Depp recording warns of ‘bloodbath’ if he doesn’t walk away

Actor Johnny Depp testifies in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on April 25, 2022. Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation in Fairfax over an op-ed published in The Washington Post in 2018 in which she referred to herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)

Actor Johnny Depp testifies in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on April 25, 2022. Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation in Fairfax over an op-ed published in The Washington Post in 2018 in which she referred to herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)

AP

Jurors in Johnny Depp’s defamation case against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, heard audio recordings on Monday in which the actor discussed the violence that could ensue if their arguments escalated.

“The next step, if I don’t leave… it will be a bloodbath, like it was on the island,” Depp says on the recording.

Last week, the actor testified that Heard threw a bottle at him during a fight in Australia in 2015, cutting off his finger, and that he began writing on the walls in his own blood to tell the lies he had caught her in.

In other audio clips heard Monday, Depp loudly yells vulgarities at his wife, calling her a demeaning name and saying, “Stupid (expletive)!”

Depp winced as the recordings played, while Heard seemed to be fighting back tears.

Depp is suing Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post in which she referred to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The audio files were part of a grueling cross-examination of Depp that concluded Monday morning, when he took the stand for a fourth day to testify on his allegations that Heard falsely portrayed him as a domestic abuser.

Heard’s lawyers continued their barrage of questions during cross-examination, focusing on Depp’s drug and alcohol use and his explosive interactions with Heard during their relationship.

During Monday’s testimony, Depp actually said very little. Most of the questioning consisted of Heard’s attorney playing audio clips or reading vulgar text messages sent by Depp and asking the actor if he had read them correctly.

Throughout the interrogation, Depp showed his dissatisfaction with the questions of Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rottenborn. When he interrupted a response, Depp said: “I was talking.” When Rottenborn said that he considered the question fully answered, Depp responded: “As long as you’re happy.”

Depp also expressed his disapproval when Rottenborn read the headlines of a series of negative articles written about the actor, some of which dated back to 2014.

“This is all fake news. They’re trash,” Depp said.

Rottenborn submitted the articles to try to show that the 2018 Post at the heart of the case is not what damaged his reputation, but rather a long history of bad behavior.

While the libel suit is supposed to focus on whether Depp was defamed in the article, most of the trial has focused on ugly details of the couple’s brief marriage. Depp denies hitting Heard, while Heard’s lawyers argue that Depp physically and sexually abused her and that her denials lack merit because he was often drunk and drugged to the point of not remembering what he did.

Depp made a statement for the last time on Thursday. Heard’s attorneys cited his history as a hotel room wrecker, as well as an occasion when he broke a bathroom light during an argument with Heard. Depp is also facing a lawsuit filed by a member of a production team that alleges the actor assaulted him in 2018.

The jury has seen dozens of text messages from Depp to his friends about his drinking and drug use and his interactions with his then-wife, as well as his regretful notes to Heard and her father.

Depp claims the allegations and Heard’s article contributed to unfairly ruining his reputation, making him a Hollywood outcast and costing him his role in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Heard’s lawyers say the damage to Depp’s reputation is the result of his own misbehavior.

Depp has been testifying in Fairfax County Circuit Court since Tuesday afternoon. The actor has stated that Heard abused drugs and that it was she who physically assaulted him. He called the drug addiction accusations against him “extremely embellished,” though he acknowledged that he has used a lot of drugs.

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AP reporter Ben Finley, in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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Depp recording warns of ‘bloodbath’ if he doesn’t walk away


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