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Amber Heard to continue evidence in Johnny Depp ‘wife beater’ libel trial


Amber Heard is set to begin the second day of her evidence in Johnny Depp’s blockbuster libel case against The Sun over allegations of domestic violence.

The Aquaman actress, 34, claims she feared Mr Depp, 57, was “going to kill” her on several occasions – and says he would later blame his actions on “the monster”, an “alter ego” she says she was “terrified of”.

On Tuesday, the 11th day of the trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Ms Heard will continue to be questioned over 14 allegations of domestic violence, which the tabloid’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) relies on in its defence of an April 2018 article that called Mr Depp a “wife beater”.

Ms Heard has accused Mr Depp of verbal and physical abuse throughout their relationship, including screaming, swearing, punching, slapping, kicking, headbutting and choking her, as well as “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”.

A photo shown in court from May 2016 of Amber Heard which has been referred to as an exhibit in the hearing (Handout/PA)

Mr Depp, however, says he was “not violent towards Ms Heard – it was she who was violent to him”, and claims his ex-wife was “building a dossier” of false allegations as an “insurance policy for later”.

On Monday, Ms Heard denied she had “thrown everything possible at Mr Depp”, telling the High Court: “I haven’t even scratched the surface.”

In one of seven witness statements produced for the trial, Ms Heard described the Pirates Of The Caribbean star as being “very good at manipulating people”, and said Mr Depp “lives in a state of weaponised victimhood”.

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The actress, who met Mr Depp on the set of the 2011 film The Rum Diary, insisted she was never violent towards her ex-husband and would only “try to defend” herself when he “got serious”.

She said: “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.

Amber Heard being cross examined by Eleanor Laws QC (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

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

She also said she threw things “only to escape him”, adding: “His employees didn’t see our arguments. These things happened behind closed doors.”

Ms Heard claimed Mr Depp’s doctor put her on “a long list of medications”, which were prescribed “in order to keep me sedated or keep me calm basically, to keep my body from responding to the world I was living in”.

In one of her witness statements, Ms Heard said that, at the start of their relationship, Mr Depp could be “intensely affectionate, warm and charming”.

“When Johnny puts his attention on you, with all his intensity and darkness, it is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” she said.

Johnny Depp is at the Royal Courts of Justice for his libel action against News Group Newspapers (Aaron Chown/PA)

“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.”

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She also said: “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.”

Ms Heard gave evidence about the couple’s trip to Australia – which she describes as a “three-day hostage situation” – and claimed Mr Depp went on a drug binge, attacked her, urinated in front of people then hid raw meat in a wardrobe.

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

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp married in Los Angeles in February 2015 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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

Ms Heard’s evidence was initially due to conclude on Wednesday but will now continue until Thursday morning, with her friends Melanie Inglessis and Joshua Drew expected to appear by videolink on Wednesday afternoon.

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

His lawyers say the article bore the meaning there was “overwhelming evidence” Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard on a number of occasions and left her “in fear for her life”.

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

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