Johnny Depp libel trial: Audio released of 'Hollywood star groaning on private plane'

·2-min read
Johnny Depp arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on the third day of the hearing on the libel case against The Sun newspaper on July 9, 2020 in London, England. Johnny Depp is suing The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, over a 2018 article in which he was accused of being violent towards his ex-wife Amber Heard during their marriage. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

An audio clip in which Johnny Depp can allegedly be heard groaning on a private jet has been played during his libel trial.

The recording was said to have been taken on a flight to Los Angeles in 2014, during which Amber Heard alleges he was inebriated and violent before he passed out in the toilet.

During the 18-second clip a woman's voice can be heard saying "keep an eye on him", while what sounds like a man makes long, low moans.

Lawyers for The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), say it is Depp making the groaning noises.

Depp is suing NGN, and executive editor Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that labelled him a "wife beater" - an allegation he strenuously denies.

At London's High Court, the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor would not confirm the recording was of him but said he could not remember anyone else making that noise on the plane.

He described the noise as sounding "like an animal in pain", to which Sasha Wass QC responded: "I think you are that animal."

She asked Depp: "You had a blackout, didn't you?"

The actor replied: "I can't say that I had a full blackout, because I have memories of the flight... some memories of the flight, yes."

The actor said he could not recall "screaming obscenities" on the flight, but he said there was an argument between him and Heard.

Referring to the clip, he said: "I do not recognise that as my voice. It is something that I have heard once just today."

When Ms Wass asked if he would like to hear it again, he replied: "No, I'm fine, thank you very much."

He then said: "If it is me, then I was definitely dealing with a problem."

The High Court heard that Depp allegedly "screamed obscenities" at Heard on the flight to LA, as he accused her of an affair with actor James Franco.

Depp denied attacking her on the plane from Boston in May 2014, and said allegations that he shouted at her about "getting f*****" were "quite a stretch of her imagination".

The so-called "Boston plane incident" is one of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence, all denied by Depp, relied on by News Group Newspapers (NGN) in their defence against the actor's libel claim.