Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: A Hollywood love story that ended in acrimony
The love story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is one that began with an actress “captivated” by a Hollywood king, but it ended in acrimony with conflicting accounts of what happened played out in a bitter court battle for all the world to see.
Mr Depp, 57, adored by fans for his roles as Captain Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands, said he met the “beautiful” Ms Heard when she auditioned for The Rum Diary, a film adaption of a novel by Mr Depp’s friend Hunter S Thompson.
Ms Heard, who is 23 years younger than Mr Depp, said that when they were together “it was like we were the only people in the world”.
But that honeymoon period was not to last, and what ensued was a tempestuous relationship allegedly marred with drink and drug binges and violence, ultimately resulting in much contradiction and legal wrangling.
Ms Heard, 34, said their romantic relationship began in 2011 when they were promoting The Rum Diary, and recalled how later that year Mr Depp invited her to spend a weekend at the Trump SoHo in New York.
She said she booked a room, but that he moved her bags into his room.
“At the time, I thought it was kind of romantic,” she said in a witness statement filed as part of Mr Depp’s libel case against The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN).
The pair drank red wine together late into that first night, she said, adding: “When Johnny and I were together, it was like we were the only people in the world.
“We loved the same music, and poetry, and art – we would just sit and talk for hours.”
She described Mr Depp as “engaging and intellectual and dark and funny”, adding: “I was captivated. I had never been with someone like him.”
But she said Mr Depp only allowed her to tell a few family members and close friends about their relationship.
“When we were together it was always just the two of us. We would be at his compound, behind gates.
“It was like I was dating a king, with his level of fame and the way he lived,” she said.
Ms Heard alleges that Mr Depp went on to accuse her of having affairs with stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Redmayne and James Franco, and said she had to justify to Mr Depp why she accepted film roles.
She said the situation was “much worse” if there were sex scenes or kissing, and alleged that Mr Depp would “taunt” her and had derogatory nicknames for all of her male co-stars that he considered a “sexual threat”.
Mr Depp, meanwhile, alleged that Ms Heard is a calculating, narcissistic sociopath who married him to progress her own career.
He recalled that she was “extremely friendly” at the start, and in his witness statement he said: “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.”
Mr Depp said their time together was “incredibly unhappy”, adding: “She is a calculating, diagnosed borderline personality; she is sociopathic; she is a narcissist; and she is completely emotionally dishonest.
“I am now convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking, and then destroy what remained of it.”
But in a text exchange in 2014 with Ms Heard’s mother Paige Heard, Mr Depp thanked his then-fiancee for getting him “clean” on a detox trip to his private island in the Bahamas and told her mother that, without the help of her daughter, he “wouldn’t be alive”.
At the time he said Ms Heard had “risen far above the nightmarish task of taking care of this poor old junkie”.
Their wedding day the following year should have been one of the happiest days of their lives, but Ms Heard painted a far from joyous picture saying she “had never felt more lonely in my life”.
She said they fought on their wedding night over his drug use and she described him as “even more possessive than usual”.
Mr Depp said he thought the discovery of faeces in the bed they shared, found by a cleaner in their LA penthouse on the morning of Ms Heard’s 30th birthday, was “a fitting end to the relationship” and said he resolved to divorce her after that happened.
While he said he understood that Ms Heard “or possibly one of her friends” defecated in the bed, she branded the suggestion she left faeces in the bed as “absolutely disgusting”.
More than 10 years after they first met, Mr Depp and Ms Heard found themselves taking to the witness stand at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, arriving and leaving the famous law complex separately with their teams.
They both gave detailed evidence about 14 allegations of domestic violence which The Sun’s publisher NGN relies on in its defence of an April 2018 article that called Mr Depp a “wife beater”.
Ms Heard has accused Mr Depp of both verbal and physical abuse throughout their relationship, allegedly punching, slapping, kicking, headbutting and choking her, as well as displaying “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”.
Mr Depp told the trial he has never abused Ms Heard, or any other woman, in his life.