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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Johnny Depp’s ex-nurse and the actor’s severed finger after fight with Amber Heard

Depp testified that it was a “complete shock” about six years ago when Heard “made some quite heinous and disturbing” allegations that he became violent.

Update:
Depp is suing ex-wife Amber Heard for libel after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse.
JIM WATSONGetty

On Tuesday, in a Virginia courtroom, actor Johnny Depp testified that he had never struck his ex-wife Amber Heard and that he was challenging her accusations in a $50 million defamation case to correct the public’s perception and stand up for his children. His case included the testimony of a doctor and nurse over the situation when his finger was severed in a fight between the couple.

What happened to Johnny Depp’s finger?

David Kipper, a concierge doctor, and Debbie Lloyd, a nurse who worked with him, recounted the 2015 search for Johnny Depp’s severed fingertip. Depp had suffered the injury in March of that year, while he was in Australia for the filming the fifth instalment of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. The actor accused Heard of throwing a bottle at him, which had severed the top of his middle finger.

Heard countered this by saying that he probably cut his finger after smashing a telephone, something that her attorneys backed up with text messages sent by Depp where he admitted to cutting his finger himself.

Actor Amber Heard reacts during Johnny Depp's defamation case against her.
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Actor Amber Heard reacts during Johnny Depp's defamation case against her.POOLREUTERS

Depp was taken to the emergency room to be treated, in the end having reconstructive surgery, but he had asked staff to search the home for the missing fingertip, which was said to have been found by his chef.

“He said he found it in the kitchen area,” Kipper stated video call deposition. He added that a visibly upset Heard was in the house at the time but that he did not notice any injuries on her. Lloyd explained that a house manager had brought the finger to the emergency room.

Johnny Depp testimony continues

Speaking softly and slowly for nearly three hours, Depp said that it was a “complete shock” about six years ago when Heard “made some quite heinous and disturbing” allegations that he became violent during their relationship.

Never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life,” said Depp, who wore a dark suit with his hair in a ponytail. “I felt it my responsibility to stand up not only for myself in that instance but stand up for my children,” the star said. His two children from a previous relationship were in high school at the time.

“It’s very strange when one day you’re Cinderella so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo,” added Depp, who is set to return to the witness stand on Wednesday, when he is expected to face a cross-examination from Heard’s legal team.

Depp, 58, alleges Heard, 35, defamed him when she penned a December 2018 opinion piece in the Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic abuse. He filed a $50 million lawsuit against Heard in 2018. The article never mentioned Depp by name, but Depp lawyer Benjamin Chew told jurors it was clear Heard was referencing the Hollywood leading man.

Attorneys for Heard, also an actor, have argued she told the truth and that her opinion was protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. In opening arguments, Heard’s attorneys said Depp physically and sexually assaulted her while abusing drugs and alcohol.

US actor Johnny Depp testifies during his defamation trial in the Fairfax County.
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US actor Johnny Depp testifies during his defamation trial in the Fairfax County.JIM WATSONGetty

A state court judge in Fairfax County, Virginia, is overseeing the trial, which is in its second week and is expected to last for six weeks.

On Tuesday, Depp’s lawyers asked him about his movie career and his early interactions with Heard on the set of 2011 film “The Rum Diary.” Depp described her at that time as sweet, intelligent and funny.

The actor also detailed his parents’ tumultuous relationship. Depp said his parents frequently argued and his mother physically abused her children. Depp said his father never fought physically with his mother but punched a wall as many as three times, once breaking his hand. His father left the family when Depp was 15, the actor said.

By that time, Depp had “done all the drugs I was aware of,” he said. He said he became addicted to opiates after he was injured on the set of the fourth “Pirates” film but recovered from that dependency.

Depp said Heard “grossly embellished” his substance use. “A lot of it is just plainly false,” he said. “I think it was an easy target for her to hit.”

Heard watched the testimony with little expression while Depp spoke, occasionally tilting her head or jotting notes.

Musk and Franco on Depp and Heard witness lists

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against The Sun, a British tabloid that labeled him a “wife beater.” A London High Court judge ruled he had repeatedly assaulted Heard and put her in fear for her life.

In the U.S. case, Depp and Heard both submitted long lists of potential witnesses they may call, including Heard’s ex-boyfriend and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and actor James Franco.

Attorney Ben Rottenborn, attorney for US actress Amber Heard, looks at a monitor in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.
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Attorney Ben Rottenborn, attorney for US actress Amber Heard, looks at a monitor in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse.JIM WATSONGetty

Depp’s lawyers have said they filed the case in Fairfax County, outside the District of Columbia, because the Washington Post is printed at a facility there. The Washington Post is not a defendant in the case.

The United States is a difficult forum for libel plaintiffs, especially public figures like Depp, who must prove by clear and convincing evidence that Heard knowingly made false claims.

Heard, known for roles in “Aquaman” and “Justice League,” has brought her own libel claim against Depp, saying he smeared her by calling her a liar. Heard’s counterclaim, seeking $100 million in damages, will be decided as part of the trial.

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