Johnny Depp denies abusing Amber Heard in a 'blind rage' over 'creepy' James Franco

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·8 min read

Johnny Depp was grilled again about his drug use during the second day of his libel trial against the Sun, capping off another wild day in court. Amber Heard was in attendance as her ex-husband denied abusing her when he was under the influence, but admitted jealousy prompted arguments — like when she filmed a movie with James Franco.

Franco, who worked with Heard on the 2015 film the Adderall Diaries, was brought up during Depp's cross-examination on Wednesday as he purportedly prompted a fight in May 2014 that the actress claims caused Depp to be violent. Depp told London's High Court he was “shocked” when Heard agreed to do the film with Franco as she purportedly claimed to have a bad experience on 2008’s Pineapple Express.

“She told me many things that were very, very negative about Mr. Franco, that he had tried to kiss her and made sexual advances towards her on the previous film they had made together,” Depp said, according to the Evening Standard. “She said he was a creep and a rapist. She said he was quite aggressive in his advances towards her.”

Sasha Wass QC, the Sun’s lawyer, asked Depp if he meant to say “rapist,” explaining, “You have made an extremely important statement just now.”

“It’s just a word that came out for the actions of Mr. Franco, as described to me by Ms. Heard, which were sexual advances, him leaning over and saying I’m going to kiss you,” Depp replied. “She had to sort of run from the advances at one point, that he was kind of non-stop, she felt he was creepy and rapey so I said a rapist.”

Johnny Depp admits to being jealous over Amber Heard working with James Franco, but denies it caused him to abuse her.
Johnny Depp admits to being jealous over Amber Heard working with James Franco, but denies it caused him to abuse her. (Photo: Getty Images)

Depp, 57, said he was “jealous” when he learned Heard, 34, would be filming with Franco, 42.

“It shocked me she was suddenly so friendly and happy with him,” Depp admitted, adding he was “uncomfortable” with them working together. The Pirates of the Caribbean star said he was also confused as Heard stated she no longer wanted to be a “sex object” in films.

“She was hoping to do better films with more meat in the part, she didn’t want to be objectified and didn’t have to do nude scenes any more,” he added. “I was of course uncomfortable with the idea of her doing nudity.”

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to a rep for Franco for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Depp is suing the tabloid’s owner, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and the Sun executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article which called him a “wife-beater.” Heard is aiding in the defense as she claims she was abused 14 times from from 2013 to 2016. The Aquaman star alleges one incident occurred on a private flight from Boston to Los Angeles in May 2014, one day after Depp went into a “blind rage” over Franco.

“You were in a blind rage demanding to know how much she like getting off with James Franco and she refused to answer,” Wass said, accusing Depp of calling her a “go-getter slut and a whore.”

“You were so angry you slapped her across the face in front of everybody,” Wass added.

Heard claims Depp, who she says was drinking heavily, kicked her and screamed obscenities at her before passing out in the bathroom.

“There is a possibility Ms. Heard and I had a fight where those words came out of my mouth, but I didn’t go into a rage and start screaming at her in front of all those people,” the actor replied.

Depp tells a very different version of what happened on the plane. In his written witness statement, Depp called Heard a “pathological liar” and claimed she was the aggressor. The actor said he remembers everything about the flight and was “drawing art sketches in my notebook” when Heard started verbally abusing him.

“Throughout the course of our relationship, Ms. Heard would often look to argue with me, berate me or abuse me verbally and physically. By the time at which the flight took place, I had worked out that the best way to deal with this was simply to not engage and to try to retreat from the situation,” Depp stated, claiming he locked himself in the bathroom to avoid conflict.

Hess read to the court a text message Depp sent to Heard after the flight: “Once again I find myself in a place of shame and regret. I really don’t know why and what happened I want to get better for you and for me I must. My illness somehow crept up and grabbed me. I can’t live like this again and I know you can’t either… I love you again I love you I’m so so sorry. I feel so bad for letting you down. Yours.”

When pressed on why he expressed “shame and regret,” Depp replied by speculating he sent the text just to placate Heard, according to journalist Nick Wallis.

In the first instance of abuse, Heard claims Depp slapped her three times after she laughed about his infamous “Wino Forever” tattoo in early 2013. The original ink honored ex-fiancée Winona Ryder as it said “Winona Forever.” (Ryder filed a declaration of support for Depp in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard in the U.S.) The court was shown an image Heard took of her bruised arm after the alleged incident, which Depp once again denied.

A photo shown in court of a bruise on Amber Heard's arm.
A photo shown in court of a bruise on Amber Heard's arm.

Depp was questioned for the second day in a row about his drug use throughout his five year relationship with Heard. The court was shown an image of a glass table purportedly containing whiskey, four lines of cocaine and a pill box belonging to Depp. In another photo, Depp is allegedly passed out. The pictures were taken by Heard in 2013, around the time she claims she was abused.

Two images shown in court, one of Johnny Depp's alleged drugs and another of the actor purportdly passed out.
Two images shown in court, one of Johnny Depp's alleged drugs and another of the actor purportdly passed out.

A text message Depp sent to his assistant, Stephen Deuters, was read in which the actor said Heard was upset by his “Peruvian” lifestyle.

“Amber is extremely upset and we're dying... Do you want to speak with her while we're there and give her some perspective on me and what I am and what I'm not? She thinks my Peruvian period has made me a monster and that I am ruining the relationship,” the message said.

Depp confirmed the “Peruvian” period was a reference to cocaine, but denied ever being addicted to the drug. He claimed that Heard would “normally” chop cocaine into lines for him, which was refuted by Wass per the Daily Mail.

“Well she poured me the whisky and cocaine was visible in front of her, and I have experienced many times with Ms. Heard that she would in fact chop the cocaine up for me so that I could do the line and then she would press her finger into it and ingest it orally,” Depp alleged. “I'm not suggesting that she did that in this case, but I am suggesting that it was a normal duty that she felt obligated to do.”

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to Heard’s lawyer for comment on the claims, but did not immediately receive a response.

While Depp said Heard was “quite adamant that I should stop any use of cocaine and recreational drugs,” he said she wasn’t truly supportive of his attempts to get sober.

“How does that last statement square with your suggestion that she didn't support your sobriety?” Wass asked.

Depp replied that if someone was helping “an alcoholic or somebody who is believed to be addicted to drugs... would then themselves stop drinking in front of that person and stop doing drugs around that person… I would say that is full support.” He said Heard would have “two or three bottles” of wine in front of him.

Wass suggested when Depp was drunk and high on drugs he would behave irrationally. She alleged that in 2013, Depp dangled Heard’s pet Yorkshire terrier, Pistol, out the window of a moving car and made “howling noises.”

“I can say it is a very endearing image, but it is absolute utter falsity, it is fraudulent,” Depp replied. “I don't think hanging an animal, a small defenseless dog that weighs three pounds out of a window is fun.”

Depp also denied slapping Heard in March 2013 while trying to set fire a painting by her ex-partner, artist Tasya van Ree. According to Heard, she was hit so hard blood ended up on the wall. Wass asked the actor if he remembered arriving at Heard’s home “drunk and having consumed a cocktail of cocaine and cannabis” prior to the incident. He replied, “No.”

“Would you describe yourself as jealous?” Hess asked.

“I am, yes. I can be jealous,” Depp replied, admitting they had “several arguments” about van Ree.

Depp strongly denied anything violent happened in his written witness statement.

“I certainly did not hit Ms. Heard at all, then or ever, and her accusation that I hit her so hard that blood frothier lip ended up on the wall is precisely the kind of picturesque but absurd lie she often tells,” Depp wrote. “I also did not try to set fire to the painting in question at any point in time.”

Depp’s cross-examination was set to conclude on Thursday, but the judge granted Wass’s request to let the questioning go into Friday. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

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