Depp, 58, alleges Heard, 35, defamed him when she penned a December 2018 opinion piece in the Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic abuse. He filed a $50 million lawsuit against Heard in 2018. Depp previously lost a defamation case against The Sun tabloid over the same article penned by Heard.
“I thought it was diabolical that my children would go to school and people would approach them with a People magazine cover, with Amber Heard on it with a bruise on her face,” Depp testified Tuesday while in a court in Virginia, adding: “Today is the first opportunity that I’ve been able to speak about this case in full.”
The article never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp lawyer Benjamin Chew told jurors a week ago that it was clear Heard was referencing the Hollywood leading man.
Depp told the court that the rampant media coverage of Heard’s allegations against him about five years ago, saying it is “very strange when one day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, then in 0.6 seconds, you’re Quasimodo.”
“My goal is the truth. It killed me … that people would think I was a fraud and that I had lied to them. I had to wait for my opportunity to address the charges, which were criminal charges,” the actor continued. “And they just weren’t true. I felt the responsibility of clearing the record. The only way that I could get to the point where I could speak has really taken this full six years. And it’s been six years of trying times.”
Heard is scheduled to take the stand to testify later in the trial. A state court judge in Fairfax County, Virginia, is overseeing the trial, which is in its second week and is expected to last for six weeks.
Both Depp and Heard submitted long lists of potential witnesses they could put on the stand. Heard’s list includes her ex-boyfriend and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, with whom she texted about Depp. Also on the list of potential witnesses is actor James Franco.
Heard, meanwhile, brought her own counter-suit and is seeking $100 million in damages from Depp.
On Monday, a doctor testified in court that he found a piece of Depp’s finger in March 2015 after a fight that allegedly occurred between Depp and Heard.
Dr. David Kipper told attorneys that “I cleaned his wound” before he took Depp to the hospital. When he went back to their Australia rental home, the doctor said he found a piece of the actor’s finger on the kitchen floor, adding there was broken glass in the kitchen and “blood around the home.”
Reuters contributed to this report.