‘Let’s burn Amber’: Text messages by Johnny Depp revealed in court

Johnny Depp sent texts referring to his ex-wife Amber Heard as “a witch” and saying “let’s burn Amber”, the High Court has been told during the second day of a high-profile libel action against The Sun newspaper.

The actor, 57, is back giving evidence and the court has heard more details about his volatile relationship with Heard, who he met on the set of 2011 comedy The Rum Diary.

In court today, Deppalso denied slapping Heard after she laughed at his “Wino Forever” tattoo – famously changed from “Winona Forever” after his break-up with actress Winona Ryder – as he faced further questioning.

Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London, Britain, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Image:Depp pictured outside the High Court on the second day of his libel trial against The Sun
Actor Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London, Britain July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Image:Heard, who has accused Depp of abuse during their relationship, is due to give evidence later in the hearing

Depp is suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and executive editor Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that labelled him a “wife beater” – an allegation he strenuously denies.

Key moments in court on day two included:

  • Allegations that Depp held Heard’s dog, Pistol, a teacup Yorkshire terrier, out the window of a moving car and joked about putting the pet in the microwave
  • Texts between Depp and actor Paul Bettany reveal the former said “let’s burn Amber” and called her a witch
  • Depp revealed he became uncomfortable with Heard doing nudity in her films
  • And he admitted he became jealous of one of Heard’s co-stars, James Franco, during the filming of The Adderall Diaries
  • The court heard about a heated argument between the couple onboard a flight that included shouting and kicking – which Depp denies

Yesterday, the court heard extraordinary details about their relationship, with both stars accusing each other of violence.

Speaking about the messages to Bettany today, Depp told the court he was “resentful” of the fact that Heard tried to stop him drinking and taking drugs.

Image shown in court of lines of cocaine and Depp's infamous skull and crossbones box, which he allegedly kept the drug in.
Image:An image shown in court of lines of cocaine and a small box Depp allegedly kept drugs in
Image showing Depp collapsed and passed out on the floor
Image:An image shown in court of Depp collapsed and passed out on the floor

Questioned by Sasha Wass QC, for NGN, about the alleged slapping in March 2013, he denied that he had slapped Heard three times during a period when he had “fallen off the wagon”, after she made a joke about the tattoo on his arm.

“That is not true, you are mistaken,” Depp told the court.

Amber Heard with her dog Pistol in 2010. Pic: Startraks/Shutterstock
Image:Heard with her dog Pistol in 2010. Pic: Startraks/Shutterstock

“Do you accept that Ms Heard was making a joke out of your tattoo, ‘Wino Forever’?” Ms Wass asked.

“I don’t recall any conversation,” Depp replied.

“I suggest that that provoked disappointment, firstly, in you, and then anger in you, but you don’t remember,” Ms Wass said.

Depp replied: “I don’t recall any argument about any of my tattoos.”

Paul Bettany of 'Uncle Frank' attends the IMDb Studio at Acura Festival Village on location at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 3 on January 26, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
Image:Details of text messages between Depp and actor Paul Bettany have been read out in court

Ms Wass said: “You then, Mr Depp, slapped Ms Heard across the face.”

The actor responded: “That is not correct, it’s untrue. It didn’t happen.”

Ms Wass said: “You slapped her more than once, because after you slapped her the first time, she didn’t react, she just eyeballed you, she just stared at you, and that made you more angry and you slapped her again.”

Depp answered: “That is patently untrue.”

Image shown in court of Amber Heard with a bruised arm
Image:An image shown in court of Amber Heard with a bruised arm

The barrister then put it to Depp that he “broke down” after coming to his senses, to which he said: “I didn’t hit Ms Heard.”

Answering questions about the allegations concerning the dog, Depp said he would never harm an animal.

Heard alleges that Depp first hit her in early 2013.

This claim is one of 14 separate allegations of domestic violence, all denied by Depp, which NGN is using in its defence.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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