Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard in Fairfax, Virginia, reached its fourth day of testimony two weeks ago, allowing his former house manager, Ben King, to testify.
On Monday afternoon, King commented on the couple’s marriage, calling it “explosive.” King said in 2014 that he managed Depp’s London property while he was filming “Mortdecai.” He was also sent to Depp and Heard’s residence in Australia in March 2015 during filming “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
When Depp’s fingertip was severed during a fight with Heard, King told the court he was in Australia. King claimed he could hear “hysterical sobbing” from Heard when he arrived at the house.
Smashed and cracked walls, broken windows, marble chunks missing from the stairwell and bar, broken glass, a cracked TV with a coffee mug stuck inside, writing on bathroom mirrors, broken lamps, and a “collapsed” ping-pong table were all things he noticed. Depp’s blood-stained guitar, “puddles of alcohol,” a broken vodka bottle, and “blood drips” across the floor were also visible.
The missing fingertip
King recalled finding Depp’s missing fingertip in a bloody paper towel near the bar an hour after he arrived. He put it on ice and gave it to Depp’s personal physician, Dr. David Kipper, and Depp’s head of security, Jerry Judge, to take to the hospital in the hopes of reattaching it. Before he found it, King said Kipper was “rummaging through a bin” in the kitchen looking for the missing digit.
Heard was encouraged to leave the house and return to Los Angeles, according to him. He told jurors that he offered to fly back with her, which he did despite her protests, “saying things like ‘I can’t leave, it’ll be the end if I leave.'”
Heard’s eyes were red from crying, but King said he didn’t see any marks or injuries on her. He noticed “uniform, kind of long, thin scratches” on Heard’s arm after the flight, he said.
“Have you ever been so angry with someone else that you’ve just lost it?” King later asked Heard about what happened at the house in Australia.
Johnny Depp’s testimony
As Depp’s time on the witness stand dwindled earlier Monday, it appeared that the arduous testimony was beginning to wear on the “Pirates” star, whose calm and often light demeanor last week had turned grim and pained Monday.
More cross-examination began in court as Heard’s lawyers played audio of fights recorded at various points during the couple’s marriage. Depp winced and put his hand to his mouth as the heated conversations continued, with varying levels of intoxication and agitation evident at times from both parties, while Heard appeared to be on the verge of tears.
In one recording, Depp defends his habit of walking away from their fights, saying, “If I don’t walk away, it’s just going to be a bloodbath.” “Exactly like on the island.”
Depp became irritable as the testimony progressed, snapping at Heard’s lawyers when he was interrupted in the middle of an answer by a question.
He said, “I was talking, is that OK?” “As long as you’re happy, sir,” Depp said when the attorney suggested he was the one leading the conversation.
Depp also took issue with the description of a photo of him slumped in a chair as “passed out.” “That’s a very specific term,” Depp said with a skeptical look on his face. “‘Passed out’? ‘Sleeping’ would be another [way of saying it].”
Attorneys for Heard challenged Depp’s claim that the tip of his finger was sliced off when his now-ex-wife threw a liquor bottle at him during an argument by using one of his own text messages.
J. Benjamin Rottenborn, a lawyer, was overheard reading text messages from Depp to his personal physician, in which he stated, “I cut the tip of my finger off.”