Johnny Depp said he was “obsessed with the truth” as he took to the stand to give evidence in his US defamation trial against former wife Amber Heard.
The actor told a Virginia courtroom that Ms Heard was bringing “heinous and disturbing” allegations against him and it was “diabolical” that his children had been exposed to them at school.
Mr Depp is suing the Aquaman star for libel over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post, which his lawyers say falsely implies he physically and sexually abused her.
“It was a complete shock… it just didn’t need to go in that direction as nothing of the kind had ever happened,” he said, speaking in court on Tuesday.
“(In) the relationship there were arguments and things of that nature, but never did I myself reach the point of striking Ms Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.”
Mr Depp said at the time the accusations had “permeated” the entertainment industry and had become a “quote, unquote fact”.
“It’s been six years of trying times, very strange when one day you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds you’re Quasimodo,” he said
“I didn’t deserve that, nor did my children, nor did the people who have believed in me all these years.
“I pride myself on honesty… on truth. Truth is the only thing I’m interested in.
“Lies will get you nowhere, and lies build upon lies… I’m obsessed with the truth so today is the first opportunity that I’ve been able to speak about this case in full.”
The actor, who wore a dark suit and light-coloured paisley tie, said the case would be “exposing” both for him and Ms Heard.
“It never had to go in this direction,” he said.
“I can’t say I’m embarrassed because I know I’m doing the right thing.”
The trial at Fairfax County District Courthouse continues.