Johnny Depp takes witness stand, claims Amber Heard hit him

Brenda Watkins
July 7, 2020

Johnny Depp gave evidence in a London court on Tuesday, denying claims that he hit ex-wife Amber Heard and accusing her of assaulting him and depicting him as a "monster".

Depp is suing the tabloid's publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 story alleging he was violent and abusive to model and actress Heard during their short, tempestuous marriage.

Lawyers for Hollywood star Johnny Depp began his defamation case against the publisher of The Sun newspaper on Tuesday, 7 July, by claiming the allegations of physical abuse were not only untrue but that the paper had put the actor in the same category as sex fiend Harvey Weinstein.

"There is a substantial body of evidence ... which clearly demonstrates that this was a lie manufactured by Ms".

The trial was originally due to start in March but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and is now going to occupy five courtrooms, with the lawyers and judge "in court", journalists in another courtroom and members of the public in three others to ensure social distancing. Depp's former partners, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, have already submitted statements supporting their ex and are likely to be called as witnesses for the defense.

"She is a highly complex and aggressive individual who suffered extreme mood swings, would provoke endless circular arguments and fly into violent rages".

Johnny Depp's libel trial against United Kingdom tabloid The Sun has begun on Tuesday over claims of him being called a 'wife beater'.

Mr Depp said he first met Ms Heard when she auditioned for The Rum Diary, and later reconnected with her when they were promoting the film.

Mr Depp said he resolved to divorce her after faeces were left in their bed.

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"As things tended to do, (it) escalated and got physical, ending with a bit of assault. Ms. Heard struck me", he said.

Cross-examined by lawyer Sasha Wass, Depp agreed he had taken "every drug known to man" by the age of 14 and said he had had a hard childhood and struggled to come to terms with his fame and success. He said it was "the only way that I found to numb the pain". Depp's lawyer, David Sherborne, said Heard had recently asked that one allegation be heard in private "because of its supposedly horrific nature".

Ms Heard obtained a restraining order against Mr Depp in LA shortly after the couple split in 2016 and donated her $7 million divorce settlement to charity.

The newspaper's lawyer, Adam Wolanski, said withholding the texts was a breach of a previous court order requiring Depp to provide all documents from separate libel proceedings against Heard in the United States.

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.

The case is set to last for three weeks, the judge, Andrew Nicol said.

Lawyers for The Sun said in a written opening statement that the description of a wife beater was accurate and the testimony will prove it.

The words "wife beater" were removed from the headline the following morning and were not used in the print edition, but Mr Depp says the article still caused "serious harm to his personal and professional reputation" and "significant distress and embarrassment".

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