On Tuesday, Depp began the first day of his libel action against The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wooton, over an article the tabloid published in April 2018 in which they called him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked Heard during their relationship.
Depp has always vehemently denied being violent towards Heard, and has branded accusations that he had subjected her to “torture and other abuse” as “sick” and “completely untrue”.
He also dismissed claims that he has an “overbearing, manipulative or controlling personality”, alleging that Heard had an “obsessive need” to control him during their relationship.
In one of his witness statements, Depp claimed that “rage-filled violent incidents on planes were common with Amber”.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean actor went on to detail one such alleged incident during a chartered flight in late 2014 or early 2015, during which he said she branded him a “pussy” and “spineless” for “running away” from fighting with her.
“Then she became physically violent and repeatedly punched me in the face. As I moved towards the back of the plane to get away from her, she followed me into the plane’s bedroom and punched me again in the face and the head,” he said.
“I pushed her away from me, onto the bed. I then grabbed a pillow and locked myself in the bathroom, where I slept for the duration of the flight.”
He also described an incident in which he said she severed his finger by throwing a vodka bottle at him, an injury she has said was caused by him smashing a telephone into a wall.
According to Depp: “Amber severed my finger with the second of two thrown vodka bottles at me in the early afternoon of Sunday March 8. Amber claims this was on the second day of a ‘three-day hostage situation’.
“Amber claims that during these three days, I subjected her to a variety of what sounds like torture and other abuse. These sick claims are completely untrue.”
Instead, Depp has maintained that Heard did not sustain any injuries during the period of time she described, while he suffered “grievous” injuries including the severed finger and a cigarette being stubbed out on his face.
“As to the other ‘details’ which Amber has now added, I did not urinate throughout the house, I did not paint Amber’s clothes, nor did I hide raw meat around the house,” he added.
Depp is suing NGN and Dan Wootton over an the article, published in April 2018, with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”
The following morning, the words “wife beater” were removed from the headline in question, though he has said the piece caused “serious harm to his personal and professional reputation”, as well as “significant distress and embarrassment”.
NGN is defending the article as true and said that Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” during their three-year relationship.
The former couple split in 2016 - the year after they married, with Heard filing for divorce in May of that year.
They reached a settlement three months later, and issued a joint statement calling their relationship “intensely passionate and at times volatile but always bound by love,” adding that “there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.” Heard went on to donate the $7 million (around £5.57 million) settlement to charity.
Both Depp and Heard were present in court on Tuesday, after the former failed in a last-minute bid to stop the latter from attending until she is called to give evidence.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.