Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: A Hollywood love story that ended in acrimony

The love story of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is one that began with an actress "captivated" by a Hollywood king, but it ended in acrimony with conflicting accounts of what happened played out in a bitter court battle for all the world to see.

Mr Depp, 57, adored by fans for his roles as Captain Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands, said he met the "beautiful" Ms Heard when she auditioned for The Rum Diary, a film adaption of a novel by Mr Depp's friend Hunter S Thompson.

Ms Heard, who is 23 years younger than Mr Depp, said that when they were together "it was like we were the only people in the world".

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in court
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in court
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Johnny Depp arrives at Royal Courts of Justice, Strand on July 24, 2020 in London, England. The Hollywood Actor is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun's executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that referred to him as a "wife beater" during his marriage to actor Amber Heard. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: (EDITORS NOTE: (Image has been converted to black and white) Johnny Depp arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand on July 24, 2020 in London, England. The Hollywood Actor is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun's executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that referred to him as a "wife beater" during his marriage to actor Amber Heard. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
US actress Amber Heard (L) leaves hand-in-hand with her sister Whitney Heard (R) from the High Court after a hearing in the libel trial by her former husband US actor Johnny Depp against News Group Newspapers (NGN) in London, on July 24, 2020. - Depp is suing the publishers of The Sun and the author of the article for the claims that called him a "wife-beater" in April 2018. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Johnny Depp arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand on July 24, 2020 in London, England. The Hollywood Actor is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun's executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that referred to him as a "wife beater" during his marriage to actor Amber Heard. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Amber Heard arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on day fourteen of the hearing on the libel case against The Sun newspaper on 24 July, 2020 in London, England. Today the court will hear from final witnesses for The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers, as Johnny Depp is suing the newspaper over a 2018 article in which he was accused of being violent towards Amber Heard during their marriage. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
US actor Johnny Depp (C) gestures holding a bunch of flowers as he leaves after a hearing in his libel trial against News Group Newspapers (NGN), at the High Court in London, on July 24, 2020. - Depp is suing the publishers of The Sun and the author of the article for the claims that called him a "wife-beater" in April 2018. Johnny Depp's legal team played an anonymous tipster's video at his libel trial Friday aimed at proving ex-wife Amber Heard had a violent streak and once beat up her sister. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Artwork of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand on July 24, 2020 in London, England. The Hollywood actor is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun's executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that referred to him as a "wife beater" during his marriage to actor Amber Heard. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Actor Johnny Depp leaves the High Court in London following a hearing in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
TOPSHOT - US actress Amber Heard (L) leaves hand-in-hand with her sister Whitney Heard (R) from the High Court after a hearing in the libel trial by her former husband US actor Johnny Depp against News Group Newspapers (NGN) in London, on July 24, 2020. - Depp is suing the publishers of The Sun and the author of the article for the claims that called him a "wife-beater" in April 2018. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Actress Amber Heard leaves the High Court in London following a hearing in Johnny Depp's libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of actress Amber Heard being cross examined by Eleanor Laws QC as she gives evidence at the High Court in London during a hearing in Johnny Depp's libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London for a hearing in Johnny Depp's libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London for a hearing in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actor Johnny Depp (centre) leaves the High Court in London following a hearing in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actress Amber Heard (centre right) leaves the High Court in London after giving evidnce at a hearing in Johnny Depp's libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
ile photo dated 16/07/20 of Amber Heard arriving at the High Court in London. The actress is to begin three days of evidence at the High Court as part of Johnny Depp's libel case against The Sun over allegations of domestic violence during the pair's tempestuous relationship.
Actor Johnny Depp gives a thumbs up as he arrives at the High Court in London to give evidence in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actor Johnny Depp leaves the High Court in London after a hearing his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actress Amber Heard leaves the High Court in London after a hearing in Johnny Depp's libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London to give evidence in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London to give evidence in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Johnny Depp departs the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand on July 23, 2020 in London, England. The Hollywood Actor is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun's executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in 2018 that referred to him as a "wife beater" during is marriage to actor Amber Heard. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
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But that honeymoon period was not to last, and what ensued was a tempestuous relationship allegedly marred with drink and drug binges and violence, ultimately resulting in much contradiction and legal wrangling.

Ms Heard, 34, said their romantic relationship began in 2011 when they were promoting The Rum Diary, and recalled how later that year Mr Depp invited her to spend a weekend at the Trump SoHo in New York.

'I was captivated'

She said she booked a room, but that he moved her bags into his room.

"At the time, I thought it was kind of romantic," she said in a witness statement filed as part of Mr Depp's libel case against The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN).

The pair drank red wine together late into that first night, she said, adding: "When Johnny and I were together, it was like we were the only people in the world.

"We loved the same music, and poetry, and art – we would just sit and talk for hours."

She described Mr Depp as "engaging and intellectual and dark and funny", adding: "I was captivated. I had never been with someone like him."

But she said Mr Depp only allowed her to tell a few family members and close friends about their relationship.

"When we were together it was always just the two of us. We would be at his compound, behind gates.

"It was like I was dating a king, with his level of fame and the way he lived," she said.

Johnny Depp court case
Amber Heard arriving at the High Court in London for a hearing in Johnny Depp's libel case against the publishers of The Sun (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Ms Heard alleges that Mr Depp went on to accuse her of having affairs with stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Redmayne and James Franco, and said she had to justify to Mr Depp why she accepted film roles.

She said the situation was "much worse" if there were sex scenes or kissing, and alleged that Mr Depp would "taunt" her and had derogatory nicknames for all of her male co-stars that he considered a "sexual threat".

Mr Depp, meanwhile, alleged that Ms Heard is a calculating, narcissistic sociopath who married him to progress her own career.

He recalled that she was "extremely friendly" at the start, and in his witness statement he said: "She was beautiful, seemingly incredibly interested in me and my work, and I fell for it.

"She bombed me with what appeared to be love.

"It was not until much later that I understood that she had an agenda, namely to get married to me in order to progress her own career and/or to benefit financially, and she knew how to bring it about."

Johnny Depp court case
Johnny Depp arriving at the High Court in London for a hearing in his libel case against the publishers of The Sun (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mr Depp said their time together was "incredibly unhappy", adding: "She is a calculating, diagnosed borderline personality; she is sociopathic; she is a narcissist; and she is completely emotionally dishonest.

"I am now convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking, and then destroy what remained of it."

'Poor old junkie'

But in a text exchange in 2014 with Ms Heard's mother Paige Heard, Mr Depp thanked his then-fiancee for getting him "clean" on a detox trip to his private island in the Bahamas and told her mother that, without the help of her daughter, he "wouldn't be alive".

At the time he said Ms Heard had "risen far above the nightmarish task of taking care of this poor old junkie".

Their wedding day the following year should have been one of the happiest days of their lives, but Ms Heard painted a far from joyous picture saying she "had never felt more lonely in my life".

She said they fought on their wedding night over his drug use and she described him as "even more possessive than usual".

Mr Depp said he thought the discovery of faeces in the bed they shared, found by a cleaner in their LA penthouse on the morning of Ms Heard's 30th birthday, was "a fitting end to the relationship" and said he resolved to divorce her after that happened.

Detailed evidence

While he said he understood that Ms Heard "or possibly one of her friends" defecated in the bed, she branded the suggestion she left faeces in the bed as "absolutely disgusting".

More than 10 years after they first met, Mr Depp and Ms Heard found themselves taking to the witness stand at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, arriving and leaving the famous law complex separately with their teams.

They both gave detailed evidence about 14 allegations of domestic violence which The Sun's publisher NGN relies on in its defence of an April 2018 article that called Mr Depp a "wife beater".

Ms Heard has accused Mr Depp of both verbal and physical abuse throughout their relationship, allegedly punching, slapping, kicking, head-butting and choking her, as well as displaying "extremely controlling and intimidating behaviour".

Mr Depp told the trial he has never abused Ms Heard, or any other woman, in his life.

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