Johnny Depp launches London tabloid court battle

Actor Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard arrive separately at the High Court in London for the first day of his libel case against The Sun

Actor Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard arrive separately at the High Court in London for the first day of his libel case against The Sun

Hollywood star Johnny Depp accused his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, of conducting extra-marital affairs and lying about him beating her up when he appeared in a London court on Tuesday to pursue legal action against a British tabloid newspaper.

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star, 57, is suing the publishers of The Sun and the author of the article for the claims, which were made in April 2018. He also rejected an attempt by Depp to force Heard to disclose evidence including communications with actor James Franco and Space-X founder Elon Musk, with whom she allegedly had affairs while involved with Depp.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Nicol, ruled Mr Depp was in breach of a court order to provide documents which have been disclosed in separate libel proceedings against Ms Heard in the USA, but said the case should still go ahead.

He said it was a "strong and central part" of his moral code that he would never hit a woman, having witnessed domestic violence growing up and vowed never to do so.

"She (Heard) is a calculating, diagnosed borderline personality; she is sociopathic; she is a narcissist; and she is completely emotionally dishonest", he went on.

Actress Amber Heard arriving at the High Court in London
Actress Amber Heard arriving at the High Court in London

"I am now convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking, and then destroy what remained of it".

The couple first met on the set of the 2011 film "The Rum Diary" and married in 2015.

The judge said it was News Group Newspapers and Wootton, and not Heard, that are defending the claim, while conceding they will be relying "heavily" on Heard's evidence. "The claimant was not violent towards Ms Heard, it was she who was violent to him".

The Sun said the article refers to "overwhelming evidence" of domestic violence, referring to a previous U.S. court action by Heard.

Asked about one argument, Depp said: "It escalated and it got physical".

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"These sick claims are totally untrue", Depp said in a written witness statement, adding that Heard's allegations hurt his career and had "been a constant issue in my casting". "Amber obtained a domestic violence restraining order against Depp back in 2016 and has tried to move on with her life", the statement said.

Actress Amber Heard, center, arrives July 7 at the High Court in London.

"In those articles, it is said, the Defendants accused the Claimant of multiple acts of physical violence against Ms Heard, some of which, it is alleged the articles said, put Ms Heard in fear of her life", Nicol said. Responding to what he had seen, Depp said he "wasn't particularly proud of myself", but denied that it proved he was a "monster" when he drank and took drugs.

Heard was a "complex individual", whose behaviour was "extremely unpredictable", with violent rages and prone to extreme mood swings, he added.

She was on a "wide range of prescribed medication and other drugs".

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Under cross-examination by The Sun's lawyer, Sasha Wass, Depp acknowledged taking myriad drugs over the years, including marijuana, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and prescription painkillers.

He denied Wass' suggestion he had a "nasty, angry side" as she told the court he had trashed a NY hotel room and threatened paparazzi in London, when he said he had hit one photographer's hand with a piece of wood.

"It's not Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde".

Johnny Depp is suing a tabloid newspaper for libel over an article that branded him a "wife beater".

The court was shown a video, recorded by Ms Heard without Mr Depp's knowledge, in which he was shown pacing around a room, swearing and kicking a cabinet.

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