Johnny Depp channeled his inner Jack Sparrow on Wednesday as he stopped to talk to the throngs of fans cheering him on outside a Virginia courthouse during his $100 million defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard.
The 58-year-old actor paused to chat with supporters from the backseat of his chauffeured SUV as he left court.
The exchange was miles away from the Depp portrayed in court, where Heard’s sister showed jurors photos of broken clothing racks and shattered dishes that the actor allegedly left behind after drug-fueled rampages.
‘Love you, Johnny,’ said one woman outside the courthouse. ‘We love your hair!’ said another. The actor pointed to his scalp, drawing cheers from the screaming crowd.
At one point, one woman blurted out, ‘You’ll always be our Captain Jack Sparrow!’
The actor momentarily assumed the voice of the Pirates of the Caribbean protagonist.
‘He’s still around somewhere. I see him now and again,’ he said, according to a video posted on Twitter by user Bekka Schultz Fontanilla. ‘He shows up now and again.’
Depp claims that a 2018 article written by Heard, in which she identifies herself a survivor of domestic assault, cost him the starring role in the lucrative Disney franchise.
But on Thursday, his former agent blamed the Oscar nominee’s own behavior for his stalled career.
‘Crews don’t love sitting around for hours and hours for the star to show up,’ Jacobs said. ‘People talked…and it made people reluctant to use him.’
On Thursday, he arrived in court to applause from cheering fans waiting outside, as he joked he had made them all waffles for breakfast.
On the 19th day of Depp and Amber Heard’s $100 million defamation trial, the actor’s black SUV was blaring reggae music as he pulled up at the courthouse in Fairfax and was greeted by adoring fans.
Depp, who was wearing a grey suit whilst clutching his two doodle notepads, joked to reporters that the crowd was cheering because he had made them waffles.
‘I just made breakfast for all of them this morning. Waffles,’ Depp told reporters as he walked towards the court and waved at the screaming fans.
Before entering the building, Depp could be seen saying good morning to police officers who were standing by the door and shaking their hands.
Depp, 58, has previously joked to reporters and photographers that he has a ‘lot of relatives’ when referencing the dozens of fans who have religiously waited outside the courthouse for weeks.
One fan who had been waiting outside the court for Depp said a reporter had asked them whether they had in fact received waffles from the actor but they said it had been a ‘cute joke’.
Depp has consistently been met with an extraordinary amount of fanfare throughout the defamation trial, despite the actor being accused of domestic violence – an allegation he strongly denies.
Depp, who was wearing a grey suit whilst clutching his two doodle notepads, joked to reporters that the crowd was cheering because he had made them waffles
On Thursday morning – the 19th day of Depp and Amber Heard’s $100million defamation trial – the actor’s black SUV was blaring reggae music as he pulled up at the courthouse in Fairfax and was greeted by adoring fans
US actor Amber Heard speaks with a member of her legal team as she arrives at the courtroom
Depp has consistently been met with an extraordinary amount of fanfare throughout the defamation trial, despite the actor being accused of domestic violence – an allegation he strongly denies. Pictured: Depp waves to fans as he arrived at the defamation trial on Tuesday
Depp was seen carrying two of his doodle notepads into the courtroom.
During the defamation trial, the 58-year-old actor has been seen doodling between testimony with a purple marker and keeping a supply of jelly beans, gummy bears and mints on hand.
Meanwhile, Heard, 36, was seen walking into the court building alone carrying a cup of coffee whilst fans appeared to be silent behind her. She said good morning to the two police officers standing by the door and asked them how they were.
Depp has made a habit out of arriving to the courthouse blasting reggae music from his black SUV. Among the songs he has played are ‘War’ and ‘Exodus’ by Bob Marley.
Fans have lined the streets for weeks, many of them holding ‘Justice for Johnny’ signs to show their support for Depp.
Many of them have showered the actor with gifts, cards and bouquets of flowers as he drove by them. The actor has revelled in their support, waving to them as he drives by.
Depp and Heard were banned from giving autographs to fans hoping to meet the pair outside the court by a judge last month ahead of the start of their defamation trial – in an attempt to stop the case from becoming a circus.
The trial revolves around a 2018 Washington Post op-ed written by Heard where she referred to herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’. Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50 million, alleging defamation in the op-ed whilst Heard has countersued for defamation for $100 million from the actor.
The couple married in a private civil ceremony at their LA home in February 2015 but after just 15 months of marriage, Heard filed for divorce in May 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. Four days later a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Depp over domestic violence allegations.
Depp was seen carrying two of his doodle notepads into the courtroom on Thursday in Fairfax
ohnny Depp gestures to fans during a break at the Fairfax County Courthouse, in Fairfax, on Tuesday
Fans (pictured on Tuesday) have lined the streets for weeks, many of them holding ‘Justice for Johnny’ signs to show their support for Depp
Today in court, Tracey Jacobs, Depp’s former agent, said the actor would show up late to the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie and became ‘reluctant to use him’ in films.
Jacobs said she was let go in 2016 following litigation between Depp and former managers Joel and Robert Mandel, as Depp claimed Jacobs was among the many who betrayed his best interest in the lawsuits that cost the Pirates of the Caribbean actor $650 million.
‘All I know is that he was terminating everyone in his life, and I was just along for the ride,’ Jacobs said.
She said Depp had become a difficult client to work with in the final years of their career together and would ‘show up late to projects,’ including the production of Pirates of the Caribbean 5.
‘Crews don’t love sitting around for hours and hours for the star to show up,’ Jacobs said. ‘People talked…and it made people reluctant to use him.’
Jacobs added that he became ‘unprofessional’ because of his drug and alcohol use.
Yesterday, a friend of Heard’s testified that a ‘wasted and screaming’ Depp charged at her whilst ‘swinging a magnum-sized bottle of wine’ on the night he allegedly hit the Aquaman actress.
Elizabeth Marz, a member of Heard and Depp’s inner-circle, claimed she was forced to hide in a gym room after the actor had ‘scared the sh** out of her’ when he charged at her during a fight with his ex-wife in 2016 at their Los Angeles penthouse.
Marz told the Virginia courtroom on Wednesday that Depp screamed at her and Heard’s friend Raquel ‘Rocky’ Pennington’ to ‘Get your bitch out of here’, apparently referring to his ex-wife.
Marz said when she saw Heard, she looked disheveled and had injuries on her face.
‘Her face was red and swollen. It looked like she had been hit in some way,’ Marz said in a November 2019 video deposition played for the courtroom on Wednesday.
Marz described Depp as ‘combative’ and upset on the May 21, 2016 incident where Depp allegedly assaulted Heard. He was ‘sloppy, and all over the place ..combative, angry,’ she said.
She said: ‘He ran into the unit, and it scared the s**t out of me because he was wasted and screaming.
‘If there’s a grown ass man coming at you and saying ‘Get your b***h outta here’, and swinging a magnum-sized bottle of wine I’m sure anyone… would run out.’
Marz said that she hid in the house because she was afraid of what Depp would do, adding: ‘Everyone was just shaken up.’
She also said friends of the couple cleaned up part of the mess Depp allegedly left his penthouse in after the fight with Heard.
Marz’s testimony was corroborated by earlier testimony from Pennington who said she saw Depp wielding a wine bottle and that Heard had injuries to her face.
Elizabeth Marz, a member of Heard and Depp’s inner-circle, claimed she was forced to hide after the actor had ‘scared the sh** out of her’ when he charged at her during a fight with his ex-wife in 2016 at their Los Angeles penthouse
Marz’s testimony was corroborated by earlier testimony from Pennington who said she saw Depp wielding a wine bottle and that Heard had injuries to her face
She said when she first met Depp around 2012 he was ‘bright and beautiful and lovely and kind and generous’. But if Depp was drinking or using drugs there was ‘almost always a fight’
Pennington, who lived for a time in a suite of penthouses along with Depp and Heard, told the court on Wednesday she was the first person to see Heard during a final fight between the couple in May 2016 that precipitated the couple’s divorce.
Pennington said she interjected herself between the two and Depp knocked her hands away. She said she then covered Heard with her own body on the floor as Depp screamed at Heard to get up. She said she later saw Depp wielding a wine bottle to smash and knock things off the walls and counters.
The friend testified she saw the bruises and cuts left in the aftermath of multiple incidents of abuse inflicted by Depp.
In a recorded deposition played for jurors, Pennington said she never personally witnessed Depp strike Heard. But she said she saw the injuries, and she took photos of Heard’s face in December 2015 after a fight in which Heard says Depp head-butted her and perhaps broke her nose.
The photo shows a swollen nose, a cut lip, and two moderately black eyes on Heard’s face.
She also took a photo of strands of hair that she said were ripped from Heard’s scalp.
Heard ‘often had to cover bruises and injuries on her face’ with makeup, said Pennington, one of many witnesses whose testimony was previously recorded.
Pennington said she doesn’t really consider herself a current friend of Heard, and that the two grew apart in the last year.
Pennington wiped the tears from her eyes as she walked through photos of Heard’s injuries including her swollen nose, her bloody lip and her bruised eyes
The questioning moved on to an incident in December 2015 when Heard claims that Depp headbutted her and repeatedly punched her in the head so hard that the bed frame she was lying on broke. Pennington said that in the aftermath she saw blood in Heard’s hair and a chunk of it had been ‘ripped out’
The court was shown photos of Heard with visible bruises on her face
The December 2015 fight is one of several disputed incidents. While jurors have seen the photos taken by Pennington documenting the injuries, they have also seen video of Heard’s appearance on a late-night talk show the next day in which those injuries aren’t visible.
Heard has said the injuries were covered by makeup.
Pennington’s testimony came after Heard wrapped up her time on the witness stand Tuesday, including two grueling days of cross-examination in which Depp’s lawyers questioned Heard about the truthfulness of her allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
Pennington’s testimony provides corroborating evidence to several of the alleged assaults. In addition to the December 2015 incident, Pennington said she saw cuts on Heard’s feet when she returned from a trip to Australia in March 2015. Heard testified that Depp sexually assaulted Heard with a liquor bottle on that trip and that she cut her feet on broken glass from the attack.
Later on Wednesday, Heard’s sister testified that she found herself in the middle of fights – literally and figuratively – between Heard and Depp during their troubled relationship.
Whitney Heard Henriquez is the first witness to testify at the five-week civil trial to say she personally witnessed Depp hitting Heard. Depp has testified he never struck Heard.
Henriquez testified the fight occurred in March 2015 – a month after Depp and Heard’s wedding – when Heard found evidence that Depp had already had an extramarital affair.
Henriquez recounted that an inebriated Depp blamed Heard for forcing him into the extramarital encounter.
At one point, she said, she was caught between Depp and Heard as he charged up a staircase to confront Heard. Henriquez said she was struck in the back, and Heard became enraged and ‘landed one’ on Depp, with Henriquez stuck between the two.
One of Depp’s bodyguards intervened and broke up the fight but ‘by that time Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and was whacking her repeatedly in the face with the other,’ Henriquez said.
It was the only time, Henriquez said, that she personally witnessed a physical assault. But she said she saw the aftermath of other fights, including bruises on Heard.
Amber Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez took the stand Wednesday and testified about their relationship
She said she had the nickname ‘marriage counselor’ for her frequent efforts to mediate arguments between Heard and Depp.
‘Clearly not very well,’ she said of her mediation efforts.
But she acknowledged on cross-examination that she sided with Depp at times in their disputes, and said she worked to keep the couple together even after she watched her sister be physically assaulted.
‘If my sister said that she still wanted to be with Johnny and if I could help with that in any way I was going to support her. I was going to be there for her,’ she said.
Henriquez admitted that once, she even joked in a text message that Depp should hit Heard, but she said she didn’t really understand what her sister was going through at the time.
Henriquez also told the court about Depp’s behavior at Heard’s 30th birthday party in April 2016, one of the final fights between the couple. She said people took turns sharing favorite memories of Heard. Depp, who arrived late and intoxicated to the party, decided to tell a story about when he first met Heard as she auditioned for a movie and ‘she sat on the couch and her perfect (posterior) left the perfect imprint on the couch.’
‘We were all kind of embarrassed,’ Henriquez said.
Depp is suing Heard for libel in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as ‘a public figure representing domestic abuse.’ His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s caustic relationship
February 3, 2015
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard marry in a private civil ceremony at their LA home, four years after they met as co-stars on the set of The Rum Diary. The couple celebrate with a lavish reception on an idyllic private island in the Bahamas that Depp bought in 2004 for $3.6 million.
April 21, 2015
Heard breaches Australia’s biosecurity laws when she and Depp fail to declare their two Yorkshire terriers when they arrive Down Under on a private jet for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Heard admits falsifying quarantine documents and is placed on a $1,000 one-month good behavior bond.
May 23, 2016
Heard files for divorce after 15 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Four days later a judge issues a temporary restraining order against Depp over domestic violence allegations. Pictures of Heard’s alleged injuries hit the tabloids but the LAPD finds no evidence of a crime.
August 16, 2016
Depp and Heard reach a $7 million divorce settlement which the actress promises to give to charity. Their marriage was ‘intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,’ the former lovers say in a statement. ‘There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm’.
December 18, 2018
The Washington Post publishes an op-ed by Heard, an ambassador for women’s rights at for the American Civil Liberties Union, urging support for women who suffer domestic violence. ‘Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out,’ reads the headline.
March 1, 2019
Despite not being named in the article, Depp files a $50 million defamation suit in Fairfax Circuit Court, Virginia saying it implied he was an abuser and got him fired from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp dismisses Heard’s abuse allegations as a ‘hoax’ and claims he was actually the victim of her violence.
August 10, 2020
Heard countersues for $100 million, claiming vengeful Depp and his lawyer Adam Waldman targeted her with a vicious smear campaign, using media allies and internet trolls to amplify false stories about her and derail her acting career.
November 1, 2020
Depp faces an uphill battle to save his reputation after he loses a libel battle with a British tabloid that labeled him a ‘wife beater’. A judge in London’s rules that The Sun’s 2018 article was ‘substantially true’ and that the father-of-two had attacked Heard a dozen times, causing her to fear for her life on three occasions.
April 11, 2022
After lengthy delays due to the Covid pandemic, the former flames finally lock horns in Fairfax County, Virginia where the Washington Post servers that published the disputed op-ed are based. The trial is expected to last six to seven weeks and celebrities tipped to give evidence include James Franco, Paul Bettany and Ellen Barkin.