For the first day of the actor’s three-week trial against The Sun publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and executive editor Dan Wootton, the former couple Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were presented in London’s High Court on Tuesday over an article that referred to him as a “wife beater” in April 2018.
For the unversed Depp and Heard met on The Rum Diary ‘s set for the first time in 2011 and tied the knot in February 2015. They have both accused each other of multiple forms of abuse since their divorce in 2017.
Although Depp has denied that he was abusive towards her, NGN lawyers say their definition of “wife beater” was “entirely accurate” in their article titled, “Potty – How can J.K. Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
David Sherborne, the Pirates of the Caribbean star ‘s the lawyer said the article made “defamatory allegations of the utmost seriousness” against his defense by accusing him of committing physical attacks on Heard and “inflicting such serious injuries that she feared for her life.”
He further stated: “The articles amount to a full-scale attack on the claimant as a ‘wife beater’, guilty of the most horrendous physical abuse. The claimant’s position is clear – Ms Heard’s allegations are complete lies. The claimant was not violent towards Ms Heard, it was she who was violent to him.”
Sherborne claimed that the 34-year-old actress is “aggressive” and experiences “extreme mood swings,” explaining in a written statement, “She was the abuser, not him. She is a highly complex and aggressive individual who suffered extreme mood swings, would provoke endless circular arguments, and fly into violent rages. There is no real room for a middle ground here. One side is plainly lying, and to an extraordinary extent.”
Johnny was called as the first witness to the case and clarified that both he and his ex-wife would record discussions with the other about their relationship.
When Amber said in her own witness testimony that she recorded statements “to remind Johnny of what he would do when using drugs and alcohol because he wouldn’t remember, or deny what he had said.” this sounds something that they both agree on.
The 57-year-old said he was attempting to de-escalate a situation where he said he was struck by Amber, saying: “As things tended to do, (it) escalated and got physical, ending with a bit of assault. Ms. Heard struck me.” He went on to say, “Whenever it would escalate I would try to go to my own corner, as it were … before things got out of hand.”
Although the Aquaman star isn’t on trial, there are several complaints she made against her former husband being brought up, which is sufficient enough cause to appear before the judge. Former Depp’s partners, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, have already made some statements supporting their ex and are expected to be called as defense witnesses.