Amber Heard says ‘monster’ Johnny Depp threatened to kill her as she gives evidence in libel trial

Actor and model claims Depp abused her both physically and verbally during marriage

Emily Goddard,Vincent Wood
Monday 20 July 2020 21:07 BST
Johnny Depp arrives at High Court as libel trial enters its third week

Johnny Depp had “explicitly threatened” to kill Amber Heard many times during the course of their relationship, his former spouse has claimed.

Ms Heard, 34, has been embroiled in a court battle with the Hollywood star with both sides alleging abuse at the hands of the other during their marriage.

Now in her first of three days of evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice in London as part of Mr Depp’s libel case against The Sun newspaper, the actor and model has told the court she was placed in “life-threatening situations” by her former husband.

Asked if she ever “got violent” with Mr Depp, the actress said: “No, Johnny often put me in a situation where I was confronted with unimaginable frustrations and difficulties, often that were life-threatening to me.”

She added that she would “try to defend myself when he got serious and when I thought my life was threatened, but I was never violent towards him”.

“When I felt my life was threatened, I tried to defend myself and that started to happen years into the relationship, years into the violence.

“Before that, I didn’t even try to defend myself, I just checked out.”

She went on to claim that she believed she could “fix” the actor, who denies any claim he was violent towards his ex-wife.

“I thought he could get better and that he would, and I wanted that so badly right to the end,” Ms Heard said.

“After violent episodes, his team would try to convince me to stay with him or to come back, often telling me he was sorry and would get clean for me.

“I think I stayed not only because I had hope of him getting clean and things changing, but also because of the responsibility I felt, being told I was the one to motivate him and help him to get clean.”

Mr Depp has denies all allegations of domestic violence, which The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) relies on its defence of an April 2018 article that called the Hollywood star a “wife beater”.

Instead he has claimed it was Ms Heard who was violent towards him – alleging that she had built up a “dossier” of false allegations as an “insurance policy for later”. However Ms Heard has accused Mr Depp of subjecting her to verbal and physical abuse – including screaming, swearing, issuing threats, punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking her, as well as “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”.

In her written statement to the court Ms Heard alleged: “Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far.

“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”

“He is very good at manipulating people,” the statement added. ”He would blame all his actions on a self-created third party instead of himself, which he often called ‘the monster’.

“He would speak about it as if it was another person or personality and not him doing all these things.”

Heard has also claimed Depp’s nickname for actor Leonardo DiCaprio was ‘pumpkin-head’

The hearing continues.

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in