Hollywood star, Johnny Depp, has denied ever hitting his ex-wife Amber Heard as the star insisted it was her who had been violent towards him during the first day of their explosive High Court libel trial.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor, 57, accused Heard, 38, of repeatedly punching him in the face and severing his finger by throwing a vodka bottle at him.
The Hollywood star branded accusations that he subjected her to “torture and other abuse” as “sick” and “completely untrue.”
Mr Depp said he does not believe he has an “overbearing, manipulative or controlling personality”, and said Heard had an “obsessive need” to control him.
In one of his witness statements filed as part of his libel case against The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, the actor said “rage-filled violent incidents on planes were common with Amber.”
Depp said the pair were on a private chartered flight in late 2014 or early 2015 when Heard became “verbally aggressive.”
He said she called him a ‘pussy’ and ‘spineless’ for ‘running away’ from fights with her. ‘Then she became physically violent and repeatedly punched me in the face. As I moved towards the back of the plane to get away from her, she followed me into the plane’s bedroom and punched me again in the face and the head.
“I pushed her away from me, onto the bed. I then grabbed a pillow and locked myself in the bathroom, where I slept for the duration of the flight,” he wrote in his statement.
“Amber severed my finger with the second of two thrown vodka bottles at me in the early afternoon of Sunday, March 8. Amber claims this was on the second day of a ‘three-day hostage situation,” he said.
Mr Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publishers of the Sun and executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article which referred to him as a ‘wife-beater’.
It appeared under the headline ‘Gone Potty How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’
Lawyers for the newspaper allege that his violent outbursts were driven by alcohol and drugs, which left Heard with injuries and in fear for her life. They maintain that this justifies their article.
Sasha Wass, QC, representing the newspaper listed a series of drugs she claimed the actor had been taking since his childhood, including cocaine, cannabis, LSD, alcohol, cannabis and prescription drugs.
The lawyer spent the entire morning grilling the actor over his notorious drug taking, which she claimed changed his character and made him violent.
Asked about his interest in drugs, the actor claimed he enjoyed learning about ‘the counter-culture’ and followed in the footsteps of his “literary heroes.”
The actor said: ‘I’ve always been interested in the counter-culture and many literary heroes of mine* have been opium users. It has been a subject that I have learned about.
‘Hunter S. Thompson was an idol of mine. I believe he has a very famous quote that says I don’t condone the use of drugs or alcohol to anyone but they’ve always worked for me.’
‘Have you ever taken drugs with Marilyn Manson?’ the lawyer asked. ‘Yes,’ Depp replied. ‘Twice, maybe.’
After admitting that he had regularly taken “every drug known to man”, Mr Depp replied: “My experience of alcohol and stimulants began at a very young age. It was not a particularly stable or safe home life, there was a lot of unpleasantness in the house.”
He added: “I remember my mother used to ask me to get her nerve pills. Around the age of 11 it dawned on me that these pills calm your nerves and I brought them home and took one. That began what was the only way to numb the pain.”
The Sun’s lawyers and Heard allege that drugs and alcohol turned Depp into a ‘monster.’
Ms Wass claimed: “We see you now very charming, polite and softly spoken but there’s another side of you Mr Depp that’s less charming? There’s a nasty, angry side to your character.’
Depp replied: ‘I’m well aware that there’s been a lot of pain the way I was raised. When you are trying to figure out what it’s all about, when success and notoriety and all these things come to you and you don’t quite understand why you have them and you don’t feel very worthy, it’s very confusing.”
Depp denied that he had a tendency towards ‘destructive and violent’ behaviour or that he had problems managing his anger.
It came as the High Court today was told of explosive recordings of Heard shouting at Depp in 2015.
Depp’s barrister David Sherborne read an extract from a tape in which Heard said to her husband: ‘You got hit… but I did not punch you. I did not f****** deck you. I f****** was hitting you’.
Heard, 34, then went on to say “you are a f****** baby”, to which 57-year-old Depp said: “Because you start physical fights.” Heard replied: “You are such a baby. Grow the f*** up.”
Depp explained that both he and Heard recorded conversations during their relationship.
In her witness statement, Heard had said that she recorded their conversations “to remind Johnny of what he would do when using drugs and alcohol because he wouldn’t remember, or deny what he had said.”
But Mr Depp said that was not correct, telling the court that Heard’s later recollection of their conversations would sometimes be ‘radically different.