American actor Johnny Depp opened up about his history with drug and alcohol use on April 19 while testifying during his ongoing defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Describing it as "self-medication," the 58-year-old revealed having a difficult childhood and seeking "numbing" amid emotional troubles. He said:
"I am not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time."
The extent of Depp's drug usage has been important to his case. Depp filed a defamation suit against Amber Heard in 2019, claiming she defamed him by presenting herself as a victim of domestic abuse in a Washington Post op-ed.
Heard rejected the charges and filed a countersuit stating that he assaulted her on multiple occasions, typically in rages fueled by drugs or alcohol.
During the trial, Depp said:
"The characterization of my quote-unquote 'substance abuse' as described by Ms. Heard is grossly embellished and a lot of it is just plain false. I think I was an easy target to hit, because once you've trusted someone for a number of years and told them all the secrets of your life, that information can be used against you."
Johnny Depp had a troubled past which led him to try drugs
Johnny Depp claims that he first experimented with drugs when he was 11 years old. His mother, he said earlier in the day, routinely physically and verbally assaulted him, his siblings, and his father. He claims she occasionally requested him to bring her a bottle of "nerve tablets" to help her relax.
Depp, who was upset by his chaotic family, stated that he wished to calm down as well. He began 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 "take the edge off." One of the underlying messages in Depp's successful 1980s program, 21 Jump Street, about undercover detectives investigating crimes, including drug usage, in high school, was that narcotics couldn't heal emotional issues. He said:
"One day, you'll have to face those feelings."
Despite his early drug use, Depp claims he was able to keep it under control throughout his life. He claimed to have gone sober for many years without taking drugs or alcohol, and that he had never used them to "party."
"It was essentially just self-medication. Where you want to escape from is your own brain, your own head."
Johnny Depp also addressed rumors about him being high throughout the filming of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where is character is intoxicated on psychedelic drugs and said they were incorrect and false.
Johnny Depp got addicted to opioids after facing an injury
Earlier in the trial, a doctor and nurse hired by Depp to assist treat him for opiate addiction testified about their interactions with the actor. Depp said that he became addicted to Roxicodone, better known as Oxycodone, when a doctor prescribed it for a leg injury.
Johnny Depp stated that he was aware that he had grown addicted to the substance and that he was just taking it to prevent withdrawal symptoms. He stated that he sought assistance at that moment.
As per Dictionary.com, Roxicodone, sometimes known as Roxycodone, is a brand of Oxycodone, a powerful prescription painkiller with a high rate of misuse.