Amber Heard was ‘abuser’ in Johnny Depp relationship, Pirates of the Caribbean's ex-aide claims

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp at a film premiere
Johnny Depp said he contracted MRSA after his finger was severed by a vodka bottle thrown by Amber Heard. Credit: PA

Amber Heard was the “abuser” in her relationship with Johnny Depp, the actor’s former personal assistant has claimed.

It was also revealed that Stephen Deuters had described Ms Heard as a “sociopathic show pony" and "Machiavellian overlord" in text messages.

A libel hearing was also told that Mr Depp learnt he had lost more than half a billion pounds shortly before his ex-wife's 30th birthday party and that the actor contracted the superbug MRSA after his finger was severed in an incident in Australia.

As the case at the High Court entered its second week, Mr Depp's former assistant Mr Deuters alleged that Ms Heard, 34, subjected the 57-year-old, to “years of abuse”, and said he was “extremely surprised and outraged” when it became public that she had filed for a temporary restraining order against the Hollywood star.

In his written witness statement, Mr Deuters, who is now European president of Mr Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, said he was with the couple “very regularly” throughout their relationship, and did not see any injuries on Ms Heard, or hear her mention that she had been the victim of abuse.

Mr Deuters was giving evidence on Monday in his employer’s libel trial against The Sun newspaper's published, News Group Newspapers (NGN) over an April 2018 article which labelled Mr Depp a “wife beater”.

Mr Depp is said to have attacked Ms Heard, 34, throughout their tempestuous relationship, which has been described as “a crime scene waiting to happen” and put her in fear for her life – claims he says are “a choreographed hoax”.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp married in Los Angeles in February 2015 Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

In his written statement, Mr Deuters said that, during the period in which Mr Depp is alleged to have been abusive, he saw Ms Heard “on many occasions”.

“At no point did Ms Heard ever mention any physical abuse and I never saw evidence of any injury to Ms Heard,” he claimed.

Mr Deuters went on to say: “In contrast, Mr Depp told me on multiple occasions that Ms Heard had attacked him or abused him physically and verbally.”

He alleged that the first time Ms Heard made an allegation of physical abuse against Mr Depp was when she filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in 2016.

He said: “In relation to the TRO, I, along with many others, was extremely surprised and outraged when this hit the press.

"I knew that Ms Heard was the abuser in the relationship and I was appalled that she would behave in this way.”

Mr Deuters claimed Ms Heard “had subjected Mr Depp to years of abuse”.

In his witness statement, Mr Deuters referred to a number of alleged incidents of domestic violence, all of which Mr Depp denies, which News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun, is relying on in its defence against the actor’s libel claim.

Mr Deuters said he was on a flight with the couple from Boston to Los Angeles in May 2014, when it is alleged Mr Depp was abusive towards Ms Heard.

Mr Deuters claimed that Ms Heard was “speaking at Mr Depp in an increasingly aggressive manner whilst he was focused on his notebooks, within which he often wrote or drew when flying”.

He said: “At this point, I had my headphones on so I could not hear the specifics of what she was saying but I could see her gesticulating and I could tell from her manner that her voice was raised.

“She continued to harangue Mr Depp, whereas he did not engage with the abuse he was receiving.”

Mr Deuters said that, at one point, Mr Depp “made a playful attempt to tap her (Ms Heard) on the bottom”, adding that he did not believe that Mr Depp made contact with her.

He said: “Ms Heard took great offence at what was clearly a harmless gesture and increased her abuse of Mr Depp in an extremely unpleasant manner.”

Mr Deuters went on to say that he, and Mr Depp’s former private security guard, Jerry Judge, “decided to intervene in order to attempt to calm down Ms Heard”, with Mr Judge taking her aside.

“I believe I spoke briefly to Mr Depp and he then retreated to the bathroom of the plane where he remained for the rest of the flight.

“This was a common theme on the multiple times when Mr Depp was abused by Ms Heard – he would take himself away from the situation, often to a bathroom, and lock himself out harm’s way.”

Mr Deuters said that the day after the flight, Mr Depp asked him to “mollify” Ms Heard and “to say whatever was needed to try and placate her”.

“Given Ms Heard’s extremely volatile nature, I thought it best to try to engage with her on her own terms and simply apologise for what she was alleging had happened; hence my use of the word ‘kicked’, which is the word which Ms Heard herself had used.

“As I have made clear, Mr Depp had not kicked Ms Heard.”

Johnny Depp is at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London for his libel action against The Sun newspaper Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Mr Deuters also gave evidence on the couple’s trip to Australia in March 2015, during which it is alleged Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard and “completely destroyed” a house in a drink- and drug-fuelled rage, which the actor denies.

Mr Depp’s finger was severed during the trip, and he alleges it was caused by Ms Heard throwing a vodka bottle at him, which she denies.

Last week, the court was told Mr Depp used his severed finger, dipped in paint, to scrawl graffiti in the house.

On Monday, Mr Deuters said he was not present when the injury occurred, and he saw Mr Depp when the actor was taken to a hotel by his security team.

He claimed that, the following day, Mr Depp told him and two others “he had sustained his injury when Ms Heard had thrown a bottle at him which smashed on his hand”.

Mr Deuters also said that Mr Depp “did not want to cause alarm by letting the true cause of his injuries be known” and they were “instructed to say that Mr Depp had caught his finger in a door.”

Mr Deuters was asked about how he felt when Mr Depp and Ms Heard finally split up, and he agreed that he would have been “relieved”.

The barrister then read out a text from Mr Deuters to Mr Depp’s friend Paul Bettany on May 26 2016, which read: “That moment when everything comes home to roost and all the shit compounds itself into one monstrous steaming pile of catastrophe.

“Just trying to keep him upright at the moment. But at least the bitch is gone. Yes, I do mean Amber – not the Mom.

“Poor Betty Sue (Mr Depp’s mother) has been on her way out for the last six months – it was a relief to all, most of all herself.”

The next message by Mr Deuters, apparently describing Ms Heard, read: “Sociopathic show pony. Machiavellian overlord.

“Talentless c***. Good riddance to bad shit. Yes, I do mean Amber not the Mom, even though she was a devil herself.”

According to Mr Deuters’ statement, he has worked for Mr Depp since 2004.

On Monday, Mr Depp’s barrister, David Sherborne asked the actor about an alleged incident in Los Angeles on March 23, 2015, when he is said to have grabbed Ms Heard by the hair with one hand and hit her “repeatedly in the head with the other”.

It is claimed the incident took place shortly after the couple visited Australia.

Mr Depp said: “I flew back from Australia to LA to have surgery on the finger and, at that time, they had put a pin in it, in the broken bone, the fractured bone, but to no avail.”

He added that he “ended up getting MRSA; it’s quite a painful disease”.

Mr Depp explained he was wearing a cast on his hand with a “little dinosaur” on it because he had decided if he was going to have to wear one he should have the children’s “wraparound” on it as it was “more fun”.

The actor confirmed he was wearing the cast at the time of the alleged incident in LA’s Eastern Columbia building.

Mr Sherborne asked: “And with that cast on, would you have been able to grab her hair with one hand and punch her repeatedly with the other?”

Mr Depp replied: “No sir."

A mirror in the house where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were staying in Australia in March 2015. Credit: PA

Earlier on Monday, Mr Sherborne also asked Mr Depp about an argument after Ms Heard’s 30th birthday party at the couple’s LA penthouse on April 21, 2016, which the actor attended after a “bad meeting” with his new business manager.

Mr Depp said: “I was in the early stage of learning from my recently acquired new business manager that the former business managers had (taken) quite a lot of my money. They had stolen my money.”

Mr Sherborne asked: “How much money had they taken from you?”

The actor replied: “It was put to me this way, because I had no idea about money or amounts of money.

“Since Pirates (Of The Caribbean) 2 and 3, I had – and this is ludicrous to have to state, it’s quite embarrassing – apparently I had made $650 million (£510 million) and when I sacked them, for the right reasons, I had not only lost $650 million, but I was $100 million in the hole because they (the previous business managers) had not paid the government my taxes for 17 years.”

Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Since Tuesday last week, Mr Depp has been questioned about 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence, as well as his Hollywood lifestyle, past relationships with Vanessa Paradis, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss, and his well-documented use of drink and drugs.

The actor is suing NGN and Mr Wootton over the publication of an article on April 27, 2018 with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”

NGN is defending the article as true, and says Mr Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs”.