Johnny Depp has described his relationship with Amber Heard as “complicated” as the High Court was told there was “a lot of anger” and a “very deep love” between the couple.
Sasha Wass QC, barrister for News Group Newspapers, questioned Depp about his relationship with his ex-wife during the third day of the actor’s libel action against the publisher.
The court also heard details of messages between the pair, including one in which Depp thanks Heard, 34, for helping him with addiction.
During her cross-examination, Wass asked the actor, 57, about a January 2015 trip to Tokyo he took with Heard and his two children, alleging he had been violent towards Heard in their hotel room and had wrestled her to the floor.
Depp said this was “incorrect”. “It is not true and certainly not when my children were in adjoining rooms,” he said.
Wass then said that after the incident, when the actor had calmed down, he told Heard it was “the monster” and the monster had now gone.
Depp said: “Yes, that is what she liked to hear, it was placation.”
He continued: “When you are with someone who cannot be wrong, you must devise a way to communicate with them that does not spur some monstrous argument or hideous attack or verbal abuse… it is like speaking to a child.”
He then confirmed to the judge he would use the word “monster” to placate Heard.
The barrister later said: “It was a very complex relationship with Ms Heard, there was a lot of anger on one level … but there was also a very close connection and a very deep love between the two of you.”
Depp replied: “It felt so at the time, yes. It was complicated.”
Wass read out a text message the actor sent Heard in which he said: “I always regret when I jump or worse, when you jump … I’m a f****** savage.”
She said she had asked Depp during cross-examination the day before how he would “describe a man who kicked his wife in the back and you immediately came up with the word ‘savage’”.
The barrister went on to say: “You are describing yourself as a ‘f****** savage’ in that text because you had been violent to a woman, namely Ms Heard.”
He replied: “No ma’am, that is not the case. I have often described myself in derogatory ways and will be the first to be unkind to myself.”
He added: “Not only did I not kick, or punch Ms Heard, calling myself a savage … I disagree with your dissection of this text.”
The court was also told of a text Depp sent to Heard around the time of a detox trip to the Bahamas in August 2014 which read: “Thank you so much for getting me f****** clean baby.”
The word “monster” has cropped up on other occasions since the court hearing began on Tuesday.
Heard claims Depp hit her for the first time in 2013 while they were in Los Angeles, and that afterwards he cried and apologised, telling her that he sometimes turns into “the monster” when he snaps.
In a witness statement regarding that first allegation of abuse Depp said he did not recall calling himself a “monster” on that occasion, but added: “I know that Ms Heard sometimes referred to me as a ‘monster’ and, as we continued into our relationship, she started making me believe that I was one. This was, however, never a reference to any violence.”
On the first day of the hearing Depp told the court that “the monster” was something his ex-wife “became obsessed with”.
Wass suggested it was Depp’s name for “your alter ego, the bad side of your character, the person who used to lose control, used to smash up hotel rooms, used to assault camera crew men or paparazzi, that bad boy image… when you lose control and become violent thug, that’s ‘the monster’, isn’t it?”
Depp replied: “No. ‘The monster’ in situations with Ms Heard was when the argument would escalate.”
Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire