Johnny Depp on Tuesday defended himself against accusations by ex-wife Amber Heard that he had a substance abuse problem that fueled violent behavior, calling much of it "embellished."
"The characterization of my substance, quote unquote, abuse that's been delivered by Miss Heard is grossly embellished and I'm sorry to say, but a lot of it is just plainly false," Depp said during his testimony.
During the defamation trial's opening statements, Elaine Bredehoft, Heard's attorney, called Depp a "monster."
"And that monster would come out when he was drinking and when he would take the drugs," Bredehoft said last week.
Depp sued Heard for defamation in 2018 after she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about being a victim of abuse. Even though Heard didn't name Depp, the actor says his reputation took a hit and he lost out on production deals because it was strongly implied that he was the subject.
After testimony from Depp's friends, family members, and people who have worked for him, the actor testified himself on Tuesday. Depp testified for most of the afternoon, saying he's "obsessed with the truth."
Depp said he met Heard when she auditioned for The Rum Diary, a 2011 film they both starred in. He described Heard as "attentive, loving, smart, kind, funny" when he first met her.
Depp said that when Heard kissed him during a scene in the movie, "it felt like something that I shouldn't be feeling," and it felt "very real." Heard was married at the time, and he was in a long-term relationship with Vanessa Paradis, the mother of his two children.
After Depp and Heard filmed the scene, Depp said the two of them hung out in his trailer, where they drank wine and kissed. They didn't start dating until years later after the press tour for the movie.
"She seemed to be the perfect partner in a sense in my head for me," Depp said.
Depp also described his childhood, calling it "interesting" and something that he thought was normal until he reached a certain age. He said he moved constantly, which always made him the new kid and it was never "particularly pleasant."
He said his mother was "unpredictable" and as "cruel" as anyone could be.
"She could become quite violent," he said, recalling how she threw an ashtray at him or beat him with a high-heeled shoe. His dad, however, was shy and not confrontational.
When his father left his mom, Depp said he told him, "You're the man now."
"Those words didn't quite sit well with me," the actor testified. "I didn't feel like I was ready to hear those words."
Depp said he started to take his mother's "nerve pills" when he was 11, and then he was introduced to marijuana. He said he never took any drugs to party, only to numb himself, calling it "self-medication." He said he had done all the drugs that he was aware of by the time he was 15, but throughout his life, he had stints with sobriety.
While he was filming the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Depp hurt his back and a doctor prescribed him Roxicodone, an opioid. He said he was initially worried about taking the medicine because he had witnessed friends over the years who had become addicted to pills. It wasn't long before his fears were realized and he, too, was addicted.
"I was bit by the snake," he said. "And before you know it, that monkey is on your back to stay."
Depp added that he started to detox while he was in a relationship with Heard.
"I am not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time," he said.