Amber Heard wants ‘horrific’ new Johnny Depp allegation to be heard in privatejuillet 7, 2020
Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard has asked for a “horrific” new allegation she’s making against her former partner to be heard in private during his libel trial.
The actor, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers over a story published in The Sun in 2018 which branded him a “wife beater” – which he denies.
The trial kicked off at London’s High Court this morning, with both Depp and Heard, 34, arriving for the start of proceedings.
After opening the trial, Mr Justice Nichol opened the case and heard opening arguments from both sides.
In the opening arguments presented by lawyers for NGN, it was revealed that Heard has raised one new allegation that has not previously been made public.
The statements on behalf of the defendants, explain the actress has asked for the allegation to be heard in private due to its “horrific nature”.
NGN’s lawyers stated: “As allegations go, it is hard to think of ones in terms of physical abuse between two people in a relationship that could be any more extreme or violent than those Ms Heard will make against Mr Depp in this Court.
“Recently, Ms Heard raised one new allegation that she has even asked to be heard in private because of its supposedly horrific nature…
“An allegation which has never been raised before, nor made anywhere in the last four years since this story has been blasted across publication after publication, including in any of the many Court depositions and other documents produced in the litigation which has been conducted since the break-down of their relationship in 2016…
“Or, for that matter, in any of the contemporaneous communications at all which passed between the couple or their friends. Nowhere.”
The opening arguments for the defendants went on to call Heard’s allegations against Depp a “catalogue of brutality”.
They added: “Nevertheless, even the ones which Ms Heard is content to be heard in open court are extreme enough in themselves.
“They include prolonged acts of violence, such as repeated punching and slapping, being grabbed by the throat, being dragged across the floor by her hair, having her lip punched so hard it splattered blood on the wall, a broken or busted nose and so on.”
Depp has vehemently denied being violent towards his ex-wife during their marriage, and in the opening arguments his lawyers contend that Heard’s allegations are “complete lies”.
They state: “The Claimant’s [Depp’s] position is clear; Ms Heard’s allegations are complete lies. The Claimant was not violent towards Ms Heard, it was she who was violent to him…
“Much of the evidence served by the parties as to those 14 incidents alleged by Ms Heard boils down to conflicting testimony between her and the Claimant as no-one else is said to have been present.”
A three-week trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in London – which was due to start in March, but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic – began today.
Depp’s former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder are among the witnesses expected to give evidence.
The actor has travelled from his home in France to London to give evidence, while Heard travelled to the UK from California.
Depp is expected to spend up to three days in the witness box during the trial.
He has brought separate libel proceedings against Ms Heard in the US, which the court heard are set for trial next year.