Johnny Depp denies grabbing Amber Heard’s throat during ‘ordeal’ which saw him write on wall with blood from severed finger

Actor says allegation he held ex-wife against fridge and said ‘it would be easy to crush your neck’ is ‘fabricated and vicious’

Kate Ng,Chiara Giordano
Thursday 09 July 2020 17:52
Actor Johnny Depp leaves the High Court in London where he has been giving evidence during a hearing in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, 9 July 2020.
Actor Johnny Depp leaves the High Court in London where he has been giving evidence during a hearing in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, 9 July 2020.

Johnny Depp has denied grabbing Amber Heard’s throat during a “three-day ordeal” which saw him write messages on a wall with blood from his severed finger.

The Hollywood actor has been accused of assaulting his ex-wife and “completely destroying” a house in Australia during a drink and drug-fuelled rage five years ago.

The allegations were put to Depp after he took the witness stand at the High Court in London for a third day in his libel action against The Sun newspaper.

He is suing the tabloid’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an April 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.

The incident in Australia is one of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence, all denied by Depp, relied on by NGN in their defence against the actor’s libel claim.

The 57-year-old said he “vehemently denied” subjecting Heard, 34, to an alleged “three-day ordeal of assaults” during the 2015 Australia trip, saying it was “pedestrian fiction”.

Sasha Wass QC, who is representing NGN, put it to Depp, who was in Australia filming Pirates Of The Caribbean, that he was “drinking regularly” and “taking controlled drugs” at the time, to which he said: “I respectfully disagree with your assumptions.”

Ms Wass later said: “I suggest that you were angry, you were in a house that you had exclusive occupancy of with Ms Heard, a house with a large amount of alcohol in it, and what you described as your ugliness came to the fore very much in the three days that Ms Heard was in that house.”

Undated picture shown in court of mirrors in the house where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were staying in Australia in March 2015, which has been referred to as an exhibit in the hearing of his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, at the High Court in London
Undated picture shown in court of mirrors in the house where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were staying in Australia in March 2015, which has been referred to as an exhibit in the hearing of his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, at the High Court in London.

Depp said it was not a “three-day ordeal” and claimed there was an argument when Heard “started yelling” about signing a pre-nuptial agreement.

During her cross-examination, Ms Wass put it to the actor that he subjected Heard to a litany of abuse, including slapping her, grabbing her by the throat, and throwing her “against a ping-pong table which collapsed”.

Ms Wass said the actor grabbed Heard “by the throat, held her up against the fridge and said ‘it would be easy to crush your neck’” after she tried to take a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky off him.

Depp said the accusations were “fabricated and vicious”.

He told the court Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger, and that after this he began “what I feel was probably some species of a breakdown, a nervous breakdown or something”.

Ms Wass also said: “You had written on a mirror. You had written in paint but you had used your finger, your injured finger, in place of a paintbrush so you had dipped your injured finger in the paint and then used your finger to do the graffiti.”

Depp replied: “At first, I had used my blood.”

The actor later said that when he realised the top of his finger was missing “and pouring blood profusely and the bone was sticking out, I believe that I went into some kind of breakdown”.

He added: “I was at the end. I couldn’t live, didn’t want to live at that time.”

Earlier, Depp accused Heard of telling “porky pies” about him to a psychiatrist.

The actor suggested there was a “benefit to her [Heard’s] motivation” to tell the medical professional that he was “threatened” by her career and that a film she made with actor James Franco led to a “binge” that put him in hospital.

Actor Amber Heard leaves the High Court in London on day three of actor Johnny Depp’s libel trial against The Sun’s publishers and executive editor, 9 July 2020.

The High Court has also heard details of medical notes written by Depp’s private doctor which said the actor “romanticises the entire drug culture and has no accountability for his behaviour”.

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?”.

NGN is defending the article as true and says Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” between early 2013 and May 2016, when the couple split.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Additional reporting by agencies

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