Johnny Depp to begin fourth day of evidence in libel case against The Sun

Johnny Depp to begin fourth day of evidence in libel case against The Sun
Johnny Depp court case

Johnny Depp is set to give evidence for a fourth day as his high-profile libel case against The Sun over allegations he was violent towards Amber Heard continues.

The 57-year-old actor has previously told the High Court that the couple’s tumultuous relationship was “a crime scene waiting to happen”, admitted “accidentally” headbutting his ex-wife and accused Ms Heard, 34, of “building a dossier” to support her “hoax” allegations.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star is suing The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.

NGN relies on 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence towards Ms Heard, which Mr Depp denies, in their defence against the actor’s libel claim.

The Hollywood star is expected to finish giving his evidence on Friday, having spent around 15 hours in the witness box so far.

On Thursday, the actor was accused of reinventing his account of how the top of his middle finger was cut off during a visit to Australia by the couple in March 2015.

Mr Depp claims Ms Heard injured the finger when she threw a vodka bottle at him, which she denies.

Johnny Depp is to give his third day of evidence in his high-profile libel action against The Sun newspaper (Victoria Jones/PA)

His ex-wife claims Mr Depp subjected her to a “three-day ordeal of assaults”, and left the house they were staying in “completely destroyed” following a drink and drug-fuelled rage.

During her cross-examination, NGN’s barrister Sasha Wass QC put it to Mr Depp that he subjected Ms Heard to a litany of abuse during the Australia trip, including slapping her, grabbing her by the throat, and throwing her “against a ping pong table which collapsed” – all of which the actor denied.

Ms Wass said Mr Depp “reinvented” his account of how he lost the tip of his finger, but the actor described Ms Heard’s allegations as “pedestrian fiction”.

Johnny Depp said he had told Amber Heard ‘several times’ that they were ‘a crime scene waiting to happen’ (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The court was also told the star had used his severed finger, dipped in paint, to scrawl graffiti in the house.

Ms Wass said Ms Heard “came downstairs in the morning … and the house was completely destroyed”.

The barrister also said: “You had written on a mirror. You had written in paint but you had used your finger, your injured finger, in place of a paintbrush so you had dipped your injured finger in the paint and then used your finger to do the graffiti.”

Mr Depp said: “At first, I had used my blood.”

The actor later said that when he realised the top of finger was missing “and pouring blood profusely and the bones was sticking out, I believe that I went into some kind of breakdown”.

Mr Depp also admitted “accidentally” headbutting Ms Heard while she was said to have been “flailing and punching” him at their Los Angeles penthouse in December 2015.

The actor said he had a “collision” with Ms Heard as he tried to “get hold of her” while she allegedly attacked him.

A mirror in the house where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were staying in Australia in March 2015 (PA)

Ms Wass said Mr Depp was “in an uncontrollable rage”, threw a decanter at Ms Heard, punched the walls and pulled her up the stairs by her hair, removing “clumps” from her scalp – which Mr Depp denies.

The actor’s case against NGN and Mr Wootton arises out of the publication of an article on The Sun’s website 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?”

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” between early 2013 and May 2016, when the couple split.

The pair met in 2011 and began living together in 2012 before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015.

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up