My Authors
Read all threads
In court 38 of the Royal Courts of Justice - watching court 13 on videolink. Johnny Depp is in the building having arrived in a silver people carrier wearing a black facemask. He is suing The Sun’s parent group NGN after an article was published calling him a “wife beater”...
… which he denies. We are expecting Depp to give evidence this morning. The trial is expected to last three weeks. It starts in half an hour...
Amber Heard’s PR people have just worked the press room to say hello to everyone. That doesn’t normally happen. Ms Heard is going to be attending court (despite Mr Depp’s lawyer’s trying to stop her hearing his evidence, the judge ruled it was okay)...
We’re late starting and the court doesn’t look anywhere near ready just yet. A reminder my report about the first day of this trial will be on @5_News at 5pm today. Live tweets as time allows. Though...
@5_News … given there are at least 17 reporters in this room you should be okay for coverage...
Okay court is in session. Mr Justice Nicol doing some housekeeping. Not a jury trial. Judge will decide it alone. Journalists are allowed to tweet and anyone who wants to buy a transcript afterwards, can do so.
… explaining that because of social-distancing due to COVID there are53 courts in play. Main court, 13, a spare court for extra lawyers, and 3 courts for reporters members of the public. All linked by videolink to the principal courtroom.
Most of this trial will be in public, but some will be in private (does not say why). Evidence will be given in person and by videolink from USA, Bahamas and Australia...
… to save time, opening statements to be set out in writing. Not orally.
Depp’s barrister David Sherborne now on his feet. He is introducing his team and the defendant’s team. Starting with some legal argument about the “bundles” - the docs referred to by both parties in court. Some of the contents still in dispute apparently.
Says where there are competing descriptions of the “dramatis personae” both descriptions have been completed.
Now on on timetabling.
Judge: I am conscious the trial needs to be fair to both parties… so time for particular witnesses doesn’t spill over and prejudice...
… other witnesses.

[Please note NOTHING in my tweets is a direct quote unless it is in “direct quotes”]
We’ve been given the Claimant’s opening statement (claimant is Johnny Depp for clarity!)

Here are a few snippets:

"Ms Heard’s Allegations

11. As allegations go, it is hard to think of ones in terms of physical abuse between two people in a relationship that could be...
… any more extreme or violent than those Ms Heard will make against Mr Depp in this Court. Recently, Ms Heard raised one new allegation that she has even asked to be heard in private because of its supposedly horrific nature, an allegation which...
… has never been raised before, nor made anywhere in the last four years since this story has been blasted across publication after publication, including in any of the many Court depositions and other documents produced in the litigation which has been conducted...
… since the break-down of their relationship in 2016, or, for that matter, in any of the contemporaneous communications at all which passed between the couple or their friends. Nowhere."
"12. Nevertheless, even the ones which Ms Heard is content to be heard in open court are extreme enough in themselves. They include prolonged acts of violence, such as repeated punching and slapping, being grabbed by the...
… throat, being dragged across the floor by her hair, having her lip punched so hard it splattered blood on the wall, a broken or busted nose and so on; violence which caused her to fear that her life would end, she says...
… . In Australia in 2015, she even claims that she was subjected to a “three-day hostage situation” involving a catalogue of brutality, one which ended, critically, with Mr Depp having part of his finger chopped off and requiring...
… hospitalisation, but no medical attention being sought by Ms Heard (despite their doctor being on the scene or close by). I will have more to say about this later."
14. Whilst Mr Depp denies these allegations of violence, Ms Heard cannot deny these acts of her own free will. It is not just that she chose not to end things with Mr Depp...
… despite his alleged violence right from the outset, she happily chose to move in with him, to get engaged to him and then to get married to him (something which he had not done in any previous relationship) in the full knowledge...
… on her account, of what he was supposedly like and what the nature of their relationship was and was continuing to be.”

[There is continuing legal argument in court over a witness statement.]
[Two witness statements have been served late and Sherborne wants to be able to discuss them with Depp whilst he is in the middle of giving evidence - this is not normally allowed, but the argument has been successfully made and is now being ordered by the judge.]
[Okay - that’s settled. But more legal argument continues. Sherborne wants to ask Depp some questions about a different witness statement before he is cross-examined by the Sun’s barrister]
[Sherborne says the Sun wants to xe Amanda de Cadenet, a friend of Amber Heard’s. But apparently AdC did not want to do so and gave a declaration in favour of JD to the US courts where there is legal action on going. So now the Sun wishes to xe AdC. Sherborne not keen.]
Sherborne: “And that’s the last point I was going to make.”
Judge: “Good.”

Johnny Depp called to the witness box.
JD taking the oath. “I solemnly sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”

Judge reminds JD to keep his voice up.
Sherborne: full name?
JD: “John Christopher Depp the Second”

[they are choosing bundles - this seems to be taking time. Also all we can see, thanks to the positioning of the camera, is JD’s hands. Which is v annoying.]
[we have literally spent 5 minutes finding a document]

S: Is that your signature?
JD: [pause] erm… there’s nothing in 57… 58 is something different…
S: Can you find the signature page for that witness statement…
JD: Sorry I think I may have...
[I think S is trying to get JD to affirm it is his signature on his witness statement. JD is trying to be helpful.]

S: there should be a page with just your signature
JD: yes it is
S: and the facts contained in your witness statement are true
JD: yes
[we are confirming that all signatures and all facts in all 3 witness statements by JD are true]
S: I think we’re going to keep closing files in order to give you a little space
JD: “I’ll get the hang of it"
[clerks have asked the court 13 clerks to move the camera so we can seem more of JD than his hands]
S talking about an Amber Heard recording from Dec 2015. Asks JD “do you know what this recording is?”
JD Um…
S I’ll tell you. It’s called argument 2
JD: Oh yes...
S: says AH says they [the tapes] were also a tool to help remind JD what he was like on drugs and alcohol as he often wouldn’t remember
S: is that your recolleciton?
JD: No
S: In your own words could you tell me what you understood the recordings to mean?
JD: No I would tell her I was recording the conversation so I could reference the tape if her words didn’t match what she would say on the recording.
S: Thank you. Could you keep your voice up, so his Lordship can hear you
JD: yes sorry I have a tendency to talk quiet
Judge: it’s alright!
[Sherborne starts reading from AH’s witness statement about alleged violence, arguments etc]

[We can now see Mr Depp. He wearing what looks like a charcoal grey suit, with collar-length hair. He is wearing thick-rimmed glasses and has a what looks like a...
… mini-goatee. The court camera is not great.]
[oh we’ve zoomed in. It is a black suit, white shirt, black tie and goatee. Glad that’s sorted.]
[We are looking at a transcript of another recording between AH and JD which is an argument between the two. There is lots of effing and jeffing in this transcript]
S: can you just explain what you are referring to and why Travis was being asked to come up?
JD: I had asked Travis up the night prior when another argument had ensued and as things tended to do - escalated and it got physical, ending with...
… a bit of assault in terms of… AH struck me so I asked Travis to come up and what she said to me was that she hadn't done that and she was now not prepared to speak to Travis about what happened.
[JD apologises for calling the judge Sir rather than My Lord]
J: that’s quite alright - don’t worry about it
JD: Protocol…
J: of course.

[We are back to the transcript recording]
[AH and JD are arguing about her allegedly punching him. They are arguing about the difference between a punch and a slap. He says it was a punch. She says it was a slap]
This is JD’s barrister just reading from the transcript.

S: Were you refusing to engage with AH in this conversation?
JD: No I was not refusing to engage with AH. "I wanted to avoid another confrontation as was my practice in these situations. Whenever they would escalate I...
… would try to go to my own corner, as it were” to stop things from escalating.
S: thank you

[we move to another part of the bundle]
S: there was a recording made by AH on 22 July 2016. In Jult 2016 where had proceedings in America got to?
JD: "Ms Heard had filed for divorce and then she filed for a restraining order against me and at the time I was on tour with the band and we had a show in SF and...
… that’s where we were.”
S: You heard AH had filed for a restraining order. What was the basis for that restraining order. In one sentence?
Judge: we know this.
S: yes we know she made it on the basis of domestic violence by you and that she was in fear of her life.
JD concurs
S: then you had a meeting. Who requested that meeting?
JD: “I jst rented a room so that we could talk… it was just the two of us”
S: AH had obtained a restraining order against you, did she make sure she stayed at least 10 feet away from you at all times?
JD: “No sir”
S: Why not?
JD: Well there was a lot of discussion about what was going on and at times it got emotional and she asked for a hug
S: Did you embrace her?
JD: No I didn’t think it was right given the circumstances. If she had told the world she was in fear of her life
… from me and I had been this horrible monster if you will. I did not see why she would want to touch me.
S: was it a long discussion in the hotel bedroom
JD: yes it was quite a long discussion and at a certain point Ms Heard just looked exhausted and complained...
… of palpitations and wasn’t feeling well… I suggested she take a nap for a couple of hours… I took her into the bedroom [of the hotel room] pulled down the sheets, got her into bed, but before I did she asked if I would get into bed for a cuddle and I said no I would not
… I walked back into the living room and sat down and tried to make sense of everything given all the circs surrounding our lives my life at the time. It was a very emotional time and I just sat and I cried.
S: did at any time AH appear scared of you?
JD: no sir
[S steps down, now the Sun’s barrister Ms Wass QC is cross-examining JD]

QC: you are now 57 years old and you found fame and fortune at an early stage of your life
JD: "I don’t know if I would call it fame, but at the age of 22 my life changed radically"
QC: you came into money?
JD: yes
QC: you had influence?
JD: er
QC: you had money power and influence at the age of 21. Do you agree or not?
JD: i don’t agree with that statement, not that early in the game
QC: and you found drugs and alcohol?
JD: yes ma’am
QC: and you’ve said you’d had every single drug by the age of 14
JD: yes ma’am
QC: and since then you have had other drugs?
[there is a discussion about how many new drugs he may or may not have taken]
QC refers to magazine interview with playboy where he talks about drugs and alcohol.
Judge asking JD not to nod along but to articulate an answer so it can be picked up by the microphone.
JD: “yes your lordship”
Judge: “Yeah."
JD: At a time in my youth when I was a very young man… my experience with drugs and alcohol began as a very young man… it was not a stable or safe home life - there was quite a lot of unpleasantness in the house and my mother used to ask me to get her her nerve pills...
… and I saw the pills where calming her nerves, so I took one. And I found it was the only way to numb the pain.
QC: you’ve taken a lot of drugs on and off. Ecstasy, cocaine, cannabis, LSD
JD: only when I was younger
QC: okay. and you also abused prescription drugs...

JD: yes
QC: and you idolise the drug culture
JD: I’ve always been interested in counter culture. Chaucer, Thomas de Quincy…
QC moving on from the 17th century to the 20th century… starts discussing Depp’s love of Hunter S Thompson, Keith Richards and Marilyn Manson..
JD misquotes HST’s dictum on drug abuse…
QC reads it out

QC: Are you saying you have never taken drugs with Marilyn Manson?
JD: I’m not saying that.
QC: Okay let’s ask again. Have you ever taken drugs with MM
JD: Yes.
QC: How many times?
JD: Twice but a long time ago
QC: so it would be wrong to say you took drugs with MM after say 2011 it would be incorrect?
JD: Yes
QC: You’re lying about this and I am about do demonstrate how
QC: do you remember Paul Bettany - one of your drugs buddies?
[JD agrees]
QC: did you give him cocaine?
JD: yes ma'am
QC: and you at one stage owned a nightclub in LA called the Viper Rooms?
JD: Yes ma’am
QC: and drugs were freely used?
JD: no ma’am just alcohol
QC: and river phoenix died in your club
JD: no he died outisde it
QC: and he collapsed in your club?
JD: i didn’t see it...
[please check all of this against the transcript - I am summarising what is said - not quoting it directly unless it is in “direct quotes”]
QC: “Do you agree your money and influence and power have given you a freedom that ordinary people don’t have?”
JD: “I suppose at a certain point they become a part of your life.. but at a certain point you become a fugitive… anonymity doesn’t exist any more."
QC: How many people work for you?
JD: I can’t say
QC: That many
JD: well about 15.
QC: and you are surrounded by people who never really say no to you
JD: not really
QC: but there are people who will do anything for you even supply drugs to you
JD: yes they will supply to me whatever I have felt necessary at the time
QC: bluntly if you asked a member of staffed would provide you with drugs if you wanted them
JD: yes
QC: you’re being very polite and softly spoken now, but there’s another side to you isn’t there?
JD: That’s not for me to judge
QC: there is a nasty side to your character
JD:" I’m well aware there has been a lot of… pain from youth and the way I was raised and yes...
… when you’re trying to figure out what it’s all about when success and notoriety come to you and you don’t know why it has come to you and why it has happened… especially when in your heart you don’t feel worthy, it’s a very confusing thing… your name has become a product."
JD: “Even when I speak my own name it sounds foreign to me.”
[we are going to a new bundle]
[there is confusion over a bundle. Judge counsels patience to JD]

JD: "Absolutely my Lord, I am easy to roll with the punches"
QC takes him to 1989 article by Johnny C Trott when JD was 25 describing JD being arrested after a noisy part in Vancouver during the filming of 21 Jump Street. Depp allegedly assaulted a guard.
QC: were you arrested on suspicion of assault?
JD: yes
QC takes him to an article about him allegedly destroying a NY hotel room aged 31. He was alleged to be intoxicated but no known motive. Allegedly cut a deal with the hotel to pay nearly $10K
QC: Were you intoxicated?
JD: No
QC: Were you on drugs?
JD: No
QC Did you do the...
… damage?
JD: I made a few dents
QC: a few dents don’t amount to nearly $10K
JD: well that was the bill that was given to me. it was a long time ago.. i slid a couch across the room…
QC: that wouldn’t cause any damage at all
JD: I sort of slid it … I didn’t rip things...
… of the wall.
QC: the article says you trashed the room
Judge would you agree with that as a description?
JD: sure trashed is fine. When I left the room it was not unlovable - just needed a new vase and maybe a cup or two. I broke some things… i don't remember...
… this was 1994.
QC second time you’ve been arrested though
JD: yes
QC: for doing something violent
JD: yes
QC: causing $10K of damage? That’s a lot of money for some people, maybe not for you…
JD: it is a lot of money
QC: why did you do it?
JD: “it was the apex of an unpleasant time”
QC: did you find it difficult to control your anger on this occasion?
JD: “on that occasion I chose to express my anger”
QC: you expressed yourself through destructive behaviour
JD: i have at times in my life
QC: and this was not..
… the only time, was it?
JD: No
QC: So you express your anger by being violent?
JD not every time I also express myself by laughing, it doesn’t mean I have a laughter problem
QC: But it suggests you have a sense of humour anyway let’s not get into semantics…
QC: your then girlfriend was with you?
JD: yes
QC: do you think she might not have been frightened?
JD: she was asleep
QC: she was asleep through the whole thing?
JD: yes
[we move on]
QC: you were asked about this in an interview where the interviewer said you had a spat with your girlfriend?
JD: that makes a better story
QC: yet you went along with the interviewer’s suggestion didn’t you?
JD: something here says “Voiceover”
QC: yes
JD: well it’s not...
… an interview, then is it. It’s a tv programme.
JD this is an example of the media machine taking it over
QC did you ever correct this?
JD: yes
QC starts quoting him “some guys smash hotel rooms”
JD: sorry if this comes from a TV show we’re talking about being in...
… two separate places. This looks like TV and if it’s TV I’d like to see it.
QC: we have a transcript. this is a transcript of the TV piece. The VO was “no one was laughing when Depp trashed a hotel room after a spat with his then gf causing $10K”. Then the interviewer asks...
“What was all that about?”
and you say “some guys trash hotel rooms” Are you saying you are disagreeing with this?
JD: points out to judge the mechanics of editing a TV programme that allowed her to say anything in the world that he had no control over it.
JD so this is not direct questions to me. This is not an interview.
QC what I am interested in is your answer
JD yes I did make a statement but it was not a direct answer to her question
QC you said you smash hotel rooms
JD it was said with humour as it was ridiculous notion...
… that a grown man would do that.
QC: but you did do it
JD: yes I did.
[we go to another file. JD has about 12 large box files arraigned to shelf on his right, lined up in three large cardboard boxes. we have located the correct file]
QC the reason I’m asking you all these questions is that I am suggesting to you that when you are angry you express yourself with violent behaviour - do you understand?
JD: I understand
QC: okay let’s go to when you made Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ...
QC is talking about a romantic liaison JD had with a Miss Barkin. She has given a statement that he was caring and nice and drunk most or a lot the time. [I paraphrase]
JD that’s quite a stretch
QC she was asked about illegal substances - Ms Barkin says hallucinogenics...
QC what could that cover?
JD: LSD, mushrooms…
QC: is she right about that?
JD: no
QC: cocaine? she says
JD: no not at that time
QC: marijuana
JD: occasionally…
QC: so hardly any drugs...
JD: I was making a film - so no
QC: do you never take drugs during making a film
JD: "I have at times smoked marijuana at work and at times when you’re on the 17th hour of the day I have taken cocaine, but occasionally, it’s not a regular…”
QC: so what she’s saying is...
… right?
JD: it seems she’s saying hallucinogenics, cocaine and marijuana. H - no C - no not at that time and not for a long time - M - occasionally
[this is from a court transcript this Ellen Barkin stuff, not an interview]
QC she’s asked if you took H, C and M in your...
… presence and she says all of the time. Why would Ms Barkin lie?
JD: are you asking me to speculate?
QC: no I’m asking you if she’s lying? you parted on good terms…
JD: no we didn’t
QC: are you saying she had an evil motive because you didn’t part on good terms?
JD: I can’t speculate
QC: she is asked if your behaviour changed when you drank more or took drugs and she says yes you were not the same, you were high, obviously.
Judge I’m not sure there’s a question here…
QC: there isn’t - i’m putting in the context of what I want to ask...
… next.
QC: Ms Barkin points out that during the filming of Fear and Loathing you lost your temper and threw a bottle of wine across the room. Do you remember that?
JD: No. Can I point out to your Lordship that in this transcript Ms Barkin is asked if my behaviour changed...
… and she says it didn’t.
QC then she says she did - you were high
Judge - thank you Mr Depp - I have noted that, thank you.
QC let’s go back to the throwing of the bottle. Ms Barkin is asked what prompted Mr Depp to do that? And she says “a fight was going on"
QC between you and Mr Depp? No - between Mr Depp and his friends/assistants? Ms B can’t remember what it was about.
[the bottle didn’t hit anyone]
QC Ms B is asked if she said anything, or did anything or if anyone else did or said anything after the bottle was thrown...
…. Ms B says “No.” to all.
QC Ms B says she can’t remember the reason behind the fight. Ms B is describing an incident when you threw a bottle. It didn’t hit her. There was a fight going on between you and your friends/assistants.
She says nobody did anything after that.
QC is that a fair summary?
JD: yes
QC: that is a characteristic of your assistants. They never step in, they never deal with your bad behaviour, they simply deal with the mess you make.
JD: that’s incorrect
QC did any of them reprimand you about your behaviour during the time..
… you were with Ms B?
JD: reprimand is a very strong word. I don’t think of these people as employees, they are friends, they are more like family, they’d never back away from approaching me if they had concerns on any subject.
Judge wants clarity on this...
Judge: have any of your assistants ever taken issue with your behaviour.
JD: "yes they have taken issue on various subjects, but it’s not a dressing down it’s more to do with for example if I was going through a period where I felt it was necessary to self-medicate…"
QC are we talking about prescription drugs or recreational drugs too?
JD: “If I was drinking to excess at any particular time they would get worried about me… but there was never any screaming or yelling - it wasn’t like I was being spanked. There was a sit down, because...
… they were concerned for myself?”
QC asks about the bottle throwing
JD: I can tell you unequivocably that Ms B’s statement about what happened did not happen.
QC: so she’s a liar
JD: I don’t want to call anyone a liar, but what she said happened, didn’t happen.
QC well let’s go down to what she says about the incident - there’s always an air of violence about him. he’s a yeller - there’s always a lot of yelling. And she’s asked about who you yell at and she says the people who work for you, people who function at a lower capacity to you
QC she then says you’re jealous. Are you jealous?
JD: where does it say jealousy?
QC: [he’s taken to it] “he’s just a jealous man, controlling - where are you going, who are going with, where did you go last night?”
[gives example of a scratch on Ms B’s back which he...
… apparently got very angry about because according to Ms B JD thought that she’d slept with someone else.]
QC so the account she gives is someone who is angry, taking a lot of alcohol and drugs, throwing a missile on one occasion and someone who is very controlling...
… and jealous and someone whose assistants dont’ intervene at all. What do you say abou that?
JD : Untrue. And I would say the description of me on p20 on line 14 where she says I never yelled at her and just yelled at my assistants I can swear that that is the furthest
… description of me and people who I work with. Never would I think of anyone as lesser than me. film is a collaborative effort I don’t believe in the idea of stars and fame and all that. I believe if you speak with anyone I worked with beside Ms B who clearly holds a grudge...
… and speaking on behalf of Ms Heard.
QC she was subpoenaed. Ms B gave a deposition to the court. You say she bears a grudge.
JD: I’d say it’s pretty clear
QC she’s talking about the late 1990s, she’s giving a deposition nearly 20 years later. She’s either bearing a...
… grudge for a very very long time. or she’s telling the truth.
JD: “I’d say she’s bearing a grudge for a very very long time.”

[we move to a new bundle]
We got to a late 90s newspaper report which alleges JD chases of photographers with a piece of wood outside a restuarant. JD is arrested. Alleged to have flipped out and started screaming obscenities when snappers approached him. Publicist says he was provoked.
JD: you’re...
… easily provoked, aren’t you?
JD: it was a little more than that, but essentially yes
QC: they were trying to take your photograph
JD: I was with my heavily pregnant partner and I was with the godparents of the baby and when I paid the bill I was told there were paps outside
… and because I didn’t want the birth of my first born to be someone else’s circus, so I devised a ruse that I would go down to a loading door and distract them, whilst Ms Paradis and my friends would get in the car and would not get photographed with her and the belly and...
… certainly not the photo of me and her and the belly. I didn’t want them to use something so sacred for their benefit.
QC they wanted a photo of you two in a public place and you have told us that you saw this as an invasion of your privacy. Was this proportionate?
Judge intervenes to say this is about a piece of wood.
QC: did you have a piece of wood in your hand?
JD: yes
QC: how did you get hold of it
JD: on the ground there was a plank of wood in the loading bay about 15” long. As the paps were about...
… to open the loading bay door I picked up the wood and as they came in I hit one of them with it.
QC: so you assaulted someone?
JD: I hit them on the hand - there was about 14 or 15 of them
QC: that is an assault unless it is in self-defence
JD: well when you’ve got...
… around 14 or 15 men trying to get in through the door it is quite a threatening situation.
QC: did you think it was appropriate?
[JD starts to explain how upset he was about the invasion or privacy and the aggressiveness of the paps at the time and how rude they were being]
QC being reminded of this incident now, do you think you have a problem with anger management?
JD: No ma’am.

Session ends. Judge reminds him not to talk to anyone about his evidence until it is concluded.

[we rise for lunch]
Apologies. I have been called away and will not be live tweeting from court for the rest of the day.

My colleagues will remain in court filing copy.

Full report on @5_News at 5pm. Thanks for kind words. Sorry if this is disappointing but i have production commitments.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with Nick Wallis

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!