Johnny Depp is denying allegations that he was abusive toward ex-wife Amber Heard during his libel lawsuit against UK tabloid The Sun.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is suing News Group Newspapers and The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton for libel after the paper published a 2018 story that labelled him a “wife beater.” Both Depp and Heard were photographed arriving at the High Court in London Tuesday and Wednesday wearing face coverings.
On the second day of the trial, lawyers for the newspaper group continued to question Depp about Heard’s allegations of 14 incidents of domestic violence, citing photos, emails, audio recordings and text messages Depp sent actor Paul Bettany. Depp admitted to having issues with drugs and alcohol, but denied all allegations of abuse, saying Heard’s claims were “sick” and “totally untrue,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The newspaper group's lawyer, Sasha Wass, read the court an email to Depp that Heard said she had written in 2013 but never sent, reports Deadline. In the email, Heard claimed that the actor was often so incapacitated by drugs and alcohol that he needed to be carried and cleaned up by his friends/employees. She wrote: "Yesterday, I saw you pass out, amongst vomiting, three times. All three times Jerry had carry you from the floor. On the plane Nathan mentioned how many times he’s had to break into locked doors to wake you up, after passing out on the toilet. You would have embarrassed yourself countless times if someone would be honest enough with you to tell you. To show you." In the unsent email, Heard also accused Depp of violence, writing “It’s like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Half of you, I love. Madly. The other half scares me. I can’t take him. I wish I could, but I can’t. The problem is, I never really know/understand which one I’m dealing with until it’s too late … You have hit me repeated. Something you should Never have done. What a f****** man you are."
Depp expressed doubt about the validity of the email, telling the court: "Hoax is probably the best word one could use because the allegations, all of the allegations, are patently untrue. From hearing you read out this (email), that was not sent to me, and from some of the information I have garnered from my experience yesterday and having studied the case, I will suggest, ma’am, that it appears to me that Ms Heard was building a dossier very early on that appears to be an insurance policy for later."
So far during the trial, Depp also denied Heard’s allegation that he went into a rage during a private flight in 2014 because he believed she was having an affair with James Franco, and refuted Heard’s assertion that he slapped her for laughing at his “Wino Forever” tattoo. “I don’t recall any argument about any of my tattoos,” Depp told the court. He also denied getting violent with Heard because she kept a painting from her former partner, Tasya van Ree, reports The Guardian.
Depp dismissed texts he sent to pal Bettany in 2013, in which he wrote, "Let’s burn Amber... Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f**k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead," telling the court they were inappropriate jokes because he was angry Heard was acting like "the moral police" and "resentful of the fact Ms. Heard was very aggressive and quite insulting about my use of alcohol."
Heard is expected to give evidence later in the three-week trial. Depp’s exes Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, who both say he was never violent with them, are also expected to give evidence in the case.
Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, married in 2015 after meeting on the set of the 2011 comedy The Rum Diary. Heard filed for divorce in 2016 and obtained a restraining order against Depp, claiming domestic abuse.