Entertainment

Heard makes speech outside court as Depp's lawyers call her a compulsive liar


Amber Heard made a statement on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice in London as Johnny Depp’s libel action against The Sun newspaper was drawing to a close.

She said: “I travelled here to the UK to testify as a witness to assist the court.

“After obtaining a restraining order in 2016 and finalising my divorce, I just wanted to move on with my life. I did not file this lawsuit and, despite its significance, I would have preferred not to be here in court.

“It has been incredibly painful to relive the break up of my relationship, have my motives and my truth questioned, and the most traumatic and intimate details of my life with Johnny shared in court and broadcast around the world.

Amber Heard leaves court with her girlfriend Bianca Butti (left) and sister Whitney Heard

“I stand by my testimony and I now place my faith in British justice.

“Although I did not bring this lawsuit, I am aware of the precious resources being consumed by his litigation and will be glad to see those resources redirected to more important legal matters delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I appreciate the dedication, the hard work and support of the defence legal team, as well as my UK and US lawyers.

“I also wish to extend my thanks to the very diligent and kind court staff and the police, who have been so sensitive in ensuring my safety and protection so that I could testify in safety.

“And finally, my heartfelt thanks for the tremendous outpouring of support and the many messages I have received from around the world. You have given me so much strength and I send it back to you.”

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A crowd of media, some on ladders, and members of the public gathered behind the railing outside the front entrance to listen to Ms Heard, 34.

There were shouts of “justice for Johnny” from one woman as the actress spoke, and boos from a small number of onlookers after Ms Heard finished her statement and returned inside the building.

Johnny Depp leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London on the final day of his libel trial

The court had earlier been told that Depp was the victim of invented allegations and physical violence from his former wife on the final day of the Hollywood actor’s three-week libel case.

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publishers of the Sun, and one of its journalists, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater”.

Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, both gave evidence at the trial.

Depp said he had never been violent towards Heard or any other woman and that she was the one who had attacked him.

Heard said Depp assaulted her on at least 14 occasions, including punching, head-butting and throttling her, and on Monday her lawyer said Depp was “a hopeless addict”.

Amber Heard speaks to the media outside court

In his closing speech, Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne said while Depp had been open about his use of drugs and alcohol, Heard had played down her own consumption of them as well as her anger and jealousy issues.

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“She is the abuser, not Mr Depp. He is no wife beater,” Sherborne told the court.

He said Heard was a “wholly unreliable witness and, frankly, compulsive liar” who had tailored her story to meet the evidence produced against her and lied about injuries she said she had suffered.

A recording was played to the court in which Depp tells Heard she is lying when she says she did not punch him, which Sherborne said demonstrated Heard’s “propensity to violence”.

“Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched,” Depp said in the recording, before Heard retorts: “I hit you like this. But I did not punch you.”

Sherborne said the admission that Heard hit Depp would have caused “consternation” if the roles were reversed.

In his testimony, Depp said he modelled himself as a “Southern gentleman” who would never strike a woman.

“He has never hit a woman in his entire life. Period, full stop, nada,” Sherborne said.

He said the Sun’s article was “not researched at all” and presented in a one-sided manner, effectively convicting Depp of a crime he had never committed.

Sherborne said texts from Depp highlighted by Heard’s lawyer for their violent and misogynistic language had been chosen selectively, and they should not be taken as testimony.

“The exaggerated texts … should not be taken literally,” he said. “He may use poetic licence, he may use metaphor, but he never ever says that he hit Miss Heard.”

Depp had been candid about his drug and alcohol intake, Sherborne said, but denied they unleashed a “monster” in Depp.

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Instead, Sherborne quoted messages between Heard and Depp where the “monster” referred to Depp when he was keeping away from Heard.

“Come home. Don’t be the monster, be the man,” Heard said in a text from September 2015.

“I won’t allow myself to be in such unstable, volatile and capricious conditions,” Depp said in reply. “I won’t stand there and allow you to take pot shots at my face.”

Sherborne said the allegation that Depp had an evil alter ego, as in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, was false.

“I don’t know any version of that myth which involves the monster running away from the fight,” he said.

Heard gave a statement outside the court, saying it had been painful to relive the break-up and have her truth and motives questioned. “I stand by my testimony, and I now place my faith in British justice,” she said.

A date for the ruling was not given.





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