Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard have earned a permanent spot in the headlines thanks to the Oscar nominee's libel lawsuit against The Sun over the British tabloid's 2018 article calling him a "wife beater." The duo have made several wild accusations while each attempting to paint the other as the abuser in their relationship, which came to an end in 2016. Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the biggest bombshells from the explosive summer 2020 U.K. trial. Keep reading for the most shocking revelations…
RELATED: Johnny's life in pictures
In a written statement presented to the court on the first day of the trial, July 7, 2020, Johnny Depp accused ex-wife Amber Heard of manipulating him into a relationship after they met on the set of the 2011 film "The Rum Diary." According to multiple media outlets, he described the actress as "a narcissist" who's "calculating," "sociopathic" and "completely emotionally dishonest." Alleged the Oscar-nominated actor, "[She was] extremely friendly to me and keen to tell me about the breakup with her former partner [artist Tasya van Ree] that she had recently gone through. If I had known then what I knew now, I would have seen the red flag warning signs, but I did not. She was beautiful, seemingly incredibly interested in me and my work, and I fell for it. She bombed me with what appeared to be love. It was not until much later that I understood that she had an agenda, namely to get married to me in order to progress her own career and/or to benefit financially, and she knew how to bring it about. For example, at the time, she repeatedly told me how much she admired my films; however, later in our relationship she admitted that she had never seen any of my films. She knew what she wanted and I was an easy target." He then alleged that Amber, who's 23 years his junior, researched him and his interests so that she could "pose as some expert or intellectual on these things to try to ingratiate herself" to him. "She presented herself as a carbon copy of me, with precisely the same interests, thoughts, favorite writers, taste in music and art as me," he claimed. "Rather than see this as calculated, sociopathic and emotionally dishonest, I convinced myself that it was endearing and sweet."
RELATED: Celeb couples with big age gaps
In a written statement presented to the court on the first day of the trial, Johnny Depp alleged that Amber Heard "severed my finger with the second of two thrown vodka bottles" and put out a cigarette on his face during a March 2015 row in Australia. (She says he caused the injury himself when he smashed a telephone against a wall.) He then allegedly used the blood from his mauled hand to write "I love you" on a mirror. He left several more accusatory statements scrawled in paint on the walls: "All is such bulls—," "Why be a fraud?" and "Starring Billy Bob, Easy Amber" — a reference to his belief that Amber cheated on him with Billy Bob Thornton, which she's denied. Johnny's longtime bodyguard said the "Aquaman" actress seemed hysterical when he responded to the ruckus to assist the actor. "She was not making a lot of sense — one second she was begging Johnny not to leave the house and then she was screaming at him for running away," the bodyguard said in a written statement, adding that contrary to Amber's claims that Johnny had been the physical aggressor, "she did not have any marks on her face or arms" and "didn't look in any physical distress." The bodyguard also claimed that Johnny and his team covered for Amber at the hospital, attributing his injury to a mishap while chopping onions. If word got out that she'd attacked Johnny, he said, it would generate "extremely bad publicity" for them both, as well as the film he was shooting at the time.
RELATED: Celeb splits of 2020
Amber Heard's take on the Australia altercation is drastically different. In a written statement presented to the court on the third day of the trial, she describes the fight as a "three-day ordeal of physical assault" during which she was "scared for her life." She alleges that Johnny Depp spat in her face and then choked her against a fridge, prompting her to barricade herself in a bedroom. She also claims that at the end of the ordeal, she had "a broken lip, swollen nose and cuts all over her body."
As for the Australian rental where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had their headline-making finger-slicing altercation, the couple reportedly caused $150,000 in damage to the property, smashing windows and a television. Johnny also reportedly dripped blood on two sofas, urinated on the villa's walls and carpet (Amber claims he was attempting to write her name) and drew male genitalia on a painting of a woman. (Johnny's estate manager says he never noticed or heard anything about urine in the property at the time.)
In another written statement presented to the court on the first day of the trial, Johnny Depp claimed that he decided to end his marriage to Amber Heard when she or "possibly one of her friends" defecated in their bed at their penthouse apartment in Los Angeles in May 2016 — and she then dismissed the incident as "just a harmless prank." According to the actor, his then-wife told their estate manager about the incident, "thereby effectively acknowledging that she had been responsible, whereas she had previously sought to blame our dogs." Johnny's long-term housekeeper, who had the misfortune of discovering the feces, said that Amber confronted her over the pictures she took of the mess to send to Johnny. The actress allegedly told her the photos "destroyed her marriage" and tried to argue that the feces were never there. "Ms. Heard continued to disagree with me, but I wanted to end the conversation as quickly as possible," said the housekeeper on the sixth day of trial. "She has a bad temper in my opinion, and I did not want her to yell at me." Amber's team, meanwhile, has suggested that it was actually Johnny — who started referring to his missus as "Amber Turd" — who defecated in the bed.
On the second day of the trial, Johnny Depp denied a claim that he held one of Amber Heard's two teacup Yorkies out the window of a moving car in early 2013. "I don't think hanging an animal, a small defenseless dog that weighs three pounds, out of a window is fun," he said. A lawyer for The Sun then alleged that the actor had a "running joke" about putting the pup in a microwave — which he didn't deny. He also fessed up to an incident during which "the puppy got a hold of a little ball of hashish and just scooped it up [and ate it] before I could get to it."
On the first day of the trial, a lawyer for The Sun grilled Johnny Depp on his history with illegal substances. He fessed up to trying "every drug under the sun" by the age of 14. "My mother used to ask me to go and get her nerve pills and I took one and I found what to me was the only way to numb the pain," he said of his first foray into drug abuse. He later quoted his close friend, the late writer Hunter S. Thompson: "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." Added the actor, "Hunter S. Thompson was an idol of mine. He extolled the virtues of psychedelic drugs." Johnny also admitted to doing drugs with Marilyn Manson "twice, maybe."
On the first day of the trial, Johnny Depp said that he and Paul Bettany "have dabbled in drugs together." He also admitted to supplying the Marvel star with cocaine. "If he was feeling anxious or he was feeling unpleasant, I would give him what he asked for," said the former "Pirates of the Caribbean" star. The following day, a lawyer for The Sun showed the court texts between the two men in which Johnny joked about drowning and burning his then-wife "to make sure she's dead." In one eyebrow-raising exchange, they joked about buying a pet beaver for Amber and then recording Johnny shaving it so they could post a clip online titled "Johnny Depp shaves Amber Heard's beaver."
Amber Heard alleges that during a 2014 flight from Boston to Los Angeles, Johnny Depp accused her of having an affair with James Franco and flew into a rage, "kicking me in the back and then mock[ing] me for crying about it immediately after." (Johnny claims he confronted Amber about his suspicious and then locked himself in the plane's bathroom, where he slept for the night. He maintains he "didn't go into a rage and start screaming at her.") The actor's then-personal assistant — who now serves as the European president of his production company — later texted Amber that her husband was "appalled" and "cried" when he was told that he kicked her on the plane. The assistant, however, said on the fifth day of the trial that he never actually saw Johnny give Amber "a proper kick to her back" — he simply saw the Oscar-nominated actor "playfully" raise his foot toward her. The former assistant then claimed that he texted Amber about Johnny kicking her to "placate" her and smooth over the drama between the couple. He insisted that Amber "was the abuser in the relationship."
On the second day of the trial, a lawyer for The Sun claimed that Johnny Depp slapped and kicked Amber Heard after accusing her of having an affair with her "Pineapple Express" co-star James Franco — a recurring theme. The actor said he was simply "uncomfortable" with the pair working together because his then-wife had previously described the "127 Hours" star as "creepy and rapey." He's also accused her of cheating with Elon Musk, Cara Delevingne and her ex-partner Tasya van Ree, among others.
On the fifth day in court, Johnny Depp alleged that when he told Amber Heard that he lost $750 million — which he attributed to shady dealings on the part of his former business manager — after missing her 30th birthday dinner back in 2016, she "haymakered" him, which he described as "kind of a roundhouse punch" and "a bit of a wild swing but effective if it reaches the target." She's painted a different version of events, accusing him of threatening to kill her, throwing a magnum bottle of champagne at her, dragging her by the hair and ripping out a chunk of her long blonde locks, head-butting her, grabbing her by the throat and pushing her, as well as her sister, who attempted to intervene. Johnny has said that he acted in self-defense and that if he did, in fact, head-butt Amber, it was an accident.
On July 15, Amber Heard's former personal assistant testified that after she told the "Aquaman" star about her history with sexual assault, the actress stole the details and claimed them as her own. "She referred directly to a violent rape that occurred to me 26 years ago and she twisted it into her own story and she used it for her own use," said the former assistant. "This of course caused me extreme distress and outrage that she would dare to attempt to use the most harrowing experience of my life as her own narrative."
On the second day of the trial, a lawyer for The Sun claimed that Johnny Depp slapped Amber Heard "more than once" back in 2013 after she teased him about his "Wino Forever" tattoo — which originally read "Winona Forever," a tribute to ex-fiancée Winona Ryder. The actor said he didn't "recall any argument about any of [his] tattoos."
On the sixth day of the trial, Johnny Depp's longtime bodyguard said in a written statement that Amber Heard had a history of throwing objects when she was upset. "I had seen her lob a fork in Johnny's general direction once; another time I recall she threw a lighter at him, another time a can of Coke," he alleged.
On the sixth day of the trial, the estate manager for Johnny Depp's property in the Bahamas also called Amber Heard a "thrower" — "someone who threw projectiles" — and claimed she was known to "lunge violently at Johnny, pull his hair and commit other aggressive physical acts against him." She alleged that in December 2015, she witnessed the actress verbally abusing her husband. "Amber, Johnny then told me, had thrown a quart-sized can of lacquer thinner into Johnny's face, causing a gash," she added in a written statement. She also alleged that the "once social and animated" star "became withdrawn" during the marriage, spending "most days sleeping" — a "distinct change." As for Amber's claims that Johnny attacked her during an August 2014 trip to the Bahamas — a vacation that doubled as a detox for the Oscar nominee — the estate manager noted that she did not witness any "discord" or anything "out of the ordinary" between the couple at the time. Johnny says he would've been too weak from the come-down to lash out physically. In fact, he described the detox trip as "the lowest point" in his life. He claims Amber withheld his medications — "one of the cruelest things she has ever done." But he later texted Amber's mother to express his gratitude to her for caring for him, writing that "it was Amber and Amber only that got me through this, and it was not easy." He also praised her "monumental patience and instinct."
On the first day of the trial, Johnny Depp admitted to giving his daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, marijuana when she was just 13 — after a stranger first offered it to her. "It's a safety issue, it's a father worried about his daughter in this kind of situation," he said, adding that he'd rather she procure "trustworthy and good quality" marijuana from him than acquire dangerous weed laced with something else from a stranger at a party. He even ran his plan by Lily-Rose's mother, Vanessa Paradis, he said. "If this is wrong in your eyes, I appreciate what you think. But I was raising a daughter, and I was being a responsible parent so far as I'm concerned," he added.
On the second day in court, Johnny Depp admitted that he "can be jealous" and that he and Amber Heard had "several arguments" about her ex-girlfriend, artist Tasya van Ree. The actress alleges that he once attacked her after attempting to burn a painting from her former partner, which he'd previously asked her to remove from her home.
On the fourth day of the trial, Johnny Depp said that actress Ellen Barkin accused him of once throwing a bottle in a hotel room, of having jealousy and anger issues and of other bad behavior on the set of the 1998 adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" because she has a grudge against him. "Ms. Barkin and I had been friends for a number of years. A couple of years later … Ellen and I were hanging, just spending time together," he said. "A sexual element began with Ms. Barkin which lasted for months on and off really because she was making the film I was making at the time, 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' and I suppose … she wanted more. She wanted a proper relationship with me, and I did not want that. I didn't feel the same about her as she did me, and I suppose from that moment on, she became very, very angry. And since then I have not spoken to Ms. Barkin. Nor has Ms. Barkin spoken to me."
In a diary entry presented to the court on the sixth day of the trial, Amber Heard detailed an alleged altercation with Johnny Depp that happened on a train to Singapore during their honeymoon in 2015. She wrote that "he hit me several times" and "at one point found himself with his shirt wrapped around my neck."
On the first day of the trial, Johnny Depp opened up about causing $10,000 in damage to a New York City hotel room back in 1995 — which he dismissed as "a few dents" — while then-girlfriend Kate Moss slept in the bed. "It had been a particularly bad couple of days and that day turned out to be the … apex of an unpleasant time. … I had a friend who had been a friend for a very long time and he had for lack of a better word screwed me over, if you will," he explained, adding that he was "expressing my anger." (He denied, however, that he has an anger problem.) Johnny then denied the rumor that he trashed the room following a spat with the supermodel. "That was the assumption of the media at the time because it makes for better press doesn't it, but rather than assaulting a human being, I assaulted a couch," he said. He also assaulted some cabinets in a video The Sun's legal team presented in court. "I was violent with some cupboards," Johnny said of the clip, which showed him kicking in the cabinets and throwing a wine bottle.
On the second day of the trial, a lawyer for The Sun detailed an incident during which Johnny Depp allegedly flew into a jealous rage after one of Amber Heard's female friends became "very affectionate" toward her, "putting her hands on Amber" in what he described as a "sexual" and "aggressive" manner. He reportedly threatened the woman, asking her, "Do you know how much pressure it would take to break your wrist?" He admitted that he "moved [her] hand from Amber's body" and "told her it's my girl, and it's rude." The lawyer then alleged that while fighting with the "Aquaman" actress over the incident, Johnny trashed their trailer and hit his wife — which he denied.
As part of The Sun's efforts to show a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse on Johnny Depp's part, a lawyer for the British tabloid presented an email the actor sent to Elton John in early 2012 to celebrate 100 days of sobriety. "No one would ever have believed it possible but for a select few, most importantly you," he reportedly wrote. "I would have been swallowed up by the monster were it not for you," he added.