(CNN) — The actor Johnny Depp took the stand in a Fairfax, Virginia, court Tuesday in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
“My goal is the truth,” Depp said at the beginning of his speech.
Depp, known for his work on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, sued Heard for $50 million in a Fairfax County, Virginia, court over an opinion piece published by the Washington Post in 2018 in which she wrote about her experience with domestic abuse.
The article was published roughly two years after Heard alleged that Depp injured her face after throwing a phone at her Los Angeles home. Depp denied the allegation and was not charged with any crime.
Depp acknowledged in his testimony that he and Heard had arguments during their relationship, but said: “I never got to the point of hitting Ms. Heard in any way nor have I ever hit any woman in my life.”
He also described his parents’ tumultuous relationship and the verbal and physical abuse he and his siblings suffered from their mother.
Depp was not mentioned by name in Heard’s article. Still, Depp claims he caused her financial losses, including being cut from future “Pirates of the Caribbean” films after leading the franchise for 15 years.
“One day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in zero point six seconds you’re Quasimodo,” Depp said of how his career changed after he was accused of abuse. “I didn’t deserve that and neither did my children, nor did the people who had believed in me all these years.”
“She was too good to be true”
The trial began last week. Depp said his testimony was the “first opportunity” he had “to speak about this case in its entirety.”
Depp and Amber met on the set of “The Rum Diary” in 2009, married in 2015 and were mired in a contentious separation for months, with misconduct charges filed by both parties.
In his testimony, Depp spoke about the beginning of his relationship with Heard, saying, “From what I remember, she was too good to be true.”
“She was caring, caring, smart, kind, funny, understanding. We had a lot in common,” he said.
Depp said Heard was “wonderful” for anywhere from a year to a year and a half. “Then things just started to change, or things started to reveal themselves, is a better way to put it.”
The couple resolved their divorce in August 2016releasing a joint statement that read in part: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound together by love.”
Heard had been unsuccessful in her attempts to have the lawsuit dismissed. She filed a $100 million defamation countersuit against Depp in 2020, which is ongoing.
Late last year, Depp lost a case in the UK against News Group Newspapers and Dan Wootton, executive editor of The Sun, over an article that claimed Depp was violent towards Heard while they were together. The UK High Court ruled in favor of the publisher.
Lawyers for the news group argued in court papers that Depp “hit his wife Amber Heard, causing her significant injury and, at times, leading her to fear for her life“, citing evidence, including photos, audio recordings and text messages from Depp himself.
During the trial, Depp said that the tabloid’s claims that he was violent towards Heard were “completely false”.
Judge Andrew Nicol said in his ruling that the newspaper’s claims had been shown to be “substantially true”.
Heard posted a note ahead of the current libel trial on her verified social media accounts, writing, “I never named [Depp], but I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power. I’m still paying that price, but I hope that when this case is over, I can move on and so can Johnny.”
“I have always held a love for Johnny and it pains me to have to relive the details of our past life together in front of the world,” she wrote. “At this time, I acknowledge the continued support I have been fortunate to receive over the years, and in the coming weeks I will lean on him more than ever.”
CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed to this report.
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Johnny Depp testified and said he has never hit a woman