Johnny Depp says wife-beating claim made him 'Quasimodo'

Dmitry Zaks, Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 11 2020 09:20 AM

LONDON - Hollywood star Johnny Depp on Friday accused British tabloid newspaper The Sun of turning him from "Cinderella to Quasimodo" by claiming he beat his ex-wife Amber Heard, as he spent a fourth day under questioning in a London court.

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" star also said he knew his marriage to the 34-year-old actress and model was over when the cleaner discovered human feces in the couple's bed.

"I thought it was an oddly fitting end to the relationship," the 57-year-old said.

The first week of the star-studded libel trial against The Sun's publisher and executive editor ended with Depp denying hurling a magnum of champagne and a phone at Heard while he was high.

Depp claims charges compiled by Heard during a tumultuous two-year marriage that ended in 2017 were a "hoax" designed to advance her career at his expense.

The High Court trial revolves around a 2018 headline in The Sun asking how "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling could support casting "wife-beater" Depp in a "Fantastic Beasts" film.

Depp said the headline altered his Hollywood image and endangered his career.

"I went from Cinderella to Quasimodo in 0.6 seconds and I was without a voice," he told the court. "That's where I was in my life at that point."


Depp looked more confident and engaged on the fourth day of the three-week hearing than he did at its start.

News Group Newspapers' lawyer Sasha Wass tried to complete her depiction of the superstar as self-centered and out of touch with reality due to debilitating drug abuse.

Depp countered that it was Heard who was always looking for a fight.

He said he went to read in bed on the night of Heard's 30th birthday party because he was "trying to avoid another confrontation" with her.

But Wass said Depp was fuming because Heard had pointed out he was two hours late.

"And you picked up the bottle of champagne and you threw it at Ms Heard. And it missed and the bottle hit the wall and it smashed," the lawyer said.

"And that, I suggest, is how you express yourself when you are angry, you smash things," the lawyer said.

Depp denied this happened and countered: "I disagree."


The couple's marriage was ending by the time Heard accused Depp of hitting her in the face with a phone in May 2016.

Wass said Depp "wound up like a baseball pitcher" and threw the phone at his wife at one of their mansions while one of Heard's friends was on the other line.

Depp denied this but admitted that Heard asked the friend to call the police.

He also said the security on-site witnessed how the entire episode was staged.

"She was screaming, 'stop hitting me, Johnny! stop hitting me, Johnny!' and the security came and she was still screaming... and I was 20 feet away getting something from the fridge," Depp said.

"And then (one of the guards) said 'boss, let's get out of here'."

The actor's attorney David Sherborne then took over by directly asking whether Depp had ever hit a woman.

"Never, no sir," Depp replied.


Lawyers from both sides have spent much of the time reading past texts and emails filled with obscenities and graphic content more typical of Hollywood movies than the hushed vaulted surroundings of the Royal Courts of Justice.

Depp's defense on Thursday rested on a claim that he was so often high or strung out that he was in no physical condition to hurt Heard.

He spent a part of Friday arguing with Wass about whether the feces found in the couple's bed were human.

Depp said it was not "physically possible" for one of their dogs to have left it there because it was simply too big.

"I was convinced that it was either Ms. Heard herself or one of her cohorts involved in leaving human feces on the bed," he said.

He called the entire episode "a mystery."

Depp's lawyer then read an alleged party invitation from Heard that said: "Bring some food, booze and drug of choice!"

Another text Heard allegedly sent from Depp's phones asked a friend to "procure more mushrooms".