The Aquaman actress told the High Court that this “information” was “fresh in my mind” during the alleged incident in 2015, and she reacted “in a flash” to protect her sibling.
Heard, 34, made the claim in her second day of giving evidence in her ex-husband’s libel action against The Sun newspaper over a 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater.”
On Tuesday, Eleanor Laws QC, representing Depp, asked about the “stairs incident” in Los Angeles in March 2015 when Heard has said she believed Depp was going to push her sister, Whitney Henriquez, down the stairs.
The barrister said: “This was a very nasty row between you and Mr Depp and it was you who was the violent one.” Heard replied: “Johnny hit both myself and my sister”, before denying that she spat at the Pirates Of The Caribbean star, or threw a can of Red Bull at him.
Laws then put it to Heard that she also “punched him (Mr Depp) in the face with a closed fist”.
Heard replied: “I did strike Johnny that day in defence of my sister. He was about to push her down the stairs and, the moment before that happened, I remembered information I had heard (that) he pushed a former girlfriend – I believe it was Kate Moss – down the stairs. I had heard this rumour from two people and it was fresh in my mind.”
She added: “In a flash I reacted in defence of her.” Heard went on to allege that Depp had punched her “for years” and “for years I had never even hit him.” She said: “I never so much as landed a blow and I will never forget this incident… it was the first time after all these years (I hit him).”
Laws said Heard had “changed your story” and had never mentioned the story about Moss before. She said Heard “didn’t mention a thing about Kate Moss being in your mind, you are just making this up as you go along.”
Laws played a clip from Heard’s 2016 deposition in Los Angeles, in which the actress talks about the alleged incident, and said that at no point in her “free narrative” did Heard mention Moss.
Heard said: “No, I didn’t have a chance.” She added: “I’ve not had the liberty of time or space or energy even to list every thought that crossed my mind.”
Depp is suing NGN and The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton over the publication of an article 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?”
His lawyers say the article bore the meaning there was “overwhelming evidence” Depp assaulted Heard on a number of occasions and left her “in fear for her life”.
NGN is defending the article as true, and says Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.”
The trial continues.