Johnny Depp’s text messages about his alleged drug use were front and center at a hearing in London on Thursday as the actor gears up for a courtroom showdown with ex-wife, Amber Heard. The Pirates of the Caribbean star, 57, is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), owner of the Sun, over a 2018 article that called him a “wife-beater.” Depp has adamantly denied he abused Heard, 34, during their relationship. A trial date has been set for July 7.
At Thursday’s pretrial hearing, the Sun has asked the High Court to throw out Depp’s libel claim due to “severe deficiencies” in the disclosure of evidence by the actor, Yahoo Entertainment has learned. The judgment is reserved. NGN’s attorney Adam Wolanski QC said Depp “deliberately withheld text messages” that proved he had been in possession of, taking and procuring drugs — like MDMA and cocaine — while in Australia in 2015, and that they recently obtained the messages.
Wolanski argued that “the failure to disclose them in this case is a clear breach” of a previous court order requiring Depp to turn over all documents from separate libel proceedings against Heard in the U.S. Depp is suing the Aquaman star for $50 million for defamation over an op-ed she wrote in the Washington Post about being a victim of domestic abuse.
Among Heard’s abuse claims are that she was attacked during a “three day ordeal” in Australia, when Depp also allegedly cut off his finger and wrote messages to her on the walls in blood. Heard, who is allowed to give evidence for NGN, stated that Depp was “out of his mind,” having taken large amounts of MDMA, cocaine and alcohol. She claims both verbal and physical abuse would happen when Depp was drunk or high on drugs, which was often. He has denied this.
“The Australia drugs texts, on the face of it, demonstrate that [Johnny] was at the very least seeking to obtain such drugs from [his assistant] in late February and early March 2015, and in all probability had obtained and taken them,” Wolanski said, according to PA Media.
In the text messages, Depp purportedly asked his assistant for more “happy pills” and “whitey stuff.” David Sherborne, Depp’s U.K. attorney, didn’t deny the validity of the messages, but argued it had nothing to do with the trial.
Depp provided a statement to the High Court and admitted he’s had “challenges” with drugs and alcohol, but maintained he never abused Heard.
“I have been open about my challenges with alcoholism and addiction throughout my life,” Depp shared. “In fact, I started drinking and taking drugs when I was still a child. I am not in any way embarrassed to say this.”
Depp said his “addiction over the years has been to Roxicodone pills, which are often referred to as ‘Roxies’ and which is one of the brand names for oxycodone which is is an opioid prescription painkiller.”
“I have taken other drugs in my life and I did take other drugs during the course of our relationship but I never suffered with addiction from those drugs. Nor did any drug or alcohol ever make me undertake violence against anyone,” he continued.
Depp also purportedly told the court he and Heard “took drugs together,” including MDMA, magic mushrooms and cocaine, but that “these were not common occurrences.”
The actor’s lawyer said NGN “have lost focus on what this claim is about and what the claimant has admitted — frankly — in his evidence.”
“The full trial of these appalling allegations, published in the Sun newspaper to millions of people, is of enormous importance to Mr. Depp,” Sherborne noted. “It is time for the defendants to defend the allegations they published to millions of readers of their newspaper, and which they have persisted in very publicly throughout two years of litigation.”
Depp is said to be traveling from France to London for next month’s trial, while it’s believed Heard will come from California. The actors met on the set of 2011’s the Rum Diary and wed in 2015. They split in 2016 and Heard went public with her abuse claims.
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