Johnny Depp said on Thursday that his relationship with Amber Heard was “a crime scene waiting to happen,” but denied assaulting his ex-wife during a drug-fuelled rampage in Australia that ended up with the couple’s rented house being trashed and Depp’s fingertip being severed to the bone.
The Hollywood star was giving evidence for a third day in his libel suit against a UK tabloid newspaper that called him a ‘wife-beater.’
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the paper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that said he’d physically abused Heard. He strongly denies the allegation.
Under cross-examination by The Sun’s lawyer, Sasha Wass, Depp depicted a volatile relationship with Heard, during a period when he was trying to kick drugs and alcohol, and sometimes lapsing. He said he came to feel he was in a “constant tailspin” and recalled telling Heard several times: “Listen, we are a crime scene waiting to happen.” But he denied being violent.
Depp rejected Heard’s claim that he subjected her to a “three-day ordeal of assaults” in March 2015 in Australia, where Depp was appearing as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film.
“I vehemently deny it and will go as far as to say it’s pedestrian fiction,” he said.
Depp and Wass sparred over disputed details of the Australia episode.
Depp accuses Heard of cutting off his fingertip by throwing a vodka bottle at him. She denies being in the room when the digit was severed.
According to Heard, Depp broke bottles, screamed at Heard, smashed her head against a refrigerator, threw her against a pingpong table and broke a window.
“These are fabrications,” he said.
He denied taking drugs but agreed that the couple had argued and he “decided to break my sobriety because I didn’t care anymore. I needed to numb myself.”
The court was shown photographs of graffiti-covered mirrors, which Depp acknowledged he’d written on by dipping his bloody fingertip in paint.
But he said Heard was responsible for most of the damage to the house.
“That is completely untrue,” Wass said.
“Thank you, but it’s not,” Depp replied.
Wass also alleged that Depp had lashed out at Heard during an attempt to break an addiction to the opioid Roxicodone on his private island in the Bahamas in 2014.
The Sun’s defence relies on a total of 14 allegations by Heard of Depp’s violence between 2013 and 2016.
The case is shining a light on the tempestuous relationship between Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, who met on the set of the 2011 comedy ‘The Rum Diary’ and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. Heard, a model and actress, filed for divorce the following year and obtained a restraining order against Depp on the grounds of domestic abuse. The divorce was finalised in 2017.