Johnny Depp threatened to carve and disfigure Amber Heard’s face if she left him, repeatedly demeaned her and often physically attacked her, she has told the high court.
Opening the defence case in the libel trial initiated by the Pirates of the Caribbean star, Heard said her former husband insulted her and on one occasion told her: “I’m going to have to watch you get raped.”
Depp, 57, is suing the Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article that called him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he had attacked Heard.
Depp denies ever hitting Heard, 34, who has submitted details of 14 occasions during their relationship when she claims he assaulted her.
Heard entered the witness box on Monday to begin what is expected to be three days of testimony.
In her statement, released at the same time, Heard said Depp would blame all his abusive actions on a “self-created third person, which he often called ‘the monster’”.
She added: “He had a violent and dark way of speaking: the way he talked about our relationship being ‘dead or alive’ and telling me that death was the only way out of the relationship; the way he would describe what he wanted to do to me if I left him or hurt him (for example, carving my face up so no one else would want me).
“His language towards others who he didn’t like or was threatened by (detailing how he wanted to have someone tortured or how cheap and easy it would be to have someone knocked off) [was violent]. He could be very intense and dark.”
Heard said Depp made “all kinds of demeaning and derogatory comments about actresses (‘two-bit whores’) and about me wanting to work as an actress.
“He demeaned me anytime I tried to wear anything that could be seen as sexy, calling me a ‘whore’, ‘slut’, ‘fame-hungry’ and ‘an attention whore’, but it got worse over time.
“He started saying things like, ‘Well I’m going to have to watch you get raped’ and ‘I hope you get railed by a bunch of fucking fellas’. Sometimes he used racial epithets about the men I would be – or deserved to be – assaulted by.”
In cross-examination, Heard denied having ever taken cocaine while she was with Depp but agreed she had taken MDMA and mushrooms a “handful” of times.
Asked about medical notes that referred to her past history of drug abuse, Heard said the records were incorrect. “I have never had an eating disorder,” Heard said. “I have never been diagnosed with bipolar. I have never had a history of liquor or substance abuse … although both my parents are alcoholics.”
Her statement said: “Johnny attacked me a lot of times, on many different occasions.”
Asked by Eleanor Laws QC, representing Depp, about whether she had a problem with controlling her temper, Heard said: “I did have outbursts of anger at times. Yes, I lost my cool with Johnny in our fights.”
She added: “I was nervous about being away from home when I was working because that always caused fights. Johnny was insecure and jealous, He was extremely insecure about me working away from home.”
Heard admitted to becoming “extremely distressed” after her iCloud account was hacked and someone “stole naked photos of me and manipulated them”, releasing hundreds of images on to the internet. “They went everywhere and at home Johnny blamed me,” she said.
Heard said Depp’s employees had not seen how their arguments developed. “These things happened behind closed doors … I never got violent. Many years into the relationship I did try and defend myself when it got serious and I thought my life was threatened.”
Asked by Mr Justice Nicol whether she “threw pots and pans at Mr Depp”, Heard said: “Only to escape him.”
A tape of one of the couple’s arguments was played to the court in which Depp accused her of punching him. Heard replied: “I did not punch you. I’m not decking you.”
Heard and Depp met in 2011 on the film set of The Rum Diary and married in 2015.
The hearing continues.