Johnny Depp took the stand in London as part of an ongoing libel suit agains the U.K.'s The Sun

By Ale Russian
July 08, 2020 11:47 AM
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Johnny Depp; Lily-Rose Depp
| Credit: Francois G. Durand/Getty; Scott Garfitt/BAFTA/Shutterstock

Johnny Depp's parenting came into question in his ongoing libel suit.

Depp, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), the parent company of the U.K tabloid The Sun, for libel over a story that called the actor a "wife-beater" in reference to his former marriage to actress Amber Heard, 34.

Heard previously alleged that Depp had been abusive during their 15-month marriage, which he has denied, claiming that he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship. (Heard's lawyer Eric George denied the allegations against the actress, saying in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, "The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard.")

During the cross examination at Tuesday's hearing, Sasha Wass QC, the lawyer for NGN, asked Depp about his cannabis use during the marriage, which he said was "very helpful with regard to anxiety, sleep, sense of well-being, calmness," according to Metro and other U.K. outlets.

Depp was then asked if that's why he "encouraged" his daughter Lily-Rose Depp to try weed when she was 13.

According to Metro, Depp said he "never encouraged my daughter to use marijuana."

"My daughter was 13 years old and, as we all know, at 11, 12, 13 years old, when you go to high school parties you are approached by people who will want to give you drink because they’re drinking," Depp continued per the outlet, adding the advice he gave his daughter when she was young: "Listen, sweetheart, if you are at a party and someone hands you the joint, take the joint from that person and pass it to the next person… don’t experiment with drugs with people you don’t know."

"Please do me the honor of coming to me when you are ready, when you really feel you are ready, because I don’t want your first experience in this world to be with people you don’t know, taking things you don’t know that I can’t trust, so it’s a safety issue," Depp said he told his daughter.

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Depp recalled how Lily-Rose, now 21, later came to him and said she was "ready" and he consulted with her mom Vanessa Paradis, who he said also talked to their daughter about it. The exes, together from 1998 to 2012, also share 16-year-old son Jack.

Per Metro's reporting, Depp said he "would rather" his kids "be honest and have me be honest with them so that she doesn’t go out there and do these things and hide them from me."

He continued, "You don’t want your 13-year-old going into some paranoid tailspin and I knew that the marijuana I had myself, that I smoke myself, is trustworthy, is a good quality and I was bound and determined not to have her try any drugs out there in the world because it’s too dangerous."

"If that is wrong in your eyes, I appreciate what you think but I was raising a daughter and I was being a responsible parent as far as I was concerned," Depp concluded.

Elsewhere during the cross examination, Wass also asked Depp if it was true that he "found drugs and alcohol" early in his life, BBC reports.

Depp agreed, saying that he started taking drugs "at a very young age, when it was not a particularly stable or secure or safe home life."

"My mother used to ask me to go and get her 'nerve pills' and I think I was around the age of 11 that it dawned on me that 'nerve pills' were calming her nerves, so I brought her her nerve pills and I took one and that began [my drug use]," he said.

Depp added that his early drug and alcohol use was "the only way that I found to numb the pain.”