Main points from bitter Johnny Depp libel trial

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's libel case against British tabloid The Sun saw three weeks of claim and counter-claim, as it pored over his two-year marriage to actress Amber Heard.

Main points from bitter Johnny Depp libel trial
US actor Johnny Depp arrives to attend his libel trial against News Group Newspapers (NGN), at the High Court in London, on July 24, 2020. Depp is suing the publishers of The Sun and the author of the article for the claims that called him a "wife-beater" in April 2018. AFP
Here are five stand-out revelations from London's High Court.

The severed finger

Depp released a graphic photo showing a severed fingertip that he claimed Heard caused by throwing a vodka bottle at him during a violent row.

His former estate manager said he found the 57-year-old actor's fingertip shortly after the fight, which took place while the couple were staying in Australia.

Heard claimed Depp injured his fingertip, which was later reattached, when he smashed a telephone into the wall during the row.

Depp admitted writing a message to Heard on the wall and floor with flowing blood, and then dipping his finger into a can of paint to continue writing when the bleeding stopped.

He admitted being drunk and on drugs at the time.

Drugs and alcohol

Court testimony reinforced Depp's reputation as one of Hollywood's wild men, with several witnesses testifying to binges on drink and drugs.

Heard showed the court a photograph of a pint of whisky, four lines of cocaine and her ex-husband's skull and crossbones "pill box".

Depp claimed Heard was an enabler, despite his well-documented battles with addiction.

She "poured me the whisky and cocaine was visible in front of her, and I have experienced many times with Ms. Heard that she would in fact chop the cocaine up for me so that I could do the line and then she would press her finger into it and ingest it orally," he alleged.

Heard denied the claims.

The court was also shown a photo of Depp apparently passed out on the floor. The actor said he began using cocaine to help break his addiction to powerful prescription painkillers.


One of the most surprising aspects of the case was a photograph of faeces in the couple's bed after the couple had another huge fight on the night of Heard's 30th birthday party in April 2016.

Depp said it was left there as a sick joke by either Heard or one of her friends.

It was discovered by the couple's maid. Depp admitted laughing about it when a friend texted him photos of the faeces with the inscription "Amber Turd".

Depp said he knew then that his marriage was effectively finished.

Heard blamed the incident on the couple's dog, which Depp said was "physically impossible" because the turd was too large.

Heard filed for divorce in May 2016, obtaining a temporary restraining order against Depp. The divorce was settled in January 2017.


Heard alleged Depp headbutted her the night before she appeared on James Corden's "The Late Late Show" in 2015, and he subjected her to "punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking".

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star also "explicitly threatened to kill me many times," Heard alleged in written testimony.

Depp strongly denied hitting her or any woman, and submitted counter-evidence claiming she physically abused him during the marriage, including hitting him with a "haymaker" punch.

His former partners, the French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, and Hollywood star Winona Ryder, both submitted statements defending him, saying he was kind and non-violent.

Infidelity claims

Heard denied Depp's claims that she had affairs with the Hollywood actor James Franco, and the billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

She dismissed suggestions that Musk visited her regularly at night from March 2015, not long after the couple wed.

"I wasn't even in communication with Elon until 2016," she told London's High Court.

Depp admitted to piques of jealousy, which Heard said fuelled many of their fights.

Topics: Johnny Depp , libel case , Amber Heard , Vanessa Paradis , Winona Ryder , James Franco
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