Johnny Depp has told the High Court he has never before been accused of hitting a woman, as he continued to give evidence in his libel action against The Sun newspaper over an article which labelled him a “wife beater”.
On his fourth day in the witness box, Depp faced intense questioning about his drug use, his tempestuous relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard and several incidents in which he is alleged to have been violent towards her, which he denies.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star claimed “all hell would break loose” if he failed to follow Ms Heard’s “rules”.
And he told the court he thought the so-called “defecation incident” – in which faeces were found in the couple’s bed – was a “fitting end to the relationship”.
Mr Depp is suing The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.
The 57-year-old’s barrister David Sherborne asked him if, other than Ms Heard, “any woman ever accused you of hitting them in your 57 years?”
Mr Depp replied: “No, sir.”
The barrister read out medical notes on Ms Heard, which referred to her “history of substance abuse, including addiction to cocaine and liquor” as well as the actress having had “severe outbursts of anger and rage”.
Asked by Mr Sherborne: “Does this accord with how you experienced Ms Heard or not?”, Mr Depp replied: “Yes.”
On his drug use, Mr Depp told the court that MDMA was “a waste of time because it doesn’t really affect me so much”, while magic mushrooms have “largely no effect” for him.
He added: “Marijuana I find a far better replacement than prescribed medication to calm oneself, to be calm.”
Cocaine, he agreed, does not make him “crazed and hyped up”.
Speaking about his relationship with Ms Heard, Mr Depp told the court it was “normal” for the couple to have dinner in front of the television, and to lay or sit on the couch together.
He said: “But on occasion, out of nowhere, if my hand wasn’t holding Ms Heard’s hand or I didn’t have my arm around her or whatever, she would reach over and grab my hand and put it on her thigh, so that I was then feeding the attention that she wanted.
“It was almost as if there were rules, she has a routine and if that routine isn’t met to her standards then there was going to be a problem.”
Mr Sherborne asked what would happen if Mr Depp broke his ex-wife’s “rules”, to which he replied: “An argument would ensue and all hell would break loose.”
During four days of evidence, Mr Depp has been questioned by NGN’s barrister Sasha Wass QC about 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence towards Ms Heard, all of which he denies – which NGN relies on in its defence against the actor’s libel claim.
On Friday, Mr Depp was questioned about Ms Heard’s 30th birthday party at the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles in April 2016, and the “defecation incident”.
It was put to him that one of the couple’s two Yorkshire terriers “had problems with her toilet habits”, to which the actor said the dogs “were very well trained”, but that “Boo was not as trained as Pistol”, their other dog.
He later told the court it was “a mystery” who defecated in the bed, “and it was not left by a three or four-pound dog”.
Mr Depp added: “I was convinced that it was either Ms Heard herself or one of her cohort involved in leaving human faeces on the bed.”
The court briefing went into private on Friday to consider evidence relating to Ms Heard’s allegations of sexual violence.
The exact nature of the allegations was not disclosed to the press or public and remains unknown.
The actor’s case against NGN and Mr Wootton arises out of the publication of an article on The Sun’s website 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” between early 2013 and May 2016, when the couple split.
The pair met in 2011 and began living together in 2012 before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015.