The Johnny Depp libel trial— the biggest English libel trial of the 21st century – is wrapping up as each side delivers its closing arguments. The legal team for British tabloid ‘The Sun,” said Monday in court that there is a “wealth of evidence” in support of Amber Heard’s 14 domestic violence allegations against her ex-husband. The London High Court heard the defense argue in court Monday, that Depp is “a hopeless addict who repeatedly lost his self-control and all ability to restrain his anger.”
Lawyers also said that the actor was “so severely impaired by drug misuse that he may not even have been aware of the extent of his violence and terrifying behavior, which on more than one of these pleaded incidents, put Ms. Heard in fear of her life.”
Depp is suing the tabloid’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article that labeled him a “wife-beater.” The actor maintains that he has never been violent toward Heard. His lawyers say the article implied that there was “overwhelming evidence” that he had been violent toward Heard and left her in fear of her life.
Sasha Wass, representing NGN, told the judge that Depp’s “drug and alcohol-fueled lifestyle,” provides evidence for Heard’s allegations. “Firstly, it demonstrates that the claimant was subject to irrational mood swings and abnormal behavioral patterns, which would not have been present when Mr. Depp was clean and sober, and Mr. Depp has a name for this metamorphosed entity, namely ‘The Monster,’” she said. As part of the “wealth of evidence” Wass was referring to, she presented text messages and emails and medical evidence from when Depp sought treatment for his addiction. In defense of the NGN article, Wass called it “one of truth, namely that Mr. Depp did indeed beat his wife.”
During the three-week trial, Heard gave her testimony as a witness for the defense, detailing alleged incidents where Depp screamed, swore, punched, slapped, kicked, head-butted, and choked her, as well as exhibited “extremely controlling and intimidating behavior.” The actress said her ex-husband accused her of having affairs, including one with Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he nicknamed “pumpkin-head” after he and Heard auditioned together. She also said Depp threatened to kill her “many times, especially later in our relationship.”
Depp accused Heard of “building a dossier very early on” in their relationship to align herself with the #MeToo movement. He also added that he had never been accused of getting violent with any other women. The actor’s legal team is set to give their closing argument Tuesday, the last day of the trial. Judge Andrew Nicol is not expected to deliver his ruling for several weeks.