Johnny Depp has a lot on his hands right now. He has appeared on London's High Court of Justice on Tuesday, July 7, for the hearing of his libel lawsuit against British newspaper The Sun.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star is suing The Sun over a writeup that called him a "wife beater." Aside from the publication, the lawsuit includes its publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and executive editor Dan Wootton. The article in question is an April 2018 article titled: "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film after assault claim?"
Vanity Fair summarizes The Sun's defense as "that it can't be libel if the label fits." Lawyers for the defendants argue that the "wife beater" tag on Depp "was entirely accurate." Moreover, the British print organization has an interesting witness on their side - Johnny Depp's ex-wife Amber Heard. As the "Aquaman" actress takes the witness stand, she reiterated her accusations of abuse against Depp.
Who Attacked Who?
NGN's stand depends heavily on Amber Heard's accusations of violence from her former husband between 2013 and 2016. These incidents of violence reportedly happened across different locations such as Australia, Japan, Los Angeles, and onboard a chartered jet.
Johnny Depp has vehemently denied these claims in the past. In return, he alleged that it was Heard who attacked him. He claims to have been assaulted with things such as a cigarette and a drink can. Depp has also previously accused Heard, or one of her friends, of defecating on his bed.
David Sherborne, Johnny Depp's lawyer, has released a written statement on behalf of his client. "She was the abuser, not him," the statement stressed. It then described Amber Heard as a "highly complex and aggressive individual who suffered mood swings." Sherborne's statement also added that Heard "would provoke endless circular arguments, and fly into violent rages.
Another incident cited in the hearing was a 2015 incident in Australia. Depp alleged that Heard had cut his finger by hurling a vodka bottle at the actor.
Johnny Depp's History of Violence and Abuse
Sasha Wass, defense attorney for The Sun, has traced Depp's history of substance use. Depp has agreed that he's taken "every drug known to man" because of his childhood and the industry's pressure.
Wass inquired about a 1989 incident and a 1994 incident where Depp reportedly damaged a hotel room in New York. Wass then confirmed if Depp actually caused $10,000 in damages, the 57-year-old actor replied: "to a few dents. Yes."
Depp was also questioned about Ellen Barkin's claim that he threw a wine bottle across the room. This incident reportedly happened on the set of the 1998 film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Depp responded that the claim was "untrue." He added: "I'd say she's bearing a grudge for a very very long time."
The following weeks will reportedly summon Heard, as well as Depp's other former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder. This UK libel case against The Sun is a separate legal battle. Depp has also filed a lawsuit against Amber Heard in a court in Virginia, here in the US.