Depp in witness box for 5th day at lawsuit over abuse claims
LONDON (AP) — Johnny Depp is expected to wrap up his evidence Monday at his libel trial against a tabloid newspaper that accused him of abusing ex-wife Amber Heard.
The Hollywood star is suing News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the paper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that called him a “wife-beater.”
Depp is in the witness box at the High Court in London for a fifth day — two days longer than scheduled — in a case that has exposed a bitter rift between the estranged spouses.
Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, met on the set of the 2011 comedy “The Rum Diary” and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. Heard, a model and actress, filed for divorce the following year, and the divorce was finalized in 2017.
Under cross-examination by The Sun’s lawyer, Sasha Wass, Depp depicted a tumultuous relationship with Heard during a period when he was trying to kick drugs and alcohol, and sometimes lapsing.
He called the relationship “a crime scene waiting to happen.” But he denied hitting Heard and accused her of compiling a dossier of fake claims against him as an “insurance policy.”
The Sun’s defense relies on a total of 14 allegations by Heard of Depp’s violence between 2013 and 2016, in settings including his private island in the Bahamas, a rented house in Australia and a private jet. He strongly denies all of them.
Among Heard's allegations is a claim that during a fight at the couple's Los Angeles penthouse in December 2015, Depp trashed Heard’s wardrobe, threw a decanter at her, pulled her by the hair and headbutted her, causing two black eyes.
Depp claimed Heard was the aggressor, and he had only tried to restrain her “to stop her flailing and punching me.”
Depp also rejected Heard’s claim that he subjected her to a “three-day ordeal of assaults” in March 2015 in Australia, where Depp was appearing as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.
He agreed that the couple had an altercation, which ended up with their house being trashed and Depp’s fingertip being severed to the bone.
Depp accuses Heard of cutting off his fingertip by throwing a vodka bottle at him. She denies it.
Depp also said the marriage broke down for good after an incident in which he accused Heard or one of her friends of defecating in the couple’s bed after a party, a mishap Heard blamed on her Yorkshire terriers.
“I thought that was an oddly fitting end to the relationship,” Depp said Friday.
Heard is attending the three-week trial and is scheduled to give her own version of events later.