The trial for the defamation lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard returned on Thursday to the themes of Depp’s jealousy and substance abuse.
Bruce Whitkin, A musician who was Depp’s friend for nearly 40 years said the actor had already shown jealousy in their romantic relationships decades ago.
“He can definitely have a jealous streak,” Witkin said during a video statement recorded in February and played in court Thursday.
Depp displayed some of that jealousy during his relationship with Vanessa Paradise, who was her partner for 14 years, “and a lot of that was in her head and not in reality,” Witkin said.
Depp’s jealousy also kicked in when he was with Heard and she was shooting a movie “or doing something where he couldn’t be there to see what was going on,” Witkin said. “I think he was nervous.”
Witkin said he once saw bruises on Heard’s arm when he and Depp were working on a documentary about the Los Angeles guitarist. Rolling Stones, Keith Richards. And he saw Depp with a “swollen lip” another time. But Witkin said he never directly saw Depp or Heard physically assault the other.
Depp sued Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia over a December 2018 op-ed by Heard in the daily newspaper. The Washington Post, in which the actress described herself as “a public figure who represents domestic abuse.” Depp’s lawyers say the article defamed the actor despite not mentioning her name. The trial is now in its fifth week.
Depp says he never hit Heard and that he was abused by her. But Heard’s lawyers argue that Depp physically and sexually abused their client, saying the actor’s denials lack credibility because he often drank and took drugs to the point of passing out and not remembering anything he did.
Witkin said he tried to help Depp with his substance abuse and put him in touch with a therapist.
“He was like, ‘I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine’. And well, you’re not okay,” Witkin said, recalling a conversation.
Depp’s sister, Christi Dembrowski, was always concerned about his well-being, both in terms of substance abuse and in general, Witkin said.
“I think everyone, deep down, was, but… people on the payroll won’t really say much. They will try, but they don’t want to lose their job,” Witkin said. “I’m not saying everyone falls into the category. But it’s a strange thing around people like him. Everybody wants something.”
Witkin said her friendship with Depp began to dissolve in late 2017, when the actor began drifting apart.
“He wrote me this weird text saying I stabbed him in the back and badmouthed him,” Witkin said. “I told him, ‘What are you talking about?’ And he didn’t explain it. I practically haven’t seen it since 2018.”