American actor Johnny Depp opened up about his history with drug and alcohol use on April 19 as he gave evidence in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Describing it as “self-medication”, the 58-year-old revealed he had a difficult childhood and sought to “numb himself” amid emotional turmoil. He said:
“I’m not a maniac who needs to be stoned or loaded all the time.”
The extent of Depp’s drug use was significant to his case. Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard in 2019, claiming she defamed him by portraying herself as a victim of domestic violence in a Washington Post op-ed.
Heard dismissed the charges and filed a countersuit stating that he repeatedly assaulted her, usually in drug or alcohol-fueled tantrums.
During the trial, Depp said:
“The characterization of my quote-unquote ‘drug addiction’ as described by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished and much of it is just plain wrong. I think I was an easy target because once you trusted someone ‘one for a number of years and told them all the secrets of your life, this information can be used against you.”
Johnny Depp had a troubled past that led him to try drugs
Johnny Depp claims he first experimented with drugs when he was 11 years old. His mother, he said earlier in the day, regularly physically and verbally abused him, his siblings and his father. He claims she has sometimes asked him to bring her a bottle of “nerve tablets” to help her relax.
Depp, upset about his chaotic family, said he also wanted to calm down. He started taking the pills himself “to escape the chaotic nature of what we were going through”.
Soon after, Depp began using marijuana and was “not shy” to experiment with other substances that would “decline”. One of the underlying messages of Depp’s hit program in the 1980s, 21 jump street, about undercover detectives investigating crimes, including drug use, in high school, was that narcotics couldn’t cure emotional issues. He said:
“One day you will have to face these feelings.”
Despite his early drug use, Depp claims he was able to control it throughout his life. He claimed to have stayed sober for many years without taking drugs or alcohol, and that he never used them to “party”.
“It was basically self-medicating. Where you want to escape is your own brain, your own head.”
Johnny Depp also addressed the rumors that he was stoned throughout the filming of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where his character is intoxicated with psychedelic drugs and told that they are incorrect and fake.
Johnny Depp became addicted to opioids after suffering an injury
Earlier in the trial, a doctor and nurse Depp hired to help treat him for an opiate addiction testified about their interactions with the actor. Depp said he became addicted to Roxicodone, better known as Oxycodone, when a doctor prescribed it for a leg injury.
Johnny Depp said he was aware he had become addicted to the substance and was just taking it to prevent withdrawal symptoms. He said he asked for help at that time.
According to Dictionary.com, Roxicodone, sometimes known as Roxycodone, is a brand of Oxycodone, a powerful prescription pain reliever with a high rate of abuse.