Johnny Depp admits to 'challenges with alcoholism and addiction', but insists Amber Heard abuse claims are false

Johnny Depp's text messages about his alleged drug use were front and centre 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 US. Depp is suing Heard for £40m 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.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Actors Johnny Depp (L) and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are married!The lavish island wedding is still to come, but People reports that The Rum Diary co-stars made it official Tuesday, marrying each other at their home in Los Angeles.People reports that Depp, 51, and Heard, 28, signed the papers to become man and wife in advance of their ceremony this weekend on Depp's private island in the Bahamas.The couple got engaged over the holidays in 2012 after meeting on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
US actor Johnny Depp (L), accompanied by his fiancee US actress and model Amber Heard (R), arrive at Tokyo International Airport on January 26, 2015 for the Japan premiere of his latest movie 'Mortdecai'. The action comedy movie will be screened in Japan from February 6. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
US actress and model Amber Heard, accompanied by her fiance US actor Johnny Depp (unseen), arrives at Tokyo International Airport on January 26, 2015 for the Japan premiere of his latest movie 'Mortdecai'. The action comedy movie will be screened in Japan from February 6. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission of #461785548 with alternate crop.) Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
US actor Johnny Depp (L) jokes with fiancee US actress and model Amber Heard (R) as they arrive for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai' in London on January 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the UK Premiere of 'Mortdecai' at Empire Leicester Square on January 19, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor Johnny Depp and actress Amber Heard arrive at The Art Of Elysium 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: (L-R) Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy Marina Abramovic's HEAVEN Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Honoree Amber Heard (L) and actor Johnny Depp attend the 8th Annual HEAVEN Gala presented by Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 8th Annual HEAVEN Gala presented by Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 26: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are seen upon arrival at Haneda Airport on January 26, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/GC Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 26: Amber Heard is seen upon arrival at Haneda Airport on January 26, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/GC Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Johnny Depp (L) and Amber Heard attend the The Art Of Elysium 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor Johnny Depp and actress Amber Heard arrive at The Art Of Elysium 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are seen at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' on January 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Honoree Amber Heard (L) and actor Johnny Depp attend the 8th Annual HEAVEN Gala presented by Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)
Actor Johnny Depp attends the cast of 'Benny & Joon' present Planet Hollywood with memorabilias from the film on March 22, 1993 at Planet Hollywood, California.
BEVERLY HILLS,CA - MARCH 25: Actor Johnny Depp attends the 'Benny & Joon' Beverly Hills Premiere on March 25, 1993 at the WGA Theatre in Beverly Hills, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 01: Johnny Depp and Guest (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
1988 File Photo of Johnny Depp at the Nosotros Benefit in Los Angeles, California taken May 13, 1988 in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Nicolas Cage & Johnny Depp (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
Actor Johnny Depp attends the 18th Annual Los Angeles Police/Celebrity Golf Tournament on May 14, 1988 at Rancho Park Golf Course in Los Angeles, California.
SHERMAN OAKS,CA - DECEMBER 13: Actor Dustin Nguyen, actor Johnny Depp and actor Peter DeLuise attend the FOX Television Stars Feed the Homeless on December 13, 1987 at Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, California. (photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
POMPANO BEACH, FL - AUGUST 29: Johnny Depp greets fans after performing as part of the Sheila Witkin Memorial Reunion Concert at Club Cinema on August 29, 2008 in Pompano Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Franklin/FilmMagic)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 22: Matthew Perry and Johnny Depp in New York to promote their first network series on the Fox Network in 1987 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
LONDON - JANUARY 10: Johnny Depp attends the Sweeney Todd film premiere held at the Odeon Leicester Square on January 10, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Johnny Depp; Amber Heard attend the The Art Of Elysium 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California.(Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at The Art Of Elysium's 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Honoree Amber Heard (L) and actor Johnny Depp attend the 8th Annual HEAVEN Gala presented by Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 10: Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at The Art Of Elysium's 8th Annual Heaven Gala at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Honoree Amber Heard (L) and actor Johnny Depp attend the 8th Annual HEAVEN Gala presented by Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 10: Actor Johnny Depp (L) presents the Spirit of Elysium award to honoree Amber Heard during the 8th Annual HEAVEN Gala presented by Art of Elysium and Samsung Galaxy at Hangar 8 on January 10, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Art of Elysium)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Actor Johnny Depp (L) and his fiancee actress Amber Heard arrive at the premiere of Relativity Media's '3 Days To Kill' at the Arclight Theatre on February 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 12: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrives at the '3 Days To Kill' at ArcLight Cinemas on February 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Actor Johnny Depp kisses actress Amber Heard as they attend the US premiere of '3 Days To Kill,' at Arclight Cinemas, February 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor Johnny Depp and actress Amber Heard attend the US premiere of '3 Days To Kill,' at Arclight Cinemas, February 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
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"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 UK 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 travelling 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.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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