Johnny Depp tells libel trial ex-wife's abuse claims 'mirrored' what she did to him - Press Gazette

Johnny Depp tells libel trial ex-wife's abuse claims 'mirrored' what she did to him

Johnny Depp has said Amber Heard’s allegations of domestic violence “mirrored” what he claims was her abuse towards him.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star told the High Court that “it seemed like everything she would accuse me of was something she had done to me”.

The Hollywood actor, 57, made the claim on Monday during his fifth day of evidence in his libel action against The Sun newspaper.

He is suing the tabloid’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an April 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.

During his final morning in the witness box, Depp’s barrister David Sherborne referred to a recording of the former couple discussing matters in San Francisco in July 2016, after they had split and Heard had obtained a restraining order against the actor.

He told the court that in the recording, Heard said it was “unbelievable to imagine” that she had either been “in a secret fight club” or “plotting to do this for three years … just saving it up for the right time” when she was not asking for any money, adding “no-one is going to believe that”.

Depp said he had no idea what “secret fight club” referred to as he had never heard the term.

The actor said: “I thought it meant a couple of scenarios, the secret fight club I didn’t understand.

“I thought it was a very odd alternative to the secret fight club and it seemed to me in a strange way … it was almost as if it was a reverse confession, if you will.

“It seemed like everything she would accuse me of was something that she had done to me, so I started to see this kind of pattern, a mirroring, and when she said that, I was real taken aback, for sure.”

After Depp finished giving evidence, Depp’s former aide Stephen Deuters alleged that Heard was the “abuser” in their relationship.

He told the court that Heard had subjected Depp to “years of abuse”, and said he was “extremely surprised and outraged” when it became public that she had filed for a temporary restraining order against the Hollywood star.

Deuters said in his witness statement that he was with the couple “very regularly” throughout their relationship, and did not see any injuries on Heard or hear her mention that she had been the victim of abuse.

“In contrast, Mr Depp told me on multiple occasions that Ms Heard had attacked him or abused him physically and verbally,” he said.

Heard’s ‘haymaker punch’

Sherborne had also asked Depp about an argument after Heard’s 30th birthday party at the couple’s LA penthouse on 21 April 2016, hours after he had learned during a “bad” business meeting that he had lost $650m (£514m).

The actor is accused of throwing a bottle of champagne at Heard, grabbing her by the hair, and pushing her during a row, after he arrived home late for the party.

Depp denies the allegations.

He previously told the court he went straight to bed and was reading when he arrived home as he was trying to avoid a confrontation with Heard.

On Monday, the court heard that in the “secret recording” of the couple’s San Francisco meeting, Depp can be heard to say “you f****** haymakered me, man”.

The actor also says to Heard that “you came around the bed to f****** start punching on me”, the court heard.

Sherborne asked what a “haymaker” was, to which Depp replied: “It’s just a type of wild swinging… kind of a roundhouse punch, as it were. It’s a bit of a wild swing, but effective if it reaches the target.”

The barrister said it had been suggested to Depp by Sasha Wass QC, NGN’s lead counsel, that by going to bed and reading on her birthday, he had made her angry.

Sherborne asked: “Mr Depp, did you deserve to be punched because you were reading in bed on her birthday?”

Depp replied: “Under the circumstances of being harangued and forced into some argument or altercation, I didn’t think that it was the wrong thing to do. I thought it was best to remove myself from the argument because it seemed ridiculous to me.”

The actor said that at a business meeting on the day of Heard’s party, he was “in the early stages” of finding out from a new business manager that “the former business managers had [taken] quite a lot of my money”.

Asked how much had been taken, Depp said: “It was put to me this way, because I had no idea about money or amounts of money.

“Since Pirates [Of The Caribbean] 2 and 3, I had – and this is ludicrous to have to state, it’s quite embarrassing – apparently I had made $650m and when I sacked them, for the right reasons, I had not only lost $650m, but I was $100m (£79m) in the hole because they (the previous business managers) had not paid the government my taxes for 17 years.”

Depp also told the court he contracted a superbug after severing his finger in an incident in Australia.

The Hollywood actor said he “ended up getting MRSA” after having surgery to put a pin in a broken bone.

Depp denied an alleged incident of domestic violence against his ex-wife in March 2015, saying he would have been unable to attack her because he was wearing a cast at the time.

The actor is suing NGN and Wootton over the publication of an article on 27 April 2018 with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”

NGN is defending the article as true, and says Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs”.

Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire



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