(LONDON) — Johnny Depp gave proof in a London courtroom on Tuesday, denying claims that he hit ex-wife Amber Heard and accusing her of assaulting him and depicting him as a “monster.”
Depp sat within the witness field in a wood-paneled Excessive Court docket courtroom on the primary day of his libel case in opposition to The Solar over an article that branded him a “wife-beater.” The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star started by taking the courtroom oath and giving his full identify: John Christopher Depp II.
Depp is suing the tabloid’s writer, Information Group Newspapers, and its govt editor, Dan Wootton, over an 2018 story alleging he was violent and abusive to model-actress Heard throughout their quick, tempestuous marriage. Depp strongly denies the declare.
Depp mentioned Heard had “mentioned to the world that she was in worry of her life from me, and I had been this horrible monster if you’ll. Which was not the case.”
Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, met on the set of the 2011 comedy “The Rum Diary” and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They divorced in 2017, and now bitterly accuse each other of abuse.
Depp and Heard arrived by separate entrances on the neo-Gothic courtroom constructing on the opening day of the three-week trial, one of many first to be held in individual since Britain started to carry its coronavirus lockdown. Each wore face coverings over their noses and mouths. Proceedings have been unfold over a number of courtrooms to permit for social distancing.
Witnesses are scheduled to incorporate Depp’s former companions, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, each of whom have submitted statements supporting him.
Depp’s declare facilities on an April 2018 story in The Solar headlined: “Potty – How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely completely happy’ casting spouse beater Johnny Depp within the new Unbelievable Beasts movie?”
Whereas Heard isn’t on trial, the case can be a showdown between the previous spouses, who accuse one another of being controlling, violent and untruthful.
Describing one incident by which Heard claims he hit her, Depp mentioned the other was true.
“As issues tended to do, (it) escalated and acquired bodily, ending with a little bit of assault. Ms. Heard struck me,” he mentioned.
He painted himself as a peacemaker who tried to de-escalate issues.
“Each time it might escalate I’d attempt to go to my very own nook, because it have been … earlier than issues acquired out of hand,” he mentioned.
The Solar’s protection depends on Heard’s allegations of 14 incidents of violence by Depp between 2013 and 2016, in places together with Los Angeles, Australia, Japan, the Bahamas and on a personal jet. He denies all of them and says Heard attacked him with gadgets together with a drink can and a cigarette. He additionally claims that on one event Heard or one in every of her pals defecated on his mattress.
“She was the abuser, not him,” Depp’s lead lawyer, David Sherborne, mentioned in a written assertion.
“She is a extremely advanced and aggressive particular person who suffered excessive temper swings, would provoke infinite round arguments, and fly into violent rages.”
The case is ready to place the 2 performers’ advanced non-public lives below a microscope.
Underneath cross-examination by The Solar’s lawyer, Sasha Wass, Depp acknowledged taking myriad medication through the years, together with marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and prescription prescription drugs.
He mentioned his drug use started when he was an 11-year-old youngster with “not a very secure or safe or secure residence life.” He mentioned it was “the one manner that I discovered to numb the ache.”
Wass additionally tried to depict Depp as somebody with an anger administration downside, mentioning an 1989 arrest for assault and a later incident by which he broken a New York resort room.
“I used to be offended, however that doesn’t imply I’ve an anger downside,” Depp mentioned.
In pre-trial wrangling, the Solar’s attorneys tried to have the swimsuit thrown out on the grounds that Depp didn’t disclose textual content messages he exchanged with an assistant exhibiting that he tried to purchase “MDMA and different narcotics” whereas he was in Australia with Heard in 2015.
Heard alleges that Depp subjected her to “a three-day ordeal of bodily assaults” whereas they have been within the nation after ingesting and taking medication.
The newspaper’s lawyer, Adam Wolanski, mentioned withholding the texts was a breach of a earlier courtroom order requiring Depp to offer all paperwork from separate libel proceedings in opposition to Heard in america. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for allegedly defaming him in a Washington Put up article about home abuse. That case is because of be heard subsequent yr.
Final week, decide Andrew Nicol dominated that Depp had breached the courtroom order, however refused to throw out the actor’s declare.
He additionally rejected an try by Depp to drive Heard to reveal proof together with communications with actor James Franco and House-X founder Elon Musk, with whom she allegedly had affairs whereas concerned with Depp.
The decide mentioned the difficulty of Heard’s extramarital relations was irrelevant to the central concern within the case, which is “whether or not Mr. Depp assaulted Ms. Heard.”
Depp’s lawyer, Sherborne, mentioned the actor had introduced the case to “clear his popularity.”
“This isn’t a case about cash,” he mentioned. “It’s about vindication.”