Johnny Depp today spoke about how he had taken ‘every drug under the sun’ by the age of 14, how he trashed a hotel room in 1995 front of his then-girlfriend Kate Moss and his friendships with fellow hell-raisers Keith Richards and Marilyn Manson.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor was speaking during the first day of an explosive libel trial in London involving his estranged wife Amber Heard in which he denied ever hitting her.
Opening up about his dark past, the actor laid bare his extensive substance abuse and told how he first took one of his mother’s nerve pills as a teenager.
He said Rolling Stones star Richards, 76, was a ‘friend and icon’ and that he was also very close to American author Hunter S Thompson and singer Marilyn Manson, who he admitted to doing drugs with.
Depp, 58, who like Ms Heard was pictured arriving at court with his face partially-covered, also spoke about smashing up a New York hotel room in 1995 in front of his then-girlfriend Kate Moss, causing $10,000 of damage.
The Edward Scissorhands star also told the court what he knew about the night in which child star River Phoenix died in his Hollywood nightclub.
Johnny Depp today spoke about how he had taken ‘every drug under the sun’ by the age of 14. He was was speaking during the first day of an explosive libel trial in London involving his ex-wife Amber Heard in which he denied ever hitting her. Pictured: Depp in 1989
Speaking about his drug-addled past, in his libel case against The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), Depp said his dark relationship with substances began when his mother asked him to pick up her ‘nerve pills’ and he took one.
‘My mum would tell me to go and get her nerve pills and I took one and I found what to me was the only way to numb the pain,’ he claimed.
When asked by about his interest in drugs, Depp replied: ‘I have always been interested in the counter-culture and many literary heroes of mine, including [Geoffrey] Chaucer, who was an opium addict and Thomas De Quincey, author of ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater, were into this subject.
Depp added that Hunter S. Thompson, who died in 2005, was an ‘idol of mine’.
Opening up about his dark past, the actor (pictured above with Marilyn Manson) laid bare his extensive substance abuse and told how he first took one of his mother’s nerve pills as a teenager
He said Rolling Stones star Richards, 76, was a ‘friend and icon’ and that he was also very close to American author Hunter S Thompson
Borrowing a quote from the late author, there was laughter in court as Depp declared: ‘I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.’
Depp starred as the writer in 1998 film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and spent $3million blasting the his ashes from a cannon after his death.
Depp also revealed that he spent £3 million ($5 million) firing the ashes of late author Hunter S Thompson from a canon, prompting the judge, Mr Justice Nicol, to express surprise at the amount as he asked the actor to repeat the figure.
Depp added: ‘Hunter S Thompson was an idol of mine. He extolled the virtues of psychedelic drugs.’
Depp also spoke about smashing up a New York hotel room in 1995 in front of his then-girlfriend Kate Moss, causing $10,000 of damage
The Edward Scissorhands star also told the court what knew about the night in which child star River Phoenix died in his Hollywood nightclub
Asked if he had ever taken drugs with Marilyn Manson, Depp replied, ‘Yes. Twice, maybe.’
Depp was also questioned about the night in which young starlet River Phoenix tragically died of a heroin overdose at the famous Viper Room nightclub he owned in West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.
Lawyer Sasha Wass – acting for The Sun – said: ‘River Phoenix was a young actor who collapsed and died in your club.’
Depp replied: ‘He passed away on the sidewalk just inside my club, yes.
‘From what I understand River began to feel unpleasant, he began to sweat and he went out of the door and once out of the door he collapsed.’
Ms Wass said: ‘You’re surrounded I suggest by people who will never really say no to you.
‘They will do anything you ask including supplying drugs to you.’
The actor replied; ‘No. There are people who work for me and work with me.’
Asked about his other friendships, Depp was full of praise for Rolling Stones guitarist Richards.
‘Keith Richards has been a role model for me. He’s one of my favourite guitarists and a great role model, yes,’ he said.
He added that he had been ‘very close’ to all Richards, Thompson and Manson.
Phoenix died of a heroin overdose at the famous Viper Room nightclub he owned in West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip
Speaking about his drug-addled past, Depp said his dark relationship with substances began when his mother asked him to pick up her ‘nerve pills’ and he took one
Depp also admitted to having supplied English actor Paul Bettany, 49, with cocaine.
Ms Wass asked Mr Depp: ‘You would supply Paul Bettany with whatever medication of controlled drugs he asked for, is that right?’
Mr Depp replied: ‘If he was feeling anxious or he was feeling unpleasant, I would give him what he asked for.’
Ms Wass asked: ‘You would give him cocaine?’
He replied: ‘Yes, ma’am.’
The court also heard how the Edward Scissorhands actor wrecked a New York hotel room in 1995 causing $10,000 worth of damage while his then-girlfriend, understood to have been Kate Moss, was present.
‘Why did you trash this room?’ Ms Wass asked.
‘It had been a particularly bad couple of days and that day turned out to be the… apex of an unpleasant time,’ Depp replied.
‘I asked you a little while earlier, I asked you if you thought you had problems with anger management?’ the lawyer asked.
‘I don’t. I was angry, doesn’t mean I have anger problems. I was expressing my anger,’ Depp responded.
Depp starred as the writer Hunter S Thompson in 1998 film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and spent $3million blasting the his ashes from a cannon after his death
Depp also revealed that he spent £3 million ($5 million) firing the ashes of late author Hunter S Thompson from a canon, prompting Mr Justice Nicol to express surprise at the amount as he asked the actor to repeat the figure
‘Right, so just so we’re speaking the same language, you express your anger through destructive behaviour?’ Ms Wass said.
‘I have at times in my life,’ Depp replied.
‘Yes, and this was not the only time by any means was it?’ the QC asked.
‘No,’ came the reply.
‘I also express myself by laughing, I don’t have a humour problem.’
Asked what had thrown him into such a rage that he caused $10,000 worth of damage, he said: ‘I had a friend who had been a friend for a very long time and he had for lack of a better word screwed me over if you will.’
‘And your then-girlfriend was there. Did you consider at the time she might be rather frightened by that?’ the lawyer asked.
‘She was in the bedroom asleep,’ Depp claimed.
‘She slept through the whole thing?’ Ms Wass asked.
Depp also admitted to having supplied English actor Paul Bettany, 49, with cocaine
‘Yes,’ Depp replied.
Reading from an interview about the incident, Ms Wass said: ‘It says after a spat with his then-girlfriend. What was all that about? The suggestion of the interviewer is that you had a spat with your girlfriend.’
‘That was the assumption of the media at the time because it makes for better press doesn’t it, but rather than assaulting a human being I assaulted a couch,’ Depp replied.
Ms Wass read from a statement from Depp’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas co-star Ellen Barkin telling how he became ‘out of control’ on drink and drugs.
Ms Barkin, who was asked whether Depp’s behaviour ‘seemed out of control’ while she gave evidence in a separate US libel trial Depp has brought against Ms Heard, said: ‘He threw a wine bottle across the hotel room in Las Vegas while we were shooting Fear and Loathing.’
When asked if his behaviour changed when he used drink and drugs, the court heard Ms Barkin had said: ‘He was not the same, he was high.’
Ms Wass also referred to Mr Depp enjoying red wine ‘hugely’ and an interview in which he described as ‘nonsense’ that he spent around 30,000 US dollars a month on wine ‘because the truth is it was considerably more than that’.
Mr Depp said ‘it was’, but pointed out that he did not drink all of that wine himself.
Depp wore a black bandanna face covering as he arrived at London’s High Court to fight claims he was a wife beater
Ms Wass said that, after he and former partner Vanessa Paradis split up, Mr Depp ‘made a real effort, didn’t you, to clean yourself up?’.
The actor replied: ‘I got sober off alcohol and remained sober… I can’t remember exactly how long but it was a long while.’
Ms Wass referred to an email Mr Depp sent to Sir Elton John on March 22 2012 with the subject ‘100 days’.
The email read: ‘My dearest Elton, 100 f****** days of clarity for an old reprobate t**t like me. No one would ever have believed it possible but for a select few, most importantly you.’
The message also referred to his ‘brain and liver resembling Mrs Thatcher’ – referring to the former prime minister who was known as a heavy drinker and had dementia before her death – and spoke of the ‘eternal savagery against myself’.
It concluded: ‘I would have been swallowed up by the monster were it not for you.’
Depp took the stand today to deny ever hitting Heard, as a series of newspaper stories alleged, and said it was ‘inconceivable’ that he would ever hit a woman, citing his Southern upbringing and saying he considers chivalry ‘very important’.
Amber Heard walked arm in arm with her sister, Whitney, (left) and lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, (right) as she arrived at the High Court today for the start of a three-week libel trial. In the white coat is her US attorney, Elaine Bredehoft
He said: ‘It is a strong and central part of my moral code that I would never strike a woman, under any circumstances, at any time. I find it simply inconceivable and it would never happen.’
While denying attacking Heard he also launched a blistering attack on her, accusing her of being a ‘calculating, narcissistic sociopath’ who married him to further her career.
His defence reeled off a string of incidents in which she had allegedly attacked him throughout their marriage including when she threw a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger, in Australia in 2015.
Depp also cited another incident in which she ‘repeatedly punching me in the face’ on a private jet in 2014 and claimed that she punched him again as he fled to the toilet.
In contrast, the actress’ lawyers painted Depp as a domestic abuser who repeatedly attacked her when he was drunk or high on drugs.