UK

Johnny Depp accuses Amber Heard of severing finger tip

Johnny Depp arrives at court on Thursday Image copyright AFP
Image caption Johnny Depp told a court his ex-wife Amber Heard told "porkie pies" about him

Johnny Depp has accused his ex-wife Amber Heard of severing the tip of his finger, as his libel claim against the Sun newspaper continues.

The actor told the High Court Ms Heard, 34, threw a vodka bottle at him which cut the top of his finger and "crushed the bones".

She denies injuring his finger.

Mr Depp, 57, is suing for libel over a Sun article that called him a "wife beater" - but the newspaper maintains the story was accurate.

The April 2018 piece by journalist Dan Wootton was about the casting of Mr Depp in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film franchise.

Mr Depp's lawyers say the article made "defamatory allegations of the utmost seriousness", by accusing him of committing serious assaults on Ms Heard.

On the third day of proceedings at London's High Court, Sasha Wass QC, representing Sun publisher News Group Newspapers, said Ms Heard had been subjected to a "three-day ordeal" during which Mr Depp had "completely destroyed" the house they were staying in during a drug-fuelled rage.

Ms Wass said Mr Depp had accused the actress of having affairs with her "leading man" while the couple were in Australia where he was filming one of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in March 2015. He then threw Ms Heard against a ping-pong table and pushed her up against a fridge, Ms Wass said.

Mr Depp denied the accusation, adding: "After the incident where Ms Heard threw the vodka bottle, the second vodka bottle at me, which severed the top of my finger and crushed the bones, that's when I began what I feel was probably some species of a breakdown, a nervous breakdown or something."

Mr Depp said he then began to write on mirrors and walls using the injured finger, saying he "didn't want to live at that time".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Johnny Depp said his finger was injured when Amber Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him

Ms Wass said to Mr Depp: "At one stage when you were in the kitchen, screaming at Ms Heard, you picked up the wall-mounted telephone."

She said Mr Depp had the phone in his right hand and was "repeatedly smashing it against the wall".

Mr Depp replied: "That's possible."

Image copyright PA Media

He added: "I remember ripping the phone off the wall."

Ms Wass asked: "By this stage, you were really, really angry, weren't you?"

Mr Depp said: "I had just lost the top of my finger and as a musician - as a human being and as a musician - it is upsetting."

Ms Wass asked Mr Depp about previously saying that he had been responsible for losing the top of his finger.

He said he had said that to "protect Ms Heard" when he had to tell the production company he could not work.

Ms Heard has previously denied injuring Mr Depp's finger saying he injured it while pulling the phone off the wall.

Ms Wass said Ms Heard had come down to a "state of complete carnage" in the house with Mr Depp holding up his injured hand and saying "Look what you made me do." He said that was "incorrect".

Mr Depp admitted he had said their relationship as "a crime scene waiting to happen" on several occasions.

'Threatened by career'

The hearing also focussed on a detox trip Mr Depp and Ms Heard took to his private island in the Bahamas in August 2014.

The trip is one of 14 occasions on which incidents of domestic violence, all denied by Mr Depp, are alleged to have taken place - and which NGN are using in their defence against the actor's libel claim.

Mr Depp was asked during cross-examination if he had "hit and pushed" Ms Heard, to which he said: "I didn't push Ms Heard or attack her in any way, as certainly I was not in any condition to do so."

The court heard medical notes suggesting Ms Heard believed Mr Depp was jealous of her professional work with another actor, James Franco.

She said one doctor wrote: "Her movie with JF [James Franco] precipitated a binge that put JD in the hospital. Everyone around J [Johnny Depp] seems to be intimidated by his power and money. No-one stands up to him."

Mr Depp said: "I think she was telling porky pies with her psychiatrist."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Amber Heard has attended every day of the court case so far

Earlier, Ms Wass read out medical notes by Mr Depp's own doctor, David Kipper, which said the actor "romanticises the entire drug culture and has no accountability for his behaviour".

The doctor also wrote that Mr Depp paid "lip service" to people like Sir Elton John "more for their celebrity than their struggle with sobriety".

'That doesn't break a nose'

During another argument at their Los Angeles penthouse Mr Depp admitted "accidentally" headbutting Ms Heard but claimed she was "flailing and punching" him.

In a recorded conversation shortly after the incident, which was played to the the High Court, Mr Depp appeared to say he had headbutted his ex-wife in the forehead and added: "That doesn't break a nose."

He told the court he had tried to get hold of her "to stop her flailing and punching me" and as he did so "it seems there was a collision".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Heard and Mr Depp were married in 2015 and separated two years later

The case arose out of the publication of an article on the Sun's website headlined: "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?"

The Sun's original article related to allegations made by the actress, who was married to the Pirates of the Caribbean star from 2015 to 2017.

Witnesses including Mr Depp's former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder are expected to give evidence via video link, and the hearing is expected to last for three weeks.

Mr Depp, has been Oscar and Bafta-nominated and won a Golden Globe in 2008 for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

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