On Monday morning, Heard began the first of three days of questioning as part of her ex’s ongoing libel action against The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton.
Depp took issue with an article published in April 2018 in which the tabloid called him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked Heard during their relationship. He denies the allegations.
With the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor having already given evidence last week, on Monday it was her turn to face questioning.
In a witness statement submitted to court, Heard accused Depp of subjecting her to verbal and physical abuse, including punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking her, as well as threats and “extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour”.
She alleged: “Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far.
“He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship.”
Describing Depp’s alleged controlling behaviour, Heard claimed he would repeatedly accuse her of having affairs with co-stars, “demanded” to know about romantic scenes in films she was appearing in and complaining “about how people can watch [her] ‘get fucked on camera’”.
“He would insist every male actor was trying to sleep with me and/or that I had had an affair with them, that he’d spoken to people and knew all about it,” Heard said.
“He would try and catch me out by taking my phone or telling me someone had told him I was having an affair and act as if he had information proving it – when I really hadn’t.
“He accused me of having affairs with each of my co-stars, movie after movie: Eddie Redmayne, James Franco, Jim Sturgess, Kevin Costner, Liam Hemsworth, Billy-Bob Thornton, Channing Tatum; even women co-stars like Kelly Garner.”
Heard went on to claim Depp had disparaging nicknames for actors he considered to be “a sexual threat” that she auditioned alongside and appeared in films with.
“For example, Leonardo DiCaprio was ‘pumpkin-head’,” she said. “Channing Tatum was ‘potato-head’ and ‘Jim Turd Sturgess’.”
“His rules got tighter every year we were together about what nudity or scenes were acceptable, wanting descriptions of every detail, every aspect of scenes and how they were covered, placing increasing restrictions on what I could and couldn’t do,” Heard claimed.
She went on to say that she eventually found herself turning down work, and began being offered less money for every year she was in a relationship with Depp.
Heard alleged that Depp would sometimes “use racial epithets about the men I would be – or deserved to be – assaulted by”, as well as calling her “fat ass”, to which she would retaliate by branding him “old man” and “limp dick”.
She also claimed that Depp began referring to her “possessively” as “my woman” during their relationship, stating: “[He] made comments that he wished he had found me before I had slept with anyone else, joking he would have locked me away at 14.
“He would obsess about how I dressed. If I wore a low-cut dress, then he would say things like ‘my girl is not gonna dress like a whore’. Over time, I stopped wearing revealing dresses for red carpet events: it just wasn’t worth the verbal and psychological abuse.
“He demeaned me anytime I tried to wear anything that could be seen as sexy, calling me a ‘whore’, ‘slut’, ‘fame-hungry’ and ‘an attention whore’, but it got worse over time.
“He started saying things like ‘well I’m going to have to watch you get raped’ and ‘I hope you get railed by a bunch of fucking fellas’.”
Depp has always denied allegations of abuse towards his ex-wife.
Depp’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?”.
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 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.