Johnny Depp joked he would 'f*** Amber Heard's corpse' in texts to Paul Bettany
Johnny Depp joked that he would burn Amber Heard and ‘f*** her burnt corpse’ in graphic text messages to friend Paul Bettany.
Texts sent in 2013 between the two Mortdecai actors, read out in court today during Mr Depp’s libel trial against The Sun, saw Depp and Bettany joke about ‘burning’ and ‘drowning’ Heard, who Mr Depp was dating at the time.
At the High Court today, Sasha Wass QC, barrister for News Group Newspapers (NGN) who Mr Depp is suing for libel, read out a text from Mr Bettany to Mr Depp in June 2013.
The message read: ‘I just thought of a way for us to make a lot of money! I know you already have a lot of money but I mean A LOT of money and with very little effort.
‘First of, all we buy Amber a pet beaver and then we take pictures of you shaving said beaver.
‘All that’s left is to do is to create a website with the domain name “Johnny Depp shaves Amber Heard’s beaver” and then we sell advertising space like f***ing crazy!!!
‘Clearly there are many spin offs – you could poke, stroke, punch, etc.’
Ms Wass asked if that was ‘a respectful way’ of talking about Ms Heard, with the 57-year-old actor replying: ‘It’s not the most respectful way of speaking about Ms Heard. They had their difference and didn’t like each other very much.’
The barrister then read out messages sent later that year, with one reading: ‘I’m not sure we should burn Amber. She is delightful company and pleasing on the eye. We could of course do the English course of action and perform a drowning test. Thoughts? You have a swimming pool.’
Mr Depp allegedly replied: ‘Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.’
Avengers star Bettany is said to have replied: ‘My thoughts entirely. Let’s be certain before we pronounce her a witch.’
Ms Wass said: ‘This reference to her being a witch was a reference I say to her trying to stop you taking drink and drugs and you resented her for doing that and (she) was the moral police, that sort of thing.’
Mr Depp replied: ‘[Bettany] knew of our arguments and fighting. He knew details.
‘I was resentful of the fact that Ms Heard was very aggressive and quite insulting about my use of alcohol or, if cocaine came into the picture, she did not like Mr Bettany and I’m afraid she didn’t like me very much either and she was constantly harping on things that didn’t exist.’
‘She didn’t like you when you were constantly high on drugs and alcohol did she?’ Ms Wass said, with Mr Depp replying: ‘She didn’t like me using alcohol and drugs because she had some delusional idea that they turned me into… this said monster.’
On Tuesday, Mr Depp said that he ‘dabbled in drugs’ with Mr Bettany, 49, after Ms Wass asked if the actor was one of his ‘drug buddies’.
Mr Depp said: ‘Paul Bettany is an actor that I’ve worked with several times, he is a friend and we have… yes, we have dabbled in drugs together.’
He then listed cocaine, alcohol, Xanax and Adderall as some of the drugs they had taken together.
Ms Wass asked Mr Depp: ‘You would supply Paul Bettany with whatever medication of controlled drugs he asked for, is that right?’, with Mr Depp replying: ‘If he was feeling anxious or he was feeling unpleasant, I would give him what he asked for.’
Ms Wass asked: ‘You would give him cocaine?’, with Depp replying: ‘Yes, ma’am.’
Depp is suing NGN for libel in relation to a column published by The Sun in April 2018 which referred to the actor as a ‘wife beater’.
He has denied abusing Amber Heard, who he split from in 2016.
Timeline of Johnny Depp’s libel trial
– 8 March: Mr Depp allegedly tries to set fire to a painting by Ms Heard’s ex-partner Tasya van Ree before he is said to have attacked her for the first time, which the actor denies.
– 3 February: The couple marry in a private ceremony at their home in Los Angeles.
– 3-5 March: The key incident in The Sun’s defence, the three-day trip to Australia has been described by Ms Heard as a ‘three-day hostage situation’ in which Mr Depp was allegedly physically and verbally abusive while drinking heavily and taking drugs.
Mr Depp denies the allegations and says Ms Heard lost her temper after a conversation about a post-nuptial agreement.
– 21 April: The couple arrive in Australia with their pet Yorkshire Terriers Boo and Pistol, which they did not declare to customs officials in Queensland. Ms Heard was charged later with bringing the dogs into the country illegally – the charges were later dropped and the pair later recorded a bizarre video apologising for bringing their dogs to Australia.
– Around 22 May: The pair separated, Ms Heard claims after an incident at their LA penthouse in which Mr Depp allegedly became very angry and destroyed property with a bottle of champagne.
– 23 May: Ms Heard files petition for the dissolution of their marriage.
– 27 May: Ms Heard applies for a temporary domestic violence restraining order, which prevents Mr Depp from contacting her.
– 16 August: The estranged couple reach an agreement concerning the dissolution of their marriage. Ms Heard later donates her seven million US dollar (£5.5 million) settlement to charity.
– 13 January: The couple are formally divorced.
– 27 April: The column by The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton is published online at around 10pm. Under the headline “Gone Potty – How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”, Mr Wootton asked if the Harry Potter author had been ‘blinded by a personal friendship’ with Mr Depp.
The piece also quoted two alleged victims of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, which Mr Depp says was included to ‘finish his career’.
– 28 April: The following day, the online article is amended to remove the words ‘wife beater’ from the headline, which was not included in the print edition.
– 1 June: Mr Depp files his libel claim against News Group Newspapers. His written claim, filed a few weeks later, claims the article ‘caused serious harm to (his) personal and professional reputation’ and also caused him ‘significant distress and embarrassment’.
– 18 December: The Washington Post publishes an op-ed by Ms Heard which did not mention Mr Depp by name, but said that the actress ‘became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out’.
– 27 February: Mr Depp fights off a bid to halt his English legal action after The Sun applies for his claim to be ‘stayed unless and until’ the star confirmed in writing that he would not sue Ms Heard if she participated in a forthcoming trial.
– 1 March: Mr Depp files a libel case against Ms Heard in Virginia, blaming the Washington Post piece for Mr Depp being dropped from the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and claiming that Ms Heard was the one who had been abusive towards him.
– 26 February: Johnny Depp attends the High Court in London for a preliminary hearing ahead of a trial which was due to begin the following month. The star heard NGN’s barrister Adam Wolanski read out texts sent by Mr Depp, including one from November 2013 to actor Paul Bettany, in which Mr Depp wrote: ‘Let’s burn Amber.’
He also wrote: ‘Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead.’
– 20 March: The trial, which was due to begin on 23 March, is postponed due to the global coronavirus crisis. NGN’s lawyers had claimed Mr Depp wanted to delay the trial ‘because he’s a coward and because he knows he’s going to lose’, which was denied by Mr Depp’s legal team.
– 8 April: Mr Justice Nicol rules that parts of Ms Heard’s evidence, relating to allegations of sexual violence, will be heard in private.
– 13 May: The court gives permission for Mr Depp’s former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder – who both say Mr Depp was ‘never violent’ to them – to give evidence. Ms Heard’s former personal assistant Kate James is also permitted to give evidence.
– 25 June: NGN asks the court to throw out Mr Depp’s claim just two weeks before trial over the star’s failure to disclose text messages of him apparently trying to buy drugs in Australia in 2015. The publisher’s lawyers say Mr Depp deliberately withheld text messages they say show him trying to obtain ‘MDMA and other narcotics’.
– 29 June: Mr Justice Nicol rules that Mr Depp did breach a court order by not disclosing documents from separate libel proceedings against Ms Heard in the US – which include the text messages. But Mr Depp’s lawyers argue that it would be ‘wholly disproportionate’ to strike out the actor’s libel claim.
– 2 July: The High Court rules Mr Depp’s claim can go ahead after granting his application for ‘relief from sanctions’ for the breach of a court order.
– 4 July: The trial judge, Mr Justice Nicol refuses an application by Mr Depp’s lawyers to exclude Ms Heard from court until she gives evidence.
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