Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have began their court hearing and the TV star today said that his ex-wife Amber Heard had made sick, claims of abuse and falsely branded him a monster. The Pirates of the Caribbean star strongly denies Heard’s claims that he assaulted her during their tempestuous marriage, and sued The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
“These sick claims are totally untrue,”Johnny Depp said in a written witness statement, adding that Heard’s allegations hurt his career and had been a constant issue in my casting.A three-week trial over his libel claims opened Tuesday. The trial is one of the first to be held in person since Britain began to lift its coronavirus lockdown.
Depp entered the witness box of the wood-paneled courtroom wearing a dark suit and tie, and began by taking the court oath and giving his full name: John Christopher Depp II. He told the court that Heard had said to the world that she was in fear of her life from me, and I had been this horrible monster, if you will. Which was not the case.
Johnny Depp and Heard arrived by separate entrances at the neo-Gothic court building. Both wore face coverings over their noses and mouths as they arrived. Proceedings have been spread over several courtrooms to allow for social distancing.
While Heard isn’t on trial, the case is also a showdown between the former spouses, who accuse each other of being controlling, violent and untruthful. It is set to put the two performers’ complex private lives under a microscope.
The Sun‘s defense relies on Heard’s allegations of 14 incidents of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in locations including Los Angeles, Australia, Japan, the Bahamas and a chartered jet. He denies them all and says Heard, an actress and model, attacked him with items including a drink can and a cigarette. He also claims that on one occasion Heard or one of her friends defecated on his bed.
In written witness statements, Depp said that in Australia in 2015 Heard severed the tip of his finger by hurling a vodka bottle at him. A photo of the bloody digit was included with his witness statement. Depp claimed that on another occasion, Heard repeatedly punched him in the face on a private jet, forcing him to spend the flight locked in the plane’s bathroom.
“Rage-filled violent incidents on planes were common with Amber,” he said in the written statement. “As things tended to do, (it) escalated and got physical, ending with a bit of assault. Ms. Heard struck me,” he said. He painted himself as a peacemaker who tried to remove himself from conflicts before things got out of hand.
In a written statement, Johnny Depp alleged that Heard was “a calculating, diagnosed borderline personality; she is sociopathic; she is a narcissist; and she is completely emotionally dishonest.” “I am now convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking, and then destroy what remained of it,” Depp said. Heard alleges that Depp was prone to drink- and drug-fueled violent rages.
Under cross-examination by The Sun‘s lawyer, Sasha Wass, Depp acknowledged taking myriad drugs over the years, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and prescription painkillers. He said his drug use began when he was an 11-year-old child with not a particularly stable or secure or safe home life.” He said it was “the only way that I found to numb the pain.
Wass also tried to depict Depp as someone with an anger management problem, bringing up an 1989 arrest for assault and a later incident in which he damaged a New York hotel room. “I was angry, but that doesn’t mean I have an anger problem,” Johnny Depp said.
Wass played the court a video clip recorded by Heard that shows Depp kicking kitchen cupboards and swearing before pouring red wine from a large bottle. While saying he wasn’t particularly proud of myself over the video, Johnny Depp denied that it showed he became a monster when he drank and took drugs.
Heard is due to give evidence later in the trial. Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said Heard had recently asked that one allegation be heard in private “because of its supposedly horrific nature.” Witnesses for Depp are scheduled to include his former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder both of whom have submitted statements supporting him.
Johnny Depp is also suing Heard in the United States for $50 million for allegedly defaming him in a Washington Post article about domestic abuse. That case is due to be heard next year. Sherborne, said in an opening statement that the actor had brought the case against The Sun to “clear his reputation.” “This is not a case about money,” he said. “It is about vindication.”
Photo Credit: Getty