Amber Heard has admitted that she punched ex-husband Johnny Depp during a heated row at their Los Angeles penthouse in 2015, as Depp’s court battle against the Sun newspaper enters its third week.
Depp is suing the Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton over an article from April 2018 that referred to Depp as a “wifebeater”, and which claimed there was “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked his wife at the time.
NGN is relying on 14 separate accounts of alleged domestic violence against Heard in its defence case. Depp strongly denies the allegations.
Heard, who took to the witness box in London’s High Court for cross-examination for the second day today, is giving evidence on behalf of NGN.
The Pineapple Express actress said Depp slapped, punched, head-butted and kicked her during violent outbursts during their relationship, which she claims were inflamed by excessive alcohol and drug abuse.
Depp strongly denies hitting Heard, and says the claims are a hoax that she spent years building against him.
On her second day in the witness box, Heard was grilled by Depp’s lawyer Eleanor Laws about an incident in March 2015 when she attacked Depp during an argument at their shared penthouse, saying it was the first time she stood up to the Edward Scissorhands actor.
Heard told the High Court she believed Depp was about to push her sister Whitney down the stairs.
“The moment that happened I remembered information I had heard [that] he pushed a former girlfriend — I believe it was Kate Moss — down the stairs,” Heard told the court.
Laws questioned Heard over her omittance of the alleged Moss incident from any of her previous statements or legal declarations.
“You are just making this up as you go along,” the lawyer said. Heard replied: “I didn’t include every detail or every thought… I have never changed my story,” before agreeing that she had not said it before.
The court also heard audio recordings of the couple discussing previous arguments during which Depp accused his ex-wife of punching him and throwing pots and pans at him during prior scuffles.
Heard admitted that she had hit Depp, but said that she only ever acted in self-defence, and that he would become violent if she contradicted him.
The Aquaman actress rebuffed claims that she had planted human faeces in Depp’s hotel bed after an argument on Heard’s 30th birthday, which caused Depp to refer to the actress as “Amber Turd” in texts with friends.
Depp’s assistant texted him a picture of human faeces that the cleaner had found in his hotel bedsheets, which the actor said he believed had been put there by Heard or one of her friends.
Asked if she was responsible for the excrement, Heard said: “Of course not, it’s absolutely disgusting,” suggesting Depp’s dog may have been to blame.
Depp and Heard met on the set of Hollywood film The Rum Diary in 2009, and were married in Los Angeles in 2015. The pair split 15 months later in 2016, and Heard obtained a restraining order against the actor, claiming he was “emotionally and physically abusive”.
Yesterday, the actress told the High Court Depp had pursued her romantically while they were filming The Rum Diary in 2009, but that nothing happened between them then because she was in a relationship. She said they next saw each other whilst promoting the film in 2011, which was when their “romantic relationship” began.
Earlier today the actress denied claims she had an affair with Tesla founder Elon Musk while she was married to Depp.
The court was told that Heard exchanged text messages with the Tesla chief in May 2016 following an allegedly violent incident with Depp, in which she claims the three-time Academy Award nominee injured her eye and cheek by throwing a phone at her.
It comes after Heard yesterday told the court that her ex-husband threatened to kill her on numerous occasions during their 15-month marriage.
Heard told the High Court she loved the Pirates of the Caribbean but was terrified of “the monster” — a violent alter ego she claims Depp became when under the influence of drink or drugs, which she described as the “third party in the relationship”.
In a written statement, Heard said: “He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.” The actress said Depp was “controlling”, and that he would often call her “an attention whore” if she wore certain outfits to red carpet appearances.
Depp has denied the claims, with his lawyer accusing Heard of lying. Laws claimed the actress’ account did not tally with the version of events the court had heard from Depp’s friends, staff and medical notes.
The actor’s case against NGN and the Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton follows the publication of an article on the Sun’s website in April 2018 that urged author JK Rowling to scrap Depp from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise over allegations of domestic assault.
Depp has argued that article’s headline, “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”, is defamatory.
NGN is defending the article as true, and has claimed Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” during their relationship.
The trial continues.