Johnny Depp’s alcohol and drug use fueled the ‘monster’, says Amber Heard’s lawyer

  • Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard began on Tuesday with opening statements.
  • Heard’s attorney told the jury that Depp’s “monster” would come when he was drinking and using drugs.
  • Meanwhile, Depp’s attorney said Heard “chose to lie about her husband for his… benefit.”

A lawyer for Amber Heard said the “monster would come out” of her ex-husband, Johnny Depp during their relationship as he drank and did drugs in opening statements in the couple’s libel trial on Tuesday.

“Amber Heard never wanted to tell the public who the real Johnny Depp is,” Ben Rottenborn, one of Heard’s attorneys, said in court at a Fairfax County courthouse in Virginia on Tuesday. “But it’s going to come out in this trial. You’re going to see who the real Johnny Depp is.”

Elaine Bredehoft, a second attorney on Heard’s defense team, then added to the statement by discussing Depp’s drinking and drug habits.

“The monster was coming out when he was drinking and when he was doing drugs,” Bredehoft said, Deadline reported.

The outlet went on to report that Heard’s attorneys said they would show Depp was a “revenge-obsessed ex-husband” who engaged in “drug and alcohol abuse.”

Johnny Depp Amber Heard

Johnny Depp Amber Heard arriving in court.


As Insider previously reported, Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against Heard in response to an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post that detailed her experience with domestic violence. Depp’s name was not mentioned, but the article was widely interpreted to be about him.

In January 2021, Heard counter-sued Depp for $100 million due to statements made by his ex’s lawyers about him. The lawsuit came after his motion to move the case to California was denied.

Elsewhere during opening statements, Rottenborn told the 11-person jury that Depp “is going to try to turn this case into a soap opera,” but that the trial is centered on whether Heard was exercising his First Amendment right to Free Speech. while writing the op-ed, Insider reported.

“The answer is very clearly yes,” Rottenborn said.

Depp’s attorney, Benjamin Chew, meanwhile described Heard as a liar on Tuesday during opening statements and said her claims ruined the actor’s career and alienated him from producers who once favored the star of movie theater.

“When, like Mr. Depp, your career depends on your image and reputation, or if film producers want their film associated with you, that can be particularly damaging,” Chew told the court.

“By choosing to lie about her husband for her own benefit, Amber Heard has chosen to ruin his reputation,” he added.

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