Johnny Depp decided to divorce Amber Heard after coming to believe she had defecated in his bed as revenge for a blazing birthday row, he told London’s High Court on Friday.
The 57-year-old actor is suing the British tabloid The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.
According to Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, in his fourth day in the witness box, Depp outlined how he and his ex-wife ended up arguing after he arrived late to her birthday party in April 2016.
During cross-examination, The Sun’s lawyer, Sasha Wass, accused the star of throwing a champagne bottle at Heard during a fight after the party. He disputed the account, insisting she had been “drinking heavily” during the party and attacked him while he was reading in bed, punching him in the face four times before he grabbed her arms to stop her.
Depp was also asked about whether he had accused his then wife or her friends of “defecating in the bed” after the argument, and whether he joked about the incident with pals in texts by calling his wife “Amber T**d”. The actor replied saying he did joke about the incident.
“It was one of the most absurd, unexpected statements that I have ever witnessed in my life so, yes, initially I did laugh because it was so strange,” he said, adding that he believed it was her as she had told their building manager it was “just a harmless prank”.
He said that it was “a mystery” who actually defecated but that it was not the couple’s small dogs, and that he believed it was either Heard herself or her friend, transgender activist iO Tillett Wright.
“I was convinced that it was either Ms Heard herself or one of her cohort involved in leaving human faeces on the bed,” he explained. “iO Tillett Wright seemed the only one that would be crass enough to commit such an act.”
The star went on to say that the defecation incident was what made him decide to split from Heard, despite having “strong feelings” for her.
“I did not want anything to do with her anymore I thought that was a strangely oddly fitting end to the relationship,” he revealed. Heard filed for divorce and sought a restraining order against her then husband the following month, May 2016.
The court was shown a photograph of Heard’s bruised face after she claims Depp threw a phone at her as they argued over the “defecation incident” – one of 14 times Heard alleges her ex-husband was violent towards her, which The Sun’s lawyers are using to defend their case. He denies all the allegations.
Heard is due to give evidence in the libel trial next week, with Depp’s exes Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis expected to give evidence in his defence later in the case.