Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard “made sure” the news media took on her characterisation of him as a “wife-beater”, the actor has told his libel trial against The Sun.
Depp said he had gone from being “Cinderella to Quasimodo” after the allegation began to follow him worldwide.
He made the claim on the fourth day of his libel trial against the Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an article which called the actor a “wife-beater”.
Sasha Wass QC, barrister for NGN, read a text from Depp to Heard’s agent Christian Carino which said: “I want her replaced on that WB (Warner Brothers) film.”
The barrister said: “It’s a message about the Warner Brothers film she did, Aquaman, and there was going to be a sequel Aquaman that was originally going to have Ms Heard in it.
“And after this… a petition was formed which attracted, I think, 400,000 signatures that she should be removed.”
She added: “You orchestrated that, didn’t you, you wanted to get your own back?”
Depp replied: “No, I didn’t orchestrate the petition by saying I wanted her replaced on the Aquaman film. I had been characterised globally, as some put it, as a wife beater.”
He added that he had gone from “Cinderella to Quasimodo in 0.6 seconds and I was without a voice at that point”.
“Ms Heard had made sure that the news media had caught it so that was where I was in my life,” Depp said. “It was a very unpleasant place to be.”
Wass asked Depp about a text message sent the day after the couple’s divorce settlement, to Carino which read: “She’s begging for global humiliation. She’s gonna get it.”
Depp told the court he has never before been accused by a woman of hitting them.
He was asked about statements actress Ellen Barkin made in a deposition as part of Depp’s US libel claim against Heard saying there was “always an air of violence” about him and describing him as “jealous” and “controlling”.
When asked by his barrister David Sherborne on Friday what might have caused her to hold a grudge, as the actor suggested earlier this week, he said she had wanted “a proper relationship with me and I didn’t want that”.
He added: “I didn’t feel the same about her as she did me and, I suppose, from that moment on she became very, very angry and, since then, I have not spoken to Ms Barkin. Nor has Ms Barkin spoken to me.”
Asked if there had been any “so-called violence in your relationship with Ms Barkin”, he said: “No, not at all.”
Sherborne asked Depp: “(Other than Ms Heard) has any woman ever accused you of hitting them in your 57 years?”
The actor replied: “No, sir.”
He described photographers as “ravenous” when asked about an incident outside a restaurant in London in the late 1990s when he had picked up a piece of wood to “distract the paparazzis” from taking a picture of his “very pregnant” partner, Vanessa Paradis.
He said the group of “about 15” photographers were shouting “obscenities” at him in an attempt to “poke and prod and get you to do something out of character”.
He said they had wanted a “novelty photograph of my pregnant fiancee or girlfriend and myself and I wasn’t comfortable with it being turned into a circus”.
Depp said a case, described by his barrister as “a press report where it was suggested that you were arrested on suspicion of assaulting a male security guard in 1989”, had been “thrown out” of court in Canada.
Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire