Johnny Depp's legal battle in the U.K. is heating up. The actor was in London's High Court Wednesday for his libel case against News Group Newspapers, the parent company of the Sun. Depp is suing the paper over a 2018 article that alleged he had been abusive to ex-wife, Amber Heard.
During the preliminary hearing, disturbing text messages were read aloud in court in which the Pirates of the Caribbean star purportedly wrote he would "burn" and "drown" his then-girlfriend. However, an attorney for Depp fired back Thursday, saying the texts aren't being reported about properly.
The previously unseen messages were from Depp to actor Paul Bettany. According to Page Six, the newspaper's legal team got ahold of 70,000 texts after they were accidentally shared by Depp's previous lawyers. Among the text messages is one from Nov. 6, 2013, where Depp allegedly wrote to Bettany, "Let’s burn Amber." The next day, Depp allegedly wrote, "Let’s drown her before we burn her!!!" along with an obscene line that won't be printed here.
Page Six reported Depp allegedly sent the following messages to Bettany in May 2014:
"I’m gonna properly stop the booze thing, darling… Drank all night before I picked Amber up to fly to LA, this past Sunday…Ugly, mate."
"No food for days…powders…half a bottle of whiskey, a thousand red bull and vodkas, pills, 2 bottles of Champers on plane and what do you get..???"
"I am admittedly too f***** in the head to spray my rage at the one I love…For little reason, as well I’m too old to be that guy But, pills are fine!!!"
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to a representative for Bettany but did not immediately receive a response.
The actor’s U.S. attorney, Adam Waldman, told Yahoo Entertainment, "This is why Johnny Depp seeks justice in court and not the media. The media will not report that at the end of a demonstrated abuse victim’s single frustrated text to a friend, Johnny confides to Paul Bettany that he could in fact never 'spray my rage at the one I love' and says he will use pills instead to numb the pain. This is the best text of 70,000 the desperate Sun tabloid could muster to save their skin."
During Wednesday's hearing, Depp's U.K. lawyer, David Sherborne, said Heard was not a victim but the "aggressor."
"One person, one side, is lying, and one is not," Sherborne added. "Obviously, we say that it is Ms. Heard [who is lying], Mr. Depp is 100% clear about that."
"Nowhere, I repeat, nowhere, is there a single smoking gun, text, or email, no document — unlike Ms. Heard’s own taped confession we looked at before; there is no document where Mr. Depp says 'I hit Ms. Heard' let alone ‘I hit her on numerous occasions,'" he argued, per Vanity Fair.
Sherborne, who did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment, is referring to audio that was leaked to media outlets last month in which Heard allegedly admitted to being violent. The recording was purportedly from 2015 in which Heard said, "I did not punch you, I was hitting you."
A spokeswoman for the actress issued a statement after the audio was circulated, explaining, "Anyone familiar with the dynamics of domestic abuse would immediately recognize what is really going on here. Throughout the extended tape recording that Johnny Depp vindictively turned over to the press, Ms. Heard repeatedly attempts to placate Mr. Depp, ignore his accusations, and force him to acknowledge what was really happening in their relationship."
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to lawyers for Heard regarding Wednesday's hearing but did not immediately receive a response.
Depp is also suing Heard in the U.S. for defamation over her Washington Post op-ed that referenced his alleged abuse, although she never named the actor. The texts to Bettany have not been shared with Heard’s legal team in the states.
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