UK

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: Court hears details of 'violent' marital rows

Johnny Depp at the High Court on Friday Image copyright EPA

Johnny Depp has claimed "all hell would break loose" if he failed to follow ex-wife Amber Heard's "rules".

The actor, 57, told London's High Court during a libel hearing Ms Heard, 34, would often force him to give her attention.

Ms Heard claimed he once threw a magnum of champagne at her, which he denied.

Mr Depp is suing for libel over an article that called him a "wife beater" - but the Sun 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.

But the Sun is defending the article as true - and is seeking to prove so at the High Court.

'Feeding attention'

Speaking about his relationship with Ms Heard, Mr Depp told the court it was "normal" for the couple to have dinner in front of the television, and to lie or sit on the couch together.

He said: "But on occasion, out of nowhere, if my hand wasn't holding Ms Heard's hand or I didn't have my arm around her or whatever, she would reach over and grab my hand and put it on her thigh, so that I was then feeding the attention that she wanted.

"It was almost as if there were rules, she has a routine and if that routine isn't met to her standards then there was going to be a problem."

During the fourth day of proceedings, the High Court was also told:

  • Mr Depp turned up late to Ms Heard's 30th birthday party in 2016 after receiving bad news about his finances
  • He later retired to bed "to avoid any confrontation" with her as he claimed she displayed "anger... rage" over his tardiness
  • The actor "pushed" Ms Heard to the ground and grabbed her hair during a violent row - a claim he denies
  • Ms Heard "or her cohort" were accused by Mr Depp of defecating in their marital bed - a claim she denies
Image copyright AFP

Earlier in the day, Sasha Wass QC, representing Sun publisher News Group Newspapers, suggested Mr Depp got out of bed to argue with Ms Heard after her 30th birthday party, which the actor denied.

The barrister said Mr Depp was "very distressed" about the news he had received earlier that night about his finances "and the last thing you wanted to be told was that you were a disappointment to your wife".

Mr Depp replied: "I believe that's the last thing any husband would want to hear."

Ms Wass went on to accuse Mr Depp of picking up a magnum bottle of champagne and throwing it at Ms Heard, which missed, with the glass smashing, which he denied.

She also alleged he grabbed Ms Heard by her hair and pushed her onto the bed adding "when she tried to leave, you blocked the bedroom door and you tried to grab her hair".

The barrister suggested Mr Depp then "pushed her to the ground" and "bumped her chest" before leaving a birthday message which contained an expletive and exiting the penthouse apartment.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Amber Heard's 30th birthday was held at the iconic Eastern Columbia Building in LA

Ms Wass then told the court further details of events which followed, described as the "defecation incident".

The barrister said to Mr Depp that "it came to your attention the following, that was the day of Amber's actual birthday, that the cleaner had found faeces in the bed".

She suggested Mr Depp was later sent photographs of the faeces, which the actor found "hilarious" and that "there were jokes like... 'Amber in the dumps' going on."

Mr Depp replied: "It was one of the most absurd, unexpected statements that I have ever witnessed in my life so, yes, initially I did laugh because it was so strange."

He told the court it was "a mystery" who defecated in the bed "and it was not left by a three or four-pound dog", in reference to the couple's pets, one of which was said to have "problems with her toilet habits".

"I was convinced that it was either Ms Heard herself or one of her cohort involved in leaving human faeces on the bed," Mr Depp added.

He told the court he thought the incident was "a fitting end to the relationship".

Details of Ms Heard's allegations of sexual violence against the Pirates of the Caribbean star were heard in private on Friday and not disclosed to the press or public.

Image copyright PA Media

The court was also told an LAPD officer saw "no injuries" on Ms Heard's face after she alleged Mr Depp had thrown her own mobile phone at her.

She claimed he had come to the penthouse "drunk and high", became enraged and then threw the phone "like someone throwing a baseball", which hit her in the eye.

But domestic violence specialist Melissa Saenz said she saw no marks on Ms Heard's face after the alleged incident in May 2016.

Ms Heard also claimed Mr Depp had smashed things in the apartment with a wine bottle before leaving but Ms Saenz told the court via videolink from Los Angeles she had found no damage after searching the entire flat.

Ms Wass suggested the police "didn't give the care to this case that you say you did".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Depp and Ms Heard were married for two years until 2017

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 film 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.

More on this story