Hollywood star Johnny Depp kicked and slapped his ex-wife Amber Heard on a private flight in a drunken rage brought on because he believed she was having an affair with James Franco, London’s High Court has heard.
Depp, giving evidence in his libel trial against Britain’s Sun newspaper over an article describing him as a “wife beater”, denied he had attacked Heard, accusing her of being the aggressor whom he tried to placate.
During the first two days of what is expected to be a three-week case, the court has heard evidence about Depp’s heavy drinking and drug use and about his relationship with Heard, whom he married in 2015.
She filed for divorce 15 months later.
On Wednesday, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor was accused of abusing Heard on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles following a row over Franco, who appeared with her in the film The Adderall Diaries.
Depp told the court that he was surprised she agreed to make the film with Franco, having previously described him as “creepy” for making aggressive sexual advances towards her.
On the flight, Depp screamed obscenities at Heard, said she liked having sex on film sets and called her a “go-getter slut and a whore,” The Sun‘s lawyer, Sasha Wass, said.
In a “blind rage”, he kicked her in the back as she tried to walk away from him and slapped her across the face, Ms Wass said.
Depp denied the accusations.
“I am not a violent person, especially with women,” he told the court.
He later added that he might have passed out on the flight.
Ms Wass said that on the day after the flight, Depp sent Heard a text message that said: “I don’t know why or what happened but I will never do it again.”
Asked why he had apologised, Depp said he had perhaps done so because he had said something “ugly” or to placate her.
Asked if someone who kicked a woman should be called a wife beater, Depp, 57, said he would call them a savage or an animal.
“It’s one of the most disgusting things someone has ever said about me or accused me of.”
Earlier Depp said Heard’s allegations were a hoax built up over years during their relationship as an “insurance policy”.
In an unsent email composed by Heard in June 2013, three years before she publicly accused him of abuse, she said Depp had hurt her physically and that she did not know if she was dealing with him or “the monster” – his alter ego brought on by anger, jealousy and fuelled by alcohol and drugs.