The actor returned to the stand as a rebuttal witness for his defense during the sixth and final week of his defamation trial, countering Heard's previous testimonies.
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Johnny Depp returned to the stand during the sixth and final week of his defamation trial against Amber Heard on Wednesday, countering claims previously put forth by his ex-wife and her defense.

A few hours after his ex-girlfriend, model Kate Moss, dialed in via video link to deny rumors that he once pushed her down a flight of stairs, Depp testified that Heard took a story he previously shared with her about it and "turned it into a very ugly incident all in her mind."

"I remember speaking to Ms. Heard about that incident and I recalled the story to her," Depp testified. "Ms. Heard took the story and turned it into a very ugly incident all in her mind. There was never a moment where I pushed Kate down any set of stairs, yet [Heard's] spewed this three times before." In her deposition, Moss testified that Depp "never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs."

Moss testified of the incident: "We were leaving the room, and Johnny left the room before I did. There had been a rainstorm. As I left the room, I slid down the stairs and I hurt my back and I screamed because I didn't know what happened to me and I was in pain. He came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention."

Depp also refuted previous testimony that he attacked Heard during their 2015 honeymoon. Heard testified that following an argument over his drinking, Depp slammed her against a wall, adding that she feared Depp would kill her. He then tore the lapels off his shirt and wrapped "it around my neck, and that's how I woke up the next morning," Heard alleged.

Depp testified that it was Heard who attacked him, alleging that she gave him a black eye. His defense shared photos of the former couple with wait staff that showed Depp with an injured eye. The actor also accused Heard of abusing her sister, Whitney Henriquez, who testified on her behalf earlier this week. "I've certainly seen Ms. Heard grab Whitney [and] push her around," Depp testified.

He called Heard's testimony thus far "unimaginably brutal, cruel, and all false." He told the court, "It's insane to hear heinous accusations of violence, sexual violence, that she's attributed to me... I don't think anyone enjoys having to split themselves open and tell the truth, but there are times when one just simply has to because it's gotten out of control." Depp called Heard's allegations "ridiculous," "humiliating," "ludicrous," and "savage."

"No human is being perfect, but I have never in my life committed sexual battery [or] physical abuse," he continued. "All these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things, and living with it for six years and waiting to be able to bring the truth. This is not easy for any of us. No matter what happens, I did tell the truth, and I have spoken up for what I've been carrying on my back reluctantly for six years."

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp during his defamation trial against Amber Heard
| Credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In response, a source close to Heard likened the testimony to a performance. "Johnny Depp's return to the stand is actually [his] last stand," the source tells EW. "His last chance to change the subject and mislead the jury. Don't mistake charm for candor, or snark for sincerity. What we're witnessing isn't testimony, it's a performance. If he'd been this good the last few years, he would have gotten those roles he lost."

Heard's team initially planned to call Depp back to the stand earlier this week, but ultimately switched strategies. "Calling Depp back to the stand would be as relevant to us as a bicycle to a fish," a Heard source said at the time. "Everything Depp has testified up to this point has been irrelevant to the heart of this case, and there's no reason to believe it would be any different now."

The actor's testimony comes after he testified during the course of four days last month, detailing his childhood trauma, fielding queries about his drug and alcohol use, and accusing Heard of abuse and infidelity. Heard finished her time on the stand last week, doubling down on allegations that Depp physically and sexually assaulted her and0 that her op-ed at the center of the trial is not about Depp. It only reflects her personal experiences after she became associated with domestic violence, she testified. 

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote chronicling her experiences as a domestic violence survivor. Though Heard never mentions Depp by name, his lawyers argue that references to their client (and Heard's previous abuse allegations following their 2017 divorce) are clear, claiming the essay damaged Depp's career and reputation. Heard filed a $100 million countersuit, claiming Depp and his legal team defamed her by calling her allegations a hoax.

Witnesses so far include both of Depp and Heard's sisters, as well as actress Ellen Barkin, whom Depp had a sexual relationship with in 1994 and starred opposite in 1998's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Barkin, who also testified on Heard's behalf in Depp's failed libel lawsuit against The Sun in 2020, testified about Depp's "angry," "controlling," and "jealous" behavior. Walter Hamada, president of DC Films at Warner Bros, also testified as a rebuttal witness on Depp's behalf, countering claims that Heard's role was reduced in Aquaman 2 following Depp's alleged "smear campaign" to paint her as a liar.

Closing arguments will be presented on Friday, May 27.

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