Depp’s brutal text messages read in court
Brutal text messages from Hollywood actor Johnny Depp sent about his ex-wife Amber Heard have been read in court as he faced a second day of questioning in his high-profile libel trial in London.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star is suing British tabloid The Sun for a 2018 article which claimed he was a "wife-beater".
Both Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, were in court as lawyers for The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), questioned him about allegations of violence during the couple's time together.
NGN is disputing the claim for libel, and said there is "overwhelming evidence" that he attacked Heard while under the influence of drink and drugs between 2013 and 2016.
The couple first met on the set of the 2011 film The Rum Diary, married in 2015 but divorced two years later.
The court heard about Depp's drug use and shocking texts to the actor Paul Bettany were read out. One text from Depp read: "Let's burn Amber."
Bettany replied: "I don't think we should burn her. She's delightful company and easy on the eye. Also, I'm not sure she's a witch. We could do a drowning test first. Thoughts? PS: I have a pool."
Depp said: "Let's drown her before we burn her. I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she's dead."
Bettany then replies: "My thoughts entirely. Let's be certain before we pronounce her a witch."
When asked about the exchange, Depp admitted it wasn't the "most respectful way" to talk about Heard. But he said she was "very aggressive and quite insulting about my use of alcohol or cocaine".
"She was constantly harping on about things that didn't exist. She didn't like me using alcohol or drugs because she had some delusional idea that they turned me into a monster," he said.
Depp also denied claims he slapped Heard after she mocked him for his "Wino Forever" tattoo which was originally a tribute to former girlfriend Winona Ryder.
Lawyer Sasha Wass, representing NGN, put it to Depp that he had slapped Heard three times after she made fun of a "Wino Forever" tattoo on his arm in March 2013, when he was drinking heavily.
"I'm sorry but that is not true, you are mistaken … I didn't hit Ms Heard," the actor replied.
The tattoo originally read "Winona Forever" and referred to the actress Winona Ryder, with whom he had had a previous relationship. He changed it after they broke up.
Sasha Wass QC, representing The Sun, said: "You became frustrated with Ms Heard's mocking and you slapped Ms Heard across the face in March 2013.
"It was the first time you had used violence against her. You slapped her more than once because she didn't react at first and that made you even more angry."
Depp replied: "It's not true. It didn't happen. That is patently untrue."
DEPP: 'I NEVER ABUSED HEARD'
NGN is relying on 14 separate claims of domestic violence in its defence, all of which Depp denies.
The case opened at the High Court on Monday with Depp insisting in a witness statement that had "never abused Ms Heard, or, indeed any other woman" in his life.
He said Heard, an actress, was calculating, sociopathic, narcissistic and emotionally dishonest, with a diagnosed borderline personality disorder, and was intent on destroying his life.
Much of the questioning has involved his drinking and drug-taking but he insisted he did not have a "nasty side" and lost control while under the influence, as Heard has asserted.
His legal team called Heard's allegations "complete lies". They said she was a "complex individual", prone to wild mood swings under a variety of prescription medication and other drugs.
Rather than Depp being the perpetrator, she had subjected him to verbal and physical attacks, and he had had to defend himself on occasions, they argued.
"He is not a wife-beater and never has been," his lawyer David Sherborne said.
Depp maintains The Sun article, which was published despite a previous public denial of violence, had caused "significant reputational damage" to his career.
The Sun is owned by News Corporation, publisher of News.com.au.
Originally published as Depp's brutal text messages read in court