Amber Heard tells Sun libel trial she was 'never violent' towards Johnny Depp - Press Gazette

Amber Heard tells Sun libel trial she was 'never violent' towards Johnny Depp

Amber Heard has insisted she was “never violent” towards Johnny Depp and does not have a problem with her temper.

The Aquaman actress claimed her ex-husband often put her in situations where she was “confronted with unimaginable frustrations and difficulties”, adding she would “try to defend” herself when he “got serious”.

Heard has also denied allegations that she was often the one to start arguments with the Hollywood star.

And she has alleged that she was afraid Depp was going to kill her at points in their relationship.

Heard, 34, gave her first of three days of evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice in London as part of Depp’s libel case against The Sun newspaper over a 2018 article that labelled him a “wife beater”.

Eleanor Laws QC, representing Depp, asked Heard if she ever “got violent” with him, to which the actress said: “No, Johnny often put me in a situation where I was confronted with unimaginable frustrations and difficulties, often that were life-threatening to me.”

She added that she would “try to defend myself when he got serious and when I thought my life was threatened, but I was never violent towards him.

“When I felt my life was threatened, I tried to defend myself and that started to happen years into the relationship, years into the violence.

“Before that, I didn’t even try to defend myself, I just checked out.”

The court heard a recording of a conversation between Heard and Depp, in which Depp can be heard to say: “I’m not the one who throws pots and whatever the f*** else at me.”

Heard told the court: “That’s different. That’s different … that’s irrelevant, that’s a complete non sequitur.”

Laws went on to say: “You were admitting throwing things at him but not in the context of self-defence. It sounds as if you are admitting throwing pots and pans.”

Heard replied: “It might sound like that to you, but because I lived it I can explain to you… [it is] not what it sounds like.”

She also said she threw things “only to escape him”, adding: “I’m not admitting throwing pots and pans, I’m trying to keep Johnny on track in this argument or in this conversation.”

‘Outbursts of anger’

Laws also asked Heard if she has “a problem with controlling your temper”, to which the actress said she did not.

The barrister then suggested: “You would have outbursts of rage and anger.”

Heard replied: “I did have outbursts of anger at times and there were times when, yes, I lost my cool with Johnny in our fights, in our arguments.”

Laws referred to “a number of witnesses” who had described Heard as “being the person who would start an argument with Mr Depp… you would be the one to start the argument, do you agree with that?”

Heard said: “No… they didn’t see our arguments, his employees didn’t see our arguments. These things happened behind closed doors.”

In a written witness statement Heard has said Depp, 57, threatened to kill her “many times”, especially later in their relationship.

She accused Depp of subjecting her to verbal and physical abuse – including screaming, swearing, issuing threats, punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking her, as well as “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”.

Heard alleged: “Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far.

“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”

Heard said Depp has a “unique ability to use his charisma to convey a certain impression of reality”.

“He is very good at manipulating people,” she said in her statement.

She added: “He would blame all his actions on a self-created third party instead of himself, which he often called ‘the monster’.

“He would speak about it as if it was another person or personality and not him doing all these things.”

Heard is facing questioning over 14 allegations of domestic violence – all denied by Depp – which The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers relies on in defence of the April 2018 article.

The court has so far heard nine days of evidence about Depp’s Hollywood lifestyle, his use of drink and drugs and his attitudes towards women, as well as his and Heard’s volatile relationship – described by Depp as “a crime scene waiting to happen”.

Australia ‘hostage situation’

One of the 14 allegations relates to a trip Heard took to see Depp in Australia in March 2015 when he was filming Pirates of the Caribbean.

She described it as a “three-day hostage situation” in which Depp allegedly went on a drug binge, attacked her, urinated in front of people and hid raw meat in a wardrobe.

In her witness statement, Heard said: “Over the course of those three days, there were extreme acts of psychological, physical, emotional and other forms of violence.

“It is the worst thing I have ever been through. I was left with an injured lip and nose and cuts on my arms.”

Heard alleged that at one point Depp grabbed her by the neck, shoved her against the fridge and said he could “crush” her neck.

She said there was broken glass everywhere, and alleged that he ripped off her nightgown so she was naked.

“At some point he pulled me around by my neck and pushed me down against the bar, I was against the bar, naked, bent over backwards, my back against the marble. He was pressing so hard on my neck I couldn’t breathe. I was trying to tell him that I couldn’t breathe.

“I remember thinking he was going to kill me in that moment,” she said.

The next day, she said she noticed that Depp’s finger had been cut off, explaining in her statement: “I didn’t actually see the finger being cut off, but I was worried that it had happened the night before.

“I figured it might have happened when he was smashing the phone on the wall by the fridge.”



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.