Revealed: The texts that Amber Heard’s legal team hope will prove ex-husband Johnny Depp beat her as she flies to London to appear in court
- Johnny Depp’s case is due to start on March 23 and is expected to last ten days
- Is suing The Sun over articles he claims are libellous and damaged his reputation
- Crucial to outcome will be two previously published exchanges of text messages
As Amber Heard waited for husband Johnny Depp to board their private jet on May 24, 2014, she felt excited about the planned romantic weekend ahead.
She had flown to Boston, where the Hollywood star was filming Black Mass, a film about American mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, and now, after a two-hour wait, he was finally boarding the flight to Los Angeles.
What happened next is at the heart of his libel battle against The Sun, which begins later this month in the High Court in London. Depp is suing the newspaper over articles he claims are libellous and damaged his reputation and ability to work in the film industry.
He claims the articles, from April 2018, mean he was guilty of serious domestic violence against his former wife, leaving her fearing for her life.
The case is due to start on March 23 and is expected to last ten days.
Heard claims Depp was drunk and physically abusive to her during a flight from Boston to LA (they are pictured together in 2015)
Amber Heard said pictures proved she was hit by Johnny Depp
Crucial and central to the outcome will be two previously published exchanges of text messages five days apart that Heard, an actress and model, will argue provide compelling evidence of abuse, which she alleges she suffered at Depp’s hands during their four-year relationship.
Depp brought the action against the newspaper after it published an article questioning the decision – given the claims made by Heard – to cast him in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, a 2018 fantasy film written by J K Rowling.
When the messages were first disclosed in 2016, Depp’s side insisted they were ‘doctored’.
However, The Sun’s legal team were last week given the go-ahead to use them. Heard claims Depp was drunk and physically abusive to her during that flight from Boston to LA. The next day, she texted Depp’s assistant Stephen Deuters, saying: ‘Look, He thinks “he doesn’t deserve this”. Obviously he has no idea what he did or to the extent that he did it. If someone was truly honest with him about how bad it really was, he’d be appalled. The man johnny is would be humiliated. And definitely wouldn’t say to me that he doesn’t deserve it.
‘I’m sad that he doesn’t have a better way to really know the severity of his actions yesterday. Unfortunately for me, I remember in full detail everything that happened.’
Mr Deuters replied: ‘It was disgusting. And he knows it,’ later adding: ‘He was appalled. When I told him he kicked you, he cried.’
On May 30, Depp sent a series of texts to friend and fellow actor Paul Bettany. In one, he said: ‘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 whisky, a thousand red bull and vodkas, pills. 2 bottles of Champers on the plane and what do you get… ?? An angry aggro Injun in a f****** blackout, screaming obscenities and insulting any f*** who gets near… I’m done. 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!!!’
At a recent court hearing, Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said of that message: ‘It is denied he had been drinking heavily and the entire account of what happened on that flight is denied.’ But a legal source close to Heard last night claimed: ‘This text undermines that pleaded case.’ The Mail on Sunday can also reveal that Depp’s legal team has questioned Heard’s mental state by comparing her to the unstable character Amy Dunne, played by Rosamund Pike in the hit 2014 film Gone Girl.
Hollywood actor Johnny Depp leaves the Royal Courts of Justice in London on February 26
Dunne fakes her own kidnapping in an attempt to blame it on her husband. In paperwork approved by Mr Justice Nicol, the libel judge, American lawyer Adam Waldman, representing Depp, wrote to a legal representative from The Sun: ‘When we last met you said “Amber would have to be gone girl” for her abuse allegations to be false. One audio tape alone (plus frankly a mountain of other evidence) has shown her to be so.
‘There are more tapes to come. I assume you were blind sided by these tapes, which Ms Heard has admitted she possesses because she didn’t provide them to you.’
The court hearing will see Heard testify against Depp for the first time since she claimed he beat her during their relationship. She faces having to repay the £5 million she received from him when they finalised their divorce in January 2017. Under the terms of the settlement, she was prevented from ever talking about their relationship. If Heard wanted to share details with the police, she would have to tell Depp.
When she was asked to testify against Depp by The Sun, he refused to release her from the terms of the settlement. It means she risks a high financial penalty for speaking out, despite donating the money to charities. One friend said: ‘There was no other option.’
As well as being told to hand over his tapes of conversations with Heard, Depp has also been ordered to give his medical records, which reveal he has a full-time nurse.
His lawyers have won the right to feature audio recordings of Heard, which are said to feature her talking about hitting Depp. Representatives for the actor did not respond to a request for comment.
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