In his final day in the witness box during his libel trial with British newspaper The Sun, he told the High Court that he grabbed his ex-wife to “lock her arms” in an attempt to stop Heard, 34, attacking him and said he had not been violent to her in any way.
Depp, 57, was answering questions on an alleged incident on December 15 2015, “the night before Ms Heard was due to be filming for an appearance on the James Corden show, The Late Late Show.”
The incident is one of 14 allegations of domestic violence, all denied by Depp, relied on by News Group Newspapers in its defense against the actor’s libel claim.
On Monday, Depp’s barrister David Sherborne said the actor is alleged to have inflicted “a litany of violence” on Heard on that occasion, before he is said to have headbutted his ex-wife.
Sherborne said Depp’s evidence was that “your foreheads may have clashed” when the actor was trying to “grab her arms” to prevent her from hitting him.
Depp explained that he grabbed Heard to “lock her arms” to stop her attacking him.
Sherborne asked: “Were you violent to Ms Heard in any way?”
Depp replied: “No, sir.”
Sherborne asked: “Did you intend to headbutt her?”
The actor said: “Not at all.”
Sherborne then referred to a recording of a conversation between Depp and Heard, made without the actor’s knowledge, when they met in a San Francisco hotel room in July 2016, shortly after Heard had obtained a restraining order.
The recording refers to the “headbutt” incident in December 2015, in which Depp can be heard to say: “I headbutted you in the f*cking… forehead. That doesn’t break a nose.”
The barrister asked if “Ms Heard asked for” the meeting, to which Depp said: “That’s correct.” Sherborne then asked: “Do you remember in the restraining order how far it said you need to keep away from Ms Heard?” Depp replied: “I believe it was something like 150 feet.”
Sherborne referred to the suggestion by Sasha Wass QC, representing The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers, that Depp had “invented” his version of events that he had accidentally headbutted his ex-wife, asking if “you have invented this (account) since December 2019?”
Depp replied: “Certainly not, no.”
The actor was also asked about a text message he received from Heard’s father, David Heard, in the aftermath of the alleged incident, in which he said he knew his daughter needed help with her temper, as the actor did for his problems with drink and drugs.
In the text, David Heard also wrote: “But I still love you like a father or brother.”
Sherborne asked: “If Lily-Rose… if your daughter told you that her husband had slapped her repeatedly, punched her, deliberately smacked her in the nose, grabbed her by the hair, dragged her upstairs by the hair, pulled chunks of her hair out, would you still send a text to him saying ‘I love you like a brother or father’?”
Depp replied: “Definitely not.”
The actor’s case against NGN and Wootton arises out of the publication of an article on The Sun’s website on April 27 2018 with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
NGN is defending the article as true and says Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” between early 2013 and May 2016, when the couple split. The pair met in 2011 and began living together in 2012 before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015.