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Johnny Depp described how he began using drugs at the age of 11 while giving testimony for his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
She claimed the assaults often came after he consumed drugs or alcohol, but the Pirates of the Caribbean star argued this week that he is 'not some maniac who needs to be high or loaded all the time'.
Speaking during the ongoing trial in Fairfax, Virginia, Depp said the characterisation of his 'quote-unquote 'substance abuse'' as described by Heard was 'grossly embellished', and that a lot of it was '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," he continued.
Depp testified he first used drugs when he was 11 years old, when he began taking pills his mother described as her 'nerve pills' used to calm herself down. He claimed he was frequently physically and verbally abused by his mother and that he also wanted to calm down, so took the pills to 'escape the chaotic nature of what [his family] were living through'.
"[It's] a pretty young age to do that, I can't say that I'm proud of admitting to that but I have to say that I knew not what else to do," he said.
Depp soon began smoking marijuana and admitted he was 'not shy' to try other substances that might 'take the edge off', he said, per Insider. In spite of this usage, Depp claimed he kept it under control and has gone years throughout his life without either drugs or alcohol.
He said he never used them to 'party', and instead described the usage as 'essentially just self-medication'. He also pointed out that he sought help after becoming addicted to Roxicodone, also known as Oxycodone, after a doctor prescribed it to him to treat a leg injury.
"I've never used (the word) party in my life, I've never taken any substance for a party. I have taken these substances over the years, on and off, to numb myself of the ghosts, the wraiths that were still with me from my youth," he testified.
Depp began his testimony by admitting he and Heard argued during their relationship, but said he 'never' reached the point of hitting her.
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