Johnny Depp testifies he's used drugs and alcohol for 'self-medication' but never to 'party'

johnny depp amber heard trial
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Johnny Depp said his drug and alcohol use has always been under control.

  • He testified that he first began using drugs when he was 11 years old and his mother asked for "nerve pills."

  • Amber Heard alleged he assaulted her in fits of rage after consuming drugs or alcohol.

Johnny Depp described his history of drug and alcohol use on Tuesday while testifying for his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, describing it as "self-medication" after a difficult childhood, or seeking "numbing" amid emotional troubles.

"I am not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time," Depp said.

The scope of Depp's substance use has become central to his case. Depp sued Heard in 2019, alleging she defamed him by describing herself as a victim of domestic violence in a Washington Post op-ed. Heard denied the allegations and filed a countersuit alleging he assaulted her on numerous occasions, often during fits of rage after he consumed drugs or alcohol.

"The characterization of my quote-unquote 'substance abuse' as described by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished and a lot of it is just plain false," Depp testified Tuesday. "I think I was an easy target to hit, because once you've trusted someone for a number of years and told them all the secrets of your life, that information can be used against you."

Depp's first instance of drug use, he said, was when he was 11 years old. His mother, he testified earlier in the day, frequently physically and verbally abused him, his siblings, and his father. Sometimes, she asked him to bring her bottle of "nerve pills" to calm herself down, he said.

Depp, troubled by his chaotic household, also wanted to calm down, he testified. So he began taking the pills himself "to escape the chaotic nature of what we were living through," he said.

Soon afterward, Depp began smoking marijuana, he said, and was "not shy" to try other substances that might "take the edge off," he said. Depp said that one of the driving messages behind his hit 1980s show "21 Jump Street" — about undercover cops investigating crimes, including drug use, in high school — was that drugs couldn't solve emotional problems.

"One day, you'll have to face those feelings," he said.

Despite his early drug usage, Depp said he kept it under control throughout his life. He's spent entire years consuming neither drugs nor alcohol, he claimed, and never used them to "party."

"It was essentially just self-medication," he said. "Where you want to escape from is your own brain, your own head."

Depp addressed his friendship with the writer Hunter S. Thompson, famous for his copious drug use. Depp played roles in two movies based on Thompson's books, 1998's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and 2011's "The Rum Diary," the latter of which he produced, and co-starred alongside Heard. Depp said the widespread belief that he was high throughout the filming of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," where his character is high on psychedelic drugs, was false.

Earlier in the trial, a doctor and nurse who Depp hired to help treat him for an opioid addiction testified about their experiences with the actor. Depp said he developed an addiction to Roxicodone, also known as Oxycodone, after a doctor prescribed it due to a leg injury.

Depp said he recognized he had become addicted to the drug, and was only taking it to avoid withdrawals. At that point, he said, he sought help.

Read the original article on Insider