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.”
Mr Depp said he had initially thought his relationship with Ms Heard had been “too good to be true” but had noticed things that “might be a bit of a dilemma at some point”.
“In the beginning of my relationship with Ms Heard, from what I recall, it was as if she was too good to be true,” he said.
“She was attentive, she was loving, she was smart, she was kind, she was funny, she was understanding and we had many things in common.
“For that year or year and a half it was amazing, there were a couple of things that stuck in my head that I noticed that I thought might be a little bit of a dilemma at some point.”
He told the court that Ms Heard developed a “routine” when he came home from work, of giving him a glass of wine and taking his boots off, and that she had become “visibly shaken” and upset when he once disrupted it.
“Once you notice something like that then you start to notice other little tidbits and things that come out,” he said.
“Then within a year or year and a half she had become another person almost.”
The actor also spoke about the emotional and physical abuse that he was subjected to by his mother and father during his own childhood.
“I was very disappointed in him because I started to believe that his exit was snakey, cowardly.
“When he said goodbye to me when he left for work that morning… I said ‘goodbye pop’ and that was it until I learned the truth.”
Mr Depp said his experiences had taught him “one of the best lessons I could ever learn in my life”.
“Based on my experiences as a child and what I had seen and experienced, I knew exactly how to raise children… which was to do the opposite of what they did,” he said.
“I never wanted the kids to see me as a novelty, just as dad.”
The trial at Fairfax County District Courthouse continues.