Johnny Depp wanted to destroy Amber Heard, according to the court

Johnny Depp was an “obsessed ex-husband out for revenge,” a court heard when the actor’s libel lawsuit against Amber Heard in the US state launched.

Awyers on behalf of the Aquaman actress said Mr Depp tried to “destroy” her and that the situation was “disturbing but not surprising”.

The 58-year-old actor is suing actress Heard, his former partner, for defamation over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post in which she discussed her experiences of domestic violence.

Mr Depp’s lawyers say the article falsely implied that Ms Heard, 35, was physically and sexually abused by him when they were married.

He says the allegations have made it difficult for him to get the kind of roles he used to have and filed the $50million (£38.2million) lawsuit in 2019.


Amber Heard and Johnny Depp at the Black Mass premiere during the 59th BFI London Film Festival (Jonathan Brady/PA)

But Benjamin Rottenborn, who is representing Ms Heard, said the actor filed the lawsuit “instead of taking responsibility for his own actions” and planned to turn the trial into a “soap opera”.

“Amber Heard never wanted to show the public who Johnny Depp was, but that will come out,” he said during his opening statement.

“He wanted to make her life miserable, he wanted to ruin her life.

“He wanted to destroy her.

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“And he did.

“I wish I could say it’s surprising.

“It’s disturbing, but not surprising.”

“He was an obsessed ex-husband out for revenge … when his career was in freefall and her career was ending.”

Mr Rottenborn continued: “It’s quite ironic that a piece that briefly talked about Amber moving on from Johnny Depp … is the means by which he stopped her from moving on rather than taking responsibility for his own actions take.”


Actress Amber Heard, alongside her sister Whitney Henriquez (Victoria Jones/PA)

Elaine Bredehoft, also representing Ms Heard, detailed a series of alleged abusive incidents sparked by “devastating” drug and alcohol problems.

These included a “drug rush” with his “good friend” Marilyn Manson and a “blackout” in Australia that Ms Heard had previously described as a “three-day hostage situation”.

However, Mr Depp’s lawyers argued that Ms Heard’s allegations were false and that the actress was “preparing to give the performance of her life” during the trial.

Camille Vasquez, representing Mr Depp, said the actor would “go to his grave knowing there will always be people who believe he abused a woman”.

“Ms. Heard took on the role of her life, she couldn’t back down,” she said.

“She’s been living and breathing that lie for years.

“She’s preparing to give the performance of her life in the process.”

Scores of people, mostly fans of Mr Depp, crowded the courtroom on Tuesday as the case officially opened, where both actors are due to attend the trial in person and testify.


Actor Johnny Depp in the courtroom of Fairfax County Circuit Court (Brendan Smialowski/AP)

Mr Depp wore a navy suit and black shirt with a cream tie, while Ms Heard wore a gray blazer and wore her hair in a low bun.

Ms. Heard’s Washington Post article was titled, “I’ve spoken out against sexual violence — and faced the wrath of our culture.”

“That needs to change.”

Mr Depp was not mentioned by name.

The case is being brought in Virginia and not in California, where the actors live, because the Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers in Fairfax County.

Other high-profile celebrities are listed as witnesses in the trial, including actors James Franco and Paul Bettany, and Tesla founder Elon Musk. Johnny Depp wanted to destroy Amber Heard, according to the court

Fry Electronics Team

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