Post article for the first time, he was shocked.
Depp says it was only two or three days after the op-ed appeared that he learned Disney would not re-cast him in the Pirates franchise.
Depp even claims one of his films, 2018’s The Professor, was relegated to a pay-per-view release because of the public controversy.
Earlier Monday, under cross-examination by Heard’s attorney, Benjamin Rottenborn, the lawyer listed a series of negative articles about Depp, essentially characterizing his career as flailing, all published prior to the Heard op-ed.
When one of the articles indicated alleged reports of alcohol abuse and constantly showing up late to a movie set, Depp said, “These are all hit pieces, these are dreck, sir.”
“This is hearsay, is it not?” Depp added.
In Heard’s op-ed, she claimed to be a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
In earlier testimony, the couple’s former marriage counselor said the pair had engaged in “mutual abuse.”
Heard herself is expected to take the stand and testify at some point during the trial unfolding. Other famous names on the witness list slated to testify, either in person or via video link, include tech mogul Elon Musk and actors James Franco and Paul Bettany.