Amber Heard admits 'hitting' Johnny Depp and says she tried to 'escape him'

Amber Heard arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on the 10th day of the hearing on the libel case against The Sun newspaper. (Getty Images)
Amber Heard arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on the 10th day of the hearing on the libel case against The Sun newspaper. (Getty Images)

Amber Heard has admitted hitting Johnny Depp as she gave evidence in his libel trial, adding she threw things “to escape him”.

Heard has begun the first of three days of evidence at the High Court in day 10 of a libel case by Depp against The Sun newspaper and its executive editor Dan Wooten over an article that referred to him as a "wife beater”.

During an extraordinary day of evidence, Heard confirmed she had been violent to Depp, but only in self-defence and that she was never violent to anyone outside of her relationship with the actor.

During cross-examination on Monday, the actress was played a recording of a conversation, taken by Depp, in which he can be heard to say: “I’m not the one who throws pots and whatever the f*** else at me.”

Heard then replied: “That’s different. That’s different … that’s irrelevant, that’s a complete non sequitur. Just because I’ve thrown pots and pans does not mean you cannot come and knock on my door.”

Depp can then appear to be heard saying: “I watched you lie.”

Heard then replies: “I didn’t punch you… but I was hitting you, It wasn’t punching you, babe, you’re not punched.”

Asked by Eleanor Laws, a lawyer for Depp, whether Heard was “actually admitting” to hitting him, Heard said that was correct, to which Laws asked: “Was that an honest admission?”

Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court. (PA)
Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court. (PA)

The actress replied: “It was honest at the time because that’s what happened the night before.”

Laws also asked Heard if she ever “got violent” with Depp, to which the actress said: “No, Johnny often put me in a situation where I was confronted with unimaginable frustrations and difficulties, often that were life-threatening to me.”

She added that she would “try to defend myself when he got serious and when I thought my life was threatened, but I was never violent towards him.”

Heard said she threw things “only to escape him”, adding: “I’m not admitting throwing pots and pans, I’m trying to keep Johnny on track in this argument or in this conversation.”

Depp denies 14 allegations of domestic violence that News Group Newspapers (NGN) is relying on for its defence.

‘I was afraid he was going to kill me’

Heard’s evidence began with a bombshell witness statement on Monday morning in which she alleged she was afraid Depp was going to kill her.

The actress claimed he threatened to kill her “many times”, especially later in their relationship.

She also alleged the Pirates Of The Caribbean star was “very good at manipulating people” and would blame his actions on a “self-created third party” he called the “monster”.

Heard alleged that at one point Depp grabbed her by the neck. (PA)
Heard alleged that at one point Depp grabbed her by the neck. (PA)

She accused Depp of subjecting her to verbal and physical abuse – including screaming, swearing, issuing threats, punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking, as well as “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”.

She alleged: “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.

“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”

‘Three-day hostage situation’

Heard also described in the statement a “three-day hostage situation” with Depp where he allegedly went on a drug binge, attacked her, urinated in front of people and hid raw meat in a wardrobe.

She said she went to visit him in Australia in March 2015 while he was filming Pirates Of The Caribbean and they were due to be alone for three days.

Heard said she feared for her life and described it as “the worst thing I have ever been through”, describing it as like a three-day hostage situation.

“We were due to be there for three days on our own, but it was only when I arrived that I realised I was trapped in this remote place without any means to leave and that Johnny had already been using and had a bag of drugs,” she said.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard pictured in 2015 at the premiere of <em>The Danish Girl</em>. (Getty)
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard pictured in 2015 at the premiere of The Danish Girl. (Getty)

“I was in a remote house, at least 20 minutes from help; where I could not leave; was trapped and isolated with a violent person suffering from manic depression, bipolar disorder and a pattern of repeated, drug-induced psychosis and violence, who was on a multiple-day drug and alcohol binge.

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

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

Heard alleged that at one point Depp grabbed her by the neck, shoved her against the fridge and said he could “crush” her neck.

‘He accused me of sleeping with DiCaprio’

Heard also claimed that Depp accused her of having affairs with fellow actors and branded her a “sl*t”.

The actress alleged he would demand to read her scripts to “know about romantic scenes in her films” and had nicknames for all of her male co-stars that he considered a “sexual threat”.

Heard claimed Depp was “very jealous” and would taunt her and obsess about who she had slept with and been out with before him.

She said: “He would insist every male actor was trying to sleep with me and/or that I had had an affair with them, that he’d spoken to people and knew all about it.

“He accused me of having affairs with each of my co-stars, movie after movie: Eddie Redmayne, James Franco, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Costner, Liam Hemsworth, Billy Bob Thornton, Channing Tatum; even women co-stars like Kelly Garner.

Heard pictured with Channing Tatum at the <em>Magic Mike XXL</em> European premiere in 2015. (AP)
Heard pictured with Channing Tatum at the Magic Mike XXL European premiere in 2015. (AP)
Heard with James Franco at the LA premiere of <em>The Adderall Diaries</em> in 2016. (AP)
Heard with James Franco at the LA premiere of The Adderall Diaries in 2016. (AP)

“He also accused me of having affairs with stars I auditioned with, like Leonardo DiCaprio. He would taunt me about it – especially when he was drunk or high – and had derogatory nicknames for every one of my male co-stars he considered a sexual threat.”

“For example, Leonardo DiCaprio was ‘pumpkin-head’, Channing Tatum was ‘potato-head’ and ‘Jim Turd Sturgess’.”

Heard said Depp would get himself copies of the scripts she was looking at, without asking her, in order to “review them for himself”.

Heard said that over time, she stopped wearing revealing dresses for red carpet events as “it just wasn’t worth the verbal and psychological abuse”.

“He demeaned me any time I tried to wear anything that could be seen as sexy, calling me a ‘whore’, ‘sl*t’, ‘fame-hungry’ and ‘an attention whore’, but it got worse over time,” she said.

“He started saying things like ‘well I’m going to have to watch you get raped’ and ‘I hope you get railed by a bunch of f***ing fellas’.”

Heard said Depp would also call her “fat ass”, and that sometimes she would respond by calling him “old man” or “limp d**k”.

Read more: Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis no longer giving evidence in Depp libel claim

Heard accused Depp of threatening to kill her 'many times', especially later in their relationship. (AP)
Heard accused Depp of threatening to kill her 'many times', especially later in their relationship. (AP)

On the witness stand, Heard was asked about allegations of an argument in January 2015 about a prenuptial agreement.

“There was an argument in a hotel room in Tokyo that resulted in Johnny kneeling on my back and hitting me on the back of the head,” Heard told the court.

Read more: Amber Heard made domestic violence claims to blackmail Johnny Depp, court hears

“But then Johnny was also accusing me of having an affair with a co-star and that is what led to the actual argument.”

She alleged: “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.

Depp and Heard met when they starred opposite one another in <em>The Rum Diary</em>. Here the pair are pictured at the London premiere in 2011. (AP)
Depp and Heard met when they starred opposite one another in The Rum Diary. Here the pair are pictured at the London premiere in 2011. (AP)

“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.

“He would speak about it as if it was another person or personality and not him doing all these things.”

In the statement, Heard said she had “never been with someone like him”, and the early days of their relationship were “the best times”, adding he could be “intensely affectionate, warm and charming”, which she said she called “the warm glow”.

“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.”

She added: “He could be very intense and dark. It was the polar opposite of ‘the warm glow’.”

“After violent episodes, his team would try to convince me to stay with him or to come back, often telling me he was sorry and would get clean for me.

“I think I stayed not only because I had hope of him getting clean and things changing, but also because of the responsibility I felt, being told I was the one to motivate him and help him to get clean.”

The court has so far heard nine days of evidence about Depp’s Hollywood lifestyle, his use of drink and drugs and his attitudes towards women, as well as his and Heard’s volatile relationship – described by Depp as “a crime scene waiting to happen”.

Depp and Heard met on the 2011 film The Rum Diary and began living together in 2012, before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015.

Heard is facing questioning over 14 allegations of domestic violence – all denied by Depp – that The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers relies on in defence of the April 2018 article. (AP)
Heard is facing questioning over 14 allegations of domestic violence – all denied by Depp – that The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers relies on in defence of the April 2018 article. (AP)
Heard alleged that 'some incidents were so severe' she was afraid Depp would 'kill her'. (AP)
Heard alleged that 'some incidents were so severe' she was afraid Depp would 'kill her'. (AP)

Heard obtained a domestic violence restraining order against Depp in LA shortly after the couple split in 2016 and later donated her $7m (£5.5m) divorce settlement to charity.

Depp is suing NGN and 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 that there was “overwhelming evidence” Depp assaulted Heard on a number of occasions and left her “in fear for her life”.

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

Depp is suing Heard in separate libel proceedings in the US over a December 2018 column in the Washington Post, which did not mention Depp by name but said the actress received “the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out”.