Johnny Depp denies slapping Amber Heard over tattoo joke in second day of libel claim

Actor Johnny Depp gave his testimony about abuse in his marriage to Amber Heard as his libel trial against The Sun entered its second day.  

Depp, 57, is suing the tabloid publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018, which referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked ex-wife Amber Heard, 34 during their marriage - which he denies. 

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp at a premiere Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

The high court heard that in it was in early 2013 his ex-wife Amber Heard claims she first saw “the monster” - the name allegedly used to describe the actor when he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and lost his temper.  

In March 2013, Johnny Depp had fallen off the wagon and started drinking whiskey and taking cocaine again the court was told.

This is the first time Amber Heard alleges that the 57-year-old actor hit her, she claims that he slapped her three times in a row over a row about a tattoo. 

Mr Depp had a tattoo of his former girlfriend Winona Ryder and after their relationship failed, he had it shortened to “Wino forever”.

Sasha Wass representing the Sun newspaper claimed it was after Amber Heard laughed at this tattoo that he reacted angrily and slapped her.

When she stared at him and refused to react, he slapped her on two further occasions before he “came to his senses, broke down and started to cry”, the court heard.

She claimed that Mr Depp then apologised and blamed his illness or sickness for the outburst. He allegedly said to Ms Heard that it was the “the monster “who took over when he was under the influence of drink and drugs. 

Actor Johnny Depp leaves the High Court Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

In response to these allegations Mr Depp replied, “I did not hit Ms Heard.” 

He explained in a written statement that for much of their relationship he had been in recovery from addiction and he alleged that instead of helping him Amber Heard had encouraged him to take both drink and drugs. In his statement Mr Depp alleges that Amber Heard “never supported me in my attempt to be strong and avoid alcohol and drugs”. 

In contrast, he claimed that on one occasion he recalled Ms Heard had herself taken cocaine. He said she “would chop cocaine into lines and then put her finger into it and rubbed it on her gums”. This was strongly denied by the barrister representing Amber Heard. 

The court has been told that Amber heard started to keep a record of the assaults on her by Johnny Depp. She took photos of injuries allegedly caused by him because the court heard that he forgot what had happened.

When he was shown a picture of an injury to Ms Heard’s arm and asked if he had any memory of inflicting this injury, Mr Depp replied: “No, ma'am, I don’t.”