LONDON – Hearings in the libel case between American actor Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, concluded on Tuesday.
Called a “wife-beater” in April 2018 by tabloid newspaper The Sun, actor Johnny Depp has been center stage for the past three weeks in the biggest libel case in the United Kingdom in the 21st century that has exposed the couple’s private life during their short two-year marriage that ended in 2017.
Heard claims the 57-year-old star assaulted her on 14 separate occasions during their relationship.
Depp, who maintains the allegations are “completely untrue,” is suing the newspaper’s publisher and editor.
In closing statements on Tuesday, Depp’s lawyer David Sherborne said the article was “not researched at all” and accused Heard of changing her story and trying to manipulate evidence in the case, calling her a “compulsive liar” and a “wholly unreliable witness.”
“She is the abuser, not Mr. Depp. He is no wife beater,” Sherborne said.
A tape recording was played to the court, in which Depp could be heard accusing the 34-year-old actress of lying about striking him.
“Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched,” Depp said, to which Heard replied: “I hit you like this. But I did not punch you.”
Representing The Sun, lawyer Sasha Wass said in her closing statements on Monday the newspaper stood by its reporting, which is based on “overwhelming evidence” provided by the actress of 14 incidents of violence allegedly carried out by Depp between early 2013 and May 2016.
She said a “deep misogyny” “lay at the root of Mr. Depp’s anger, and the anger he felt against Miss Heard, which translated into violence when he felt threatened by her.”
The case has uncovered sordid details of the couple’s private life and their substance abuse.
During the trial, Depp has admitted to taking “every drug under the sun,” revelations which his lawyer says demonstrate how unfounded the allegations against him are.
“Why else would Mr. Depp, this private man as he explained, expose all the most intimate details of his personal life?” Sherborne said.
But in her closing remarks, Wass said that Depp’s memory of his “disgraceful” behavior was “so impaired by drug misuse that he may not even have been aware of the extent of his violence and terrifying behavior.”
The case continues, with a verdict expected at a later date.