American actress Amber Heard told London’s High Court on Monday her ex-husband Johnny Depp had threatened to kill her “many times” and that she had thrown objects at the Hollywood star only to escape his violent attacks.
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publishers of Britain’s Sun newspaper, over a 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater” and questioned his casting in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” franchise.
The 57-year-old actor - who played Captain Jack Sparrow in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” series - told the court last week that all of Heard’s 14 allegations of physical and verbal abuse were untrue.
He accuses her of domestic violence against him.
In a sworn written statement to the court, released as she began her oral evidence in the witness box, Heard said Depp had made her fear for her life.
“Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far,” she said in the statement.
“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.
” Heard, 34, said the actor would obsess about her appearance and would call her “a slut”, “fame-hungry” and “an attention whore” if she wore certain outfits.
After his rages had abated, Depp would blame his actions on an alter ego he would call “the monster”.
Heard was asked by Eleanor Laws, a lawyer for Depp, about an argument which Laws suggested had been caused by a clash over whether Heard would sign a pre-nuptial agreement.
The actress said she was “not interested in Johnny’s money, never have been”.
She said Depp had told her he would rip up any pre-nuptial agreement - none was ever signed - and told her “the only way out is death”.
Heard, who began dating Depp in 2011 and married him four years later, denied she had anger issues or got violent, rejecting accusations from the actor’s staff who have told the court that she had started their fights.
DRUG BINGES The court was played an audio recording in which she was heard saying to Depp: “I did not punch you.
I was hitting you”.
She said that confrontation had occurred at a time when Depp “vomited nightly” because of his drug binges and she was concerned he would choke to death in his sleep.
Asked why she had not simply said in the recording that she was defending herself, she replied: “I would have got another black eye”.
She said she would only have thrown things in her ex-husband’s direction towards the end of their relationship when she needed to escape from him.
“When I felt my life was threatened.
I tried to defend myself,” she said, saying it only happened years into the violence.
Depp says the accusations are a hoax.
Witnesses called by his legal team have concurred with his version of events.
Laws said that Heard’s own account of taking drugs only a handful of times did not tally with her medical notes.
The lawyer queried why, if drug-taking was a rare event for her, she had told the nurse about taking MDMA and magic mushrooms with “a high-profile male visitor” in May 2016, but now told the court she could not remember who this person was.
“You are just lying as you go along, aren’t you?” Laws said.
Heard denied this.
Heard’s evidence is due to last three days and the trial is set to conclude next week, although no ruling is expected immediately.