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Amber Heard outside court in London. PA Images
Libel Trial

Johnny Depp joked about punching Amber Heard in the face, court told

Johnny Depp has strongly denied allegations of domestic violence against Amber Heard.

LAST UPDATE | 24 Jul 2020

JOHNNY DEPP JOKED about punching Amber Heard in the face after their wedding ceremony in the Bahamas, a friend of the actress has alleged.

iO Tillett Wright, who was Heard’s best man in February 2015, claimed he already knew Depp was “hitting” her when the alleged comment was made.

In a written witness statement submitted in the Hollywood actor’s libel trial against The Sun newspaper, Tillett Wright said: “The first thing Johnny said to me after the ceremony, as we walked to the reception, was ‘now I can punch her in the face and no-one can do anything about it’.

“He probably intended it as a joke, but it is only a joke if it’s not real – and by then I knew he was hitting her.”

Tillett Wright, who describes himself as an author, photographer, TV host and activist, said he became one of Heard’s “closest friends” after they met in 2011.

In his statement, Tillett Wright said it was in late 2013 or early 2014 that he understood Depp was allegedly “physically violent” towards Heard.

He said he had told Heard in 2015 not to go on holiday to the Bahamas with Depp for Christmas, after hearing from her that the Pirates Of The Caribbean star had allegedly “beat her up badly” in December that year.

Depp has strongly denied allegations of domestic violence against Heard.

johnny-depp-court-case Depp leaving the High Court in London today. Dominic Lipinski / PA Dominic Lipinski / PA / PA

“I told her – ‘you cannot go’ – he might kill you’,” Tillett Wright said in his statement.

He said he told Heard that Depp “loved and would not hurt her” but “he was not in control of his faculties”.

Tillett Wright explained Heard was “convinced” to go on the trip, with her telling him “I’m too weak-willed”.

“You’re out of you f****** mind,” Tillett Wright said he replied, explaining he was “really worried” about her, with no police on the private island and the nearest help a plane ride away.

“She said, basically, ‘I appreciate your concern but I’m going to give him one more chance’,” Tillett Wright said in his statement.

“It was as if she was suffering from Stockholm syndrome.”

‘Faecal phobic’

In his statement, Tillett Wright gave his account of the “defecation incident”, in which faeces was found in Depp and Heard’s bed following her birthday party in April 2016.

He claimed Heard told him “Johnny believes that you and I together shit on his pillow on our way to Palm Springs”.

Tillett Wright said the allegation was “absurd” and that he had not been at the birthday celebration.

“It was just so ridiculous. First, Amber is faecal phobic: this was just not a prank that she would ever pull,” he said.

He added that the “rational explanation” for the incident was it was Depp and Heard’s dog Boo, who has “faulty bowels”.

Tillett Wright said he had “hit it off immediately” with Depp when they were introduced in 2013, and he described the Hollywood actor as “intelligent” and “charming”.

He claimed Depp said they had “an intense, kindred spirit connection”, with Tillett Wright adding in his statement that he referred to Depp “as my brother”.

He said he would sometimes “platonically” share a bed with Heard or Depp.

Tillett Wright’s statement concluded: “It was heartbreaking to learn about Johnny’s violence towards Amber.

“I loved Johnny and I didn’t want to believe it either until I saw the wreckage – that this sometimes gentle, kind and protective person could be capable of violence.”

He claimed: “Johnny destroyed their world by being an addict.”

Tillett Wright said Heard had “been through hell” before petitioning for divorce, and alleged there had been “a campaign of victim-blaming run against her by Johnny’s people”.

His statement continued: “Every battered woman watching what Amber has gone through has the message reinforced that if they come forward, they won’t be believed and will be blamed. This has to stop.”

johnny-depp-court-case Heard (centre left) leaving the High Court in London with her lawyer Jen Robinson (left) and her sister Whitney Henriquez (front) Dominic Lipinski / PA Dominic Lipinski / PA / PA

Earlier today, Heard’s acting coach to the court that the actress was a “nervous wreck” about choosing film roles because she was “so worried” about Johnny Depp’s reaction. 

Kristina Sexton alleged the Depp “dictated” his ex-wife’s work and told her not to take certain jobs because he did not want her doing “whore parts”.

In a written witness statement, Sexton also claimed the actor did not want Heard modelling, saying it made her look like a “cheap whore”.

She said she first met the actress in 2009 and the pair became friends “quite quickly”, bonding about books and “the fact we are both nerds”.

Sexton claimed: “The best I can describe it is that she (Heard) became very nervous about her acting – whether it was for a part he wanted her to do or for one he didn’t want her to do, her work was dictated by Johnny.

“For example, she auditioned for the role of Queenie in Fantastic Beasts.

“It was strange to me that she was interested in doing a Harry Potter film because it was not the sort of film that had previously been of interest to her. She was very nervous about it, over-thinking it in ways I had not seen her do before, and kept saying ‘no, we have to get this right’.

“It wasn’t until later that I figured out why she was so worried about getting it right: because he (Depp) was in it and she later told me that he wanted her to be in it.

“I could usually tell if it was something he wanted her to be involved in because she became a nervous wreck about getting it right.

“But if he didn’t want her to be involved, she was a nervous wreck for a different reason: because she was so worried about his reaction.”

Audition tapes

Sexton claimed she and Heard would put an audition on tape for roles and Depp would “put a stop to it if he didn’t deem it worthy”.

“I remember her telling me that they had ‘confrontations’ about her choice of parts, after which she would decide not to submit her tape,” Sexton alleged.

“She told me he was particularly concerned about her taking roles involving sexuality and/or sex scenes.”

She went on to claim that Depp did not want Heard doing “any role that was overtly sexual”.

Her statement says: “When we would discuss upcoming opportunities and possible roles, she started saying things like, ‘he doesn’t want his woman doing this film’ and he doesn’t want ‘his woman doing sex scenes’.”

Sexton alleged: “She started telling me that he was accusing everyone of being in love with her and accusing her of wielding her sexuality all the time.

“She also told me that he was constantly upset about her ex-partners. She told me he was worried about her having affairs with co-stars.

“She started telling me that she couldn’t do certain roles because he didn’t want her doing ‘whore parts’.”

Sexton said that at one point Heard was on billboards as the face of a Guess campaign, alleging Heard told her Depp had said she (Heard) “shouldn’t be doing stuff like that anymore because it made her look like a ‘cheap whore’”.

The acting coach claimed Heard stopped modelling after this, turning down the next Guess campaign “even though it was a lot of money for her”.

Sexton went on to say that Heard had “previously been very comfortable with her sexuality and how she looked”, but when she and the actress first looked at doing a film called London Fields in 2013, Heard “seemed stressed about the nudity in the film”.

“It became impossible for us to work on this at home together – Johnny was angry about her doing this part and so it was always ‘we can’t do it now’ or she would call me crying about him shouting at her about it,” Sexton alleged.

In her statement, Sexton also said she saw Heard becoming “stressed on set about figuring out ways to avoid upsetting Johnny” and that the actress wanted her on set during sex scenes with actor Liam Hemsworth for the 2013 film Paranoia “so that she (Heard) had a witness for Johnny to be able to confirm that nothing went on other than strict work”.

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