Johnny Depp testifies in libel trial, claims Amber Heard assaulted him

Carla Harmon
July 7, 2020

Johnny Depp launched his legal action against Britain's The Sun newspaper on Tuesday in a case that is likely to delve into the private lives of the Hollywood star and his ex-wife actress Amber Heard.

"There is a substantial body of evidence ... which clearly demonstrates that this was a lie manufactured by Ms Heard and her friends", Sherborne said.

Depp said Heard had "said to the world that she was in fear of her life from me, and I had been this disgusting monster, if you will - which was not the case". "The claimant was not violent towards Ms Heard, it was she who was violent to him". They settled a divorce out of court in 2017.

The judge, Andrew Nicol, has also ruled that Heard, who is expected to attend the trial, can be in court to hear her ex-husband testify. "Either Ms Heard's allegations are true, in all their various forms now, and therefore Mr Depp has chosen to launch and pursue a lengthy libel claim despite knowing that the article which forms the subject matter of the claim is completely true", Sherborne continued. Proceedings have been spread over several courtrooms to allow for social distancing.

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.

The actor's case against NGN and Mr Wootton arises out of the publication of an article on The Sun's website on 27 April 2018 with the headline "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be "genuinely happy" casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?"

"Untrue", Depp replied, saying Barkin held a grudge. This seems like something they actually agree on since Amber said in her own witness statement that she recorded arguments "to remind Johnny of what he would do when using drugs and alcohol because he wouldn't remember, or deny what he had said".

Ryder said she could not "wrap my head around" Heard's accusations that Depp was abusive.

"Whenever it would escalate, I would try to go to my own corner, as it were. before things got out of hand", he said.

Heard has alleged multiple instances of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in locations including Los Angeles, Japan, the Bahamas and Australia.

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 pharmaceuticals.

The High Court case was given a go-ahead last week by Mr Justice Nicol despite NGN's attempt at having the trial thrown out. Heard filed for divorce after 15 months and days later obtained a restraining order against Depp.

Mr Depp's libel claim against Ms Heard in Virginia - over a December 2018 column in the Washington Post which said the actress received "the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out", but did not mention Mr Depp by name - is due to begin next January.

"The articles amount to a full-scale attack on the claimant as a "wife beater", guilty of the most horrendous physical abuse".

The judge said it was News Group Newspapers and Wootton, and not Heard, that are defending the claim, while conceding they will be relying "heavily" on Heard's evidence.

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