HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, July 7, actor Johnny Depp, 57, and his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, 34, appeared in court to begin Depp’s trial against The Sun.
In 2016, Heard filed a temporary domestic violence restraining order accusing him of being an abusive partner. Depp pleaded innocent to charges levied against him and said that, Heard abused him.
Dan Wotton, executive editor of The Sun published an article in 2018 titled, “Gone Potty – How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
Audio recordings of the confrontation between the former couple highlighting evidence were released to the press by Depp, highlighting that there was more to the story. He announced in court that Heard “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.”
Depp is now in the process of suing the publication for false claims, saying that he was a “wife-beater” and behaved “like a violent monster.”
In one of his witness statements filed in the libel lawsuit against the publication, Depp says this about his relationship with Heard.
“If I had known then what I know now, I would have seen the red flag warning signs, but I did not. She was beautiful, seemingly incredibly interested in me and my work, and I fell for it. She bombed me with what appeared to be love. It was not until much later that I understood that she had an agenda, namely to get married to me in order to progress her own career and/or to benefit financially, and she knew how to bring it about. For example, at the time, she repeatedly told me how much she admired my films; however, later in our relationship she admitted that she had never seen any of my films. She knew what she wanted and I was an easy target,” said Depp.
“She is 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 added.
The Sun is relying on Heard’s allegations of 14 incidents of violence against Depp between 2013 and 2016. Those allegations took place in multiple locations including Los Angeles, Australia, Japan, the Bahamas and on a private jet, which Depp. He says that Heard was the one who attacked him with alcohol cans/bottles and a cigarette. During one incident in Australia back in 2015, Depp said that Heard threw a bottle toward him, shattering and severing the tip of his finger. A photograph was given in his witness statement.
“Rage-filled violent incidents on planes were common with Amber,” Depp said in the written statement.
Heard claimed that Depp hit her multiple times in another case.
“As things tended to do, [it] escalated and got physical, ending with a bit of assault. Ms. Heard struck me,” Depp said.
Sasha Wass, the lawyer for The Sun brought up the actor’s history of drug use, hinting that he may have had angered outbursts while under the influence that could have caused physical altercations with Heard. Depp mentioned his rough childhood and told Wass why he resulted in taking the substances.
“It was the only way that I found to numb the pain,” Depp said.
Wass highlighted an arrest back in 1989 for assault and damage to a New York hotel room, asking Depp if he had anger management issues. Depp replied, “I was angry, but that doesn’t mean I have an anger problem.”
She continued to show a video recorded by Heard of Depp cursing before pouring wine from a large bottle. Depp told Wass that he “wasn’t particularly proud of myself,” over the video and said that it (the video) failed to show him becoming a “monster” while drunk and taking drugs during that time.
Throughout the trial, Heard is to give more evidence about the allegations. Depp has witnesses to testify for him, including former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder.
Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said in his opening statement that the actor sued The Sun to “clear his reputation.”