Johnny Depp drew gasps and laughter in a Virginia courtroom on Monday as he reacted to a lawyer representing Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard reading off a slew of negative press headlines about the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor.
Depp, who is suing Heard for defamation, pushed back against lawyer Ben Rottenborn on some of the media headlines, saying that the reports were based on “hearsay” and run-of-the-mill media “hit pieces” without legitimate sourcing.
“This is hearsay, is it not — your favorite word?” Depp said to Rottenborn, who blew past the actor’s objection. “These are all hit pieces, these are dregs, these are pathetic attempts,” Depp added.
“You read that very, very well,” the actor sarcastically responded to Rottenborn after the lawyer asked Depp if he read a particularly negative headline correctly.
Some of the headlines and excerpts Heard’s lawyer read included, “Johnny Depp: A Star in Crisis and the Insane Story of His Missing Millions,” “Johnny Depp’s Friends and Family Seriously Concerned About Him, Here’s Why,” and subheadline, “After a string of flops and a ton of bad press, Johnny Depp’s star power looks as wobbly as Jack Sparrow on a plank.”
Some of the people watching the trial, mostly all females, were seen gasping and chuckling at Depp’s pushback.
“Thank you so much,” Depp sarcastically ended the exchange, adding, “It’s a stack of hit pieces generated by Heard’s team.”
Rottenborn’s general argument to the court was that Depp’s career was on the decline before Heard published what Depp is claiming to be a defamatory op-ed at The Washington Post in 2018.
#JohnnyDepp v. #AmberHeard: The conclusion of Depp’s cross-examination gets heated, when J. Benjamin Rottenborn reads aloud a series of negative headlines about Depp. While on the stand, Depp talks back. WATCH ⬇️ (Via @LawCrimeNetwork) pic.twitter.com/oz5NzhtobX
— Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) April 25, 2022
The op-ed in question, titled, “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change,” was published December 18, 2018.
Notably, before the trial kicked off, Heard took to Instagram and pointed out that she had never mentioned Depp’s name in the piece.
“Johnny is suing me for an op-ed I wrote in The Washington Post, in which I recounted my experience of violence and domestic abuse,” the actress wrote. “I never named him, rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power.”
“I continue to pay that price,” Heard claimed, “but hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny. I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world.”
Heard has countersued Depp, seeking $100 million in damages, accusing the actor’s legal team of making false claims about her.