Amber Heard: Johnny Depp ‘threatened to kill me many times’


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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp arrived separately at London’s High Court for day 10 of the case

Actor Johnny Depp “threatened to kill” ex-wife Amber Heard “many times”, the US actress has claimed.

She described a “three-day hostage situation” during which she claimed Mr Depp was on a “drug and alcohol binge”.

Mr Depp, 57, is suing the publisher of the Sun over an article that referred to him as a “wife beater” – but the newspaper maintains it was accurate.

He denies 14 allegations of domestic violence on which News Group Newspapers is relying for its defence.

Ms Heard took to the witness stand at London’s High Court on the 10th day of the case, and her written witness statement was also submitted to the court.

In it, she accused Mr Depp of 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”.

“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,” she said.

‘The monster’

Ms Heard, 34, claimed Mr Depp had a “unique ability to use his charisma to convey a certain impression of reality” and “he is very good at manipulating people”.

“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.”

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Julia Quenzler

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A court artist sketch shows Amber Heard giving evidence, as ex-husband Johnny Depp looks on

She said in the beginning of their relationship, he would be “intensely affectionate, warm and charming” and it felt like she was “dating a king”.

Ms Heard, who was married to the film star from 2015 to 2017, said Mr Depp had pursued her romantically while they were filming The Rum Diary in 2009 and they spent time together sometimes with the director “just drinking wine and talking”.

But she said nothing happened between them at that point because she was in a relationship.

“After that shoot, I didn’t hear from him directly, although he would send me gifts,” she said.

The next time they saw each other was when they were promoting the same film in 2011. She said his publicist invited her to meet Mr Depp and the director in a hotel room for a drink, but when she got there it was just Mr Depp. “Our romantic relationship then began,” she said.

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Ms Heard said the pre-nuptial agreement was left on Mr Depp’s team’s desk and “no-one did anything”

Her witness statement added: “When Johnny puts his attention on you, with all his intensity and darkness, it is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

“When I say he was dark, he had a violent and dark way of speaking: the way he talked about our relationship being ‘dead or alive’ and telling me that death was the only way out of the relationship.”

Ms Heard alleged that it is rare to see anyone say no to him. “I tried to, but it didn’t go down well,” she said.

‘Raw meat in nightgown’

In her statement, Ms Heard also described visiting Mr Depp in Australia in March 2015, while he was filming Pirates of the Caribbean, and described the trip as “like a three-day hostage situation”.

“Over the course of those three days, there were extreme acts of psychological, physical, emotional and other forms of violence,” she said.

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

She claimed Mr Depp grabbed her neck, shoved her against the fridge, tore off her nightgown and pushed her against a bar.

“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.

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Johnny Depp is bringing the case against the Sun over an article published in 2018

She added that she later found her nightgown, saying: “There were pieces of it wrapped round something and I realised it was the steak I had planned to cook.

“He had ripped the gown into pieces and put raw meat in it. He had also gone around and painted on all my clothes in the closet.

The court previously heard from Mr Depp, who said the top of his finger was severed when Ms Heard threw a vodka bottle at him during the trip to Australia.

In her statement, Ms Heard said: “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.”

DiCaprio ‘nicknamed pumpkin-head’

Ms Heard also said Mr Depp accused her of having affairs with fellow actors, and claimed she had to justify to him why she accepted film roles.

“He would insist every male actor was trying to sleep with me and/or that I had had an affair with them, that he’d spoken to people and knew all about it,” she said.

“He accused me of having affairs with each of my co-stars, movie after movie: Eddie Redmayne, James Franco, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Costner, Liam Hemsworth, Billy-Bob Thornton, Channing Tatum; even women co-stars like Kelly Garner.

“He also accused me of having affairs with stars I auditioned with, like Leonardo DiCaprio. He would taunt me about it – especially when he was drunk or high – and had derogatory nicknames for every one of my male co-stars he considered a sexual threat.

“For example, Leonardo DiCaprio was ‘pumpkin-head’. Channing Tatum was ‘potato-head’.”

She said: “His rules got tighter every year we were together about what nudity or scenes were acceptable, wanting descriptions of every detail, every aspect of scenes and how they were covered, placing increasing restrictions on what I could and couldn’t do.”

Ms Heard claimed that he would “obsess about how I dressed”, adding: “Over time, I stopped wearing revealing dresses for red carpet events: it just wasn’t worth the verbal and psychological abuse.”

‘Not interested in money’

Earlier, from the witness stand Ms Heard told the court that she had been subjected to repeated and regular physical violence by the time of the couple’s marriage in 2015.

Mr Depp’s lawyer, Eleanor Laws QC, asked her about her allegations of an argument in January 2015, and suggested it was over discussions with lawyers about a pre-nuptial agreement between herself and Mr Depp.

“There was an argument in a hotel room in Tokyo that resulted in Johnny kneeling on my back and hitting me on the back of the head,” Ms Heard told the court.

She added: “But then Johnny was also accusing me of having an affair with a co-star and that is what led to the actual argument.”

Ms Heard said Mr Depp told her he did not want a pre-nuptial agreement but it was his sister, Christi Dembrowski, who wanted the couple to get one.

Ms Heard added that she had hired a lawyer who worked on a draft pre-nuptial agreement and it was sent to Mr Depp’s team but never signed.

She denied that she was interested in Mr Depp’s money, saying: “I never had been, I never was.”

‘I sometimes lost my cool’

She said she did not have a “problem” with controlling her temper, when challenged by Mr Depp’s lawyer, who also suggested that Ms Heard would have “outbursts of rage and anger”.

Ms 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.”

Ms Laws referred to a medical note written by a nurse, Erin Boerum, who wrote that Ms Heard had reported “experiencing increased anxiety and agitation and has had several outbursts of anger and rage”, and also that she was “nervous about being alone while husband is working on movie set in London (and) dealing with feelings of insecurity and jealousy”.

Asked by Ms Laws if she felt “insecure and jealous” when she wasn’t in Mr Depp’s presence, Ms Heard said she had expressed “concerns” about his travel because it was a “trigger” for him, when they were apart.

Ms Heard said it was Mr Depp who was “extremely jealous and extremely insecure” about her working, and that she had “difficulty” with his feelings.

She added it caused “so many fights” and that this was one of the “big triggers” in the relationship that would “inspire” the “drug or alcohol binges he [Mr Depp] was prone to”.

Ms Laws asked Ms Heard if she ever “got violent” with Mr Depp, to which the actress replied “no”, adding that he put her in situations where she was faced 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”.

Ms Heard said it was “years into the relationship” before she tried to defend herself; adding “before that” she had “just checked out”.

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

Heard then replied: “That’s different. That’s different … that’s irrelevant, that’s a complete non sequitur. Just because I’ve thrown pots and pans does not mean you cannot come and knock on my door.”

Ms Laws said: “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.”

Ms Heard replied that it is “not what it sounds like”, explaining that she threw things “only to escape” Mr Depp.

The libel case centres on an article published on the Sun’s website in April 2018 headlined: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”.

The article related to allegations made by Ms Heard. The hearing is expected to last for three weeks.



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