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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
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Cite as:  EWHC 2911 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| John Christopher Depp II
|- and -
|(1) News Group Newspapers Ltd.
(2) Dan Wootton
Sasha Wass QC, Adam Wolanski QC and Clara Hamer (instructed by Simons Muirhead and Burton) for the Defendants
Hearing dates: 7th-10th July 2020; 13th-17th July 2020; 20-24th July 2020; 27th-28th July 2020
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Nicol :
'The Claimant was guilty, on overwhelming evidence, of serious domestic violence against his then wife, causing significant injury and leading to her fearing for her life, for which the Claimant was constrained to pay no less than £5 million to compensate her, and which resulted in him being subjected to a continuing restraining order; and for that reason is not fit to work in the film industry.'
i) The seriousness of the allegations;
ii) The huge extent of publication;
iii) The effect of accusations of violence against women in the context of the widely known #Me Too / Time's Up movements;
iv) The inclusion of quotes or purported quotes from women described as victims of Harvey Weinstein (the subject of high profile and serious criminal allegations);
v) The very likely intended effect of the articles was to finish the Claimant's career.
i) The restraining order referred to in the articles was only a temporary restraining order (a 'TRO') and Ms Heard's application for Restraining Orders had been dismissed with prejudice on 16th August 2016, as the Defendants knew.
ii) The articles failed to include any denials by the Claimant of Ms Heard's allegations, although the Defendants were aware of them.
iii) The Defendants had previously reported that the police had attended the home of the Claimant and Ms Heard on 21st May  but had concluded that no crime had been committed. That matter had been omitted from the articles which instead gave a 'one-sided and unfair account' of the evidence.
iv) The articles had misquoted and/or taken out of context remarks by Katherine Kendall, a #Me Too/Time's Up victim, and failed to correct the website article when Ms Kendall objected to being misquoted.
'the Claimant beat his wife Amber Heard causing her to suffer significant injury and on occasion leading to her fearing for her life.'
'The Claimant and Ms Heard began living together in or about 2012 and married on 3 February 2015. They separated on or around 22 May 2016. Throughout their relationship the Claimant was controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.'
i) Within 48 hours the Claimant had to make a witness statement personally confirming that he had provided all the Virginia libel documents to Schillings.
ii) Within 72 hours of (i) Schillings were required to confirm that they had conducted a review of the Virginia libel action documents to ascertain which of them fell within CPR r.31.6.
iii) Within the same time any of the Virginia libel action documents which had not so far been disclosed, but which came within r.31.6, were to be disclosed.
The statutory defence of truth
'(1) It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.'
'(2) Subsection (3) applies in an action for defamation if the statement complained of conveys two or more distinct imputations.
(3) If one or more of the imputations is not shown to be substantially true, the defence under this section does not fail if, having regard to the imputations which are shown to be substantially true, the imputations which are not shown to be substantially true do not seriously harm the claimant's reputation.'
The defence of truth: the burden and standard of proof
'a court is satisfied an event occurred if the court considers, on the evidence, the occurrence of the event was more likely than not.'
'Although there is a single civil standard of proof on the balance of probabilities, it is flexible in its application. In particular, the more serious the allegation or the more serious the consequences if the allegation is proved, the stronger must be the evidence before a court will find the allegation proved on the balance of probabilities. Thus the flexibility of the standard lies not in any adjustment to the degree of probability required for an allegation to be proved (such that a more serious allegation has to be proved to a higher degree of probability), but in the strength or quality of the evidence that will in practice be required for an allegation to be proved on the balance of probabilities.' [emphasis in the original]
'Where the allegation is one of serious criminality (as here) clear evidence is required.'
The defence of truth: the Particulars on which the Defendants rely and the Claimant's reply
'The Claimant and Ms Heard began living together in or about 2012 and married on 3 February 2015. They separated on or around 22 May 2016. Throughout their relationship the Claimant was controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.'
'2.1 The first and second sentences of paragraph 8a are admitted.
2.1A In relation to the incidents alleged in the Re-Amended Defence, it is the Claimant's case that he has never hit or committed any acts of physical violence against Ms Heard. He has never done more than grab her arms to prevent her punching him in the face.'
In what follows I have numbered the incidents and sometimes included a short identifier for ease of reference.
Incident 1: early 2013 Los Angeles
'In early 2013 Ms Heard and the Claimant were in Los Angeles when he first hit her. The Claimant had, until that point in their relationship, been sober. It subsequently became apparent to Ms Heard that he had probably started drinking and using drugs again around this time. During a conversation about a tattoo, Ms Heard laughed at something the Claimant had said as she thought he had made a joke. The Claimant responded by repeatedly slapping Ms Heard across the face. The third hit knocked Ms Heard to the floor. After hitting her, the Claimant cried, apologised and tried to explain his behaviour, saying he snaps sometimes into something he called "the monster" and promised he would not do it again.'
Save that the Claimant does not recall ever having a conversation with Ms Heard about a tattoo and is therefore unable to admit or deny whether the conversation as described therein took place, paragraph 8a.1 is denied. It is expressly denied that the Claimant slapped or hit Ms Heard. In early 2013 (as the Defendants now advance their case) the Claimant confined himself to drinking wine and using marijuana (having been sober from around December 2011 to August 2012).'
Incident 2: The painting incident 8th March 2013 Los Angeles
'On or around 8 March 2013, Ms Heard and the Claimant were in her home in Los Angeles. The Claimant was getting drunk and high on drugs and was angry that Ms Heard had hung up a painting given to her by someone she had formerly dated. At one point during this incident, which went on overnight and into the following day, the Claimant tried to set fire to the painting. The Claimant hit Ms Heard so hard that blood from her lip ended up on the wall. At various points the Claimant grabbed Ms Heard hard, shook her and shoved her into a wall. Someone asked Ms Heard's sister to come over to try to intervene with the Claimant, which she did The Claimant subsequently sent Ms Heard a text message referring to that evening as a 'disco bloodbath' and a 'hideous moment'.
'2.2B.1 The first sentence is not admitted because the Claimant does not recall whether he was at Ms Heard's home on the 8 March 2013.
2.2B.2 The second sentence is denied. The signed painting by Ms Heard's former wife, Tasya Van Ree, was hanging by Ms Heard's bed. On a date the Claimant cannot now recall the Claimant asked Ms Heard, as a courtesy, if she would move the painting somewhere else.
2.2B.3 The third sentence is denied. The Claimant accepts that Ms Heard's extreme reaction to his request did continue into the following day. The Claimant did not attempt to set fire to the painting, either on the morning after the alleged incident or at all.
2.B.4 The fourth and fifth sentences are denied. The Claimant did not hit Ms Heard at all, nor did he grab, shake or shove her into a wall.
2.2B.5 The sixth sentence is not admitted; the Claimant does not recall Ms Heard's sister being asked to come over.
2.2B.6 As to the seventh sentence: it is admitted that the Claimant had an exchange of texts with Ms Heard on 12 March 2013 containing the words quoted therein. The words were used to placate Ms Heard; it is denied that the texts relate to any alleged physical abuse of Ms Heard (which is denied).'
Incident 3: June 2013 Hicksville
'In June 2013, Ms Heard and the Claimant were in Hicksville, USA with a group including Raquel Rose Pennington, Kristina Sexton, Kelly Sue, Nathan Holmes, and Ms Heard's sister. The Claimant was taking drugs. When Kelly Sue hugged or touched Ms Heard, the Claimant became enraged and jealous, grabbed Kelly Sue's wrist, and threatened and hurt her. The Claimant threw glasses at Ms Heard, smashed glass, ripped Ms Heard's dress, and caused damage to the cabin in which they were staying. Further details of this incident are contained in the Confidential Schedule to the Re-Amended Defence.'
'2.2.B.a As to paragraph 8.a.2.A, it is admitted that the Claimant was in Hicksville in or around June 2013, with Ms Heard and some of her friends. It is further admitted that the Claimant took mushrooms and alcohol. Ms Heard and her friends also took mushrooms and alcohol, along with MDMA. The Claimant did not know the girl the Defendants refer to as being called Kelly-Sue. It is admitted that this girl was touching Ms Heard, but it was in an extremely sexual manner. It is denied that the Claimant became enraged, grabbed her wrist, threatened or hurt her in any way.
2.2B.b The Claimant did speak with this girl, to explain that while he understood that she was high, she should stop touching Ms Heard in such a sexual manner. It is denied that the Claimant threw or smashed glasses, or ripped Ms Heard's dress. The Claimant did knock a wall sconce with his hand in the cabin, following an extended barrage of loud and nasty verbal abuse by Ms Heard. The Claimant approached the person managing the Hicksville site the following morning to address replacing the wall sconce, which was arranged without issue. The Claimant's position as to the new alleged incidents raised in the Confidential Schedule to the Re-Amended Defence are contained in the Confidential Schedule to this Re-Amended Reply.'
Incident 4: May 2014 incident on private plane flying from Boston to Los Angeles
'a.3 On or about 24 May 2014, Ms Heard and the Claimant were travelling on a private aeroplane from Boston to Los Angeles. After drinking heavily, the Claimant threw objects at Ms Heard causing her to retreat to a different seat. The Claimant then provocatively pushed a chair at her as she walked by, yelled at her, and taunted her. The Claimant slapped Ms Heard in the face. When Ms Heard stood up, the Claimant kicked her in the back, causing her to fall over. The Claimant threw his boot at her while she was on the ground. The Claimant continued to scream obscenities until he went into the bathroom of the aeroplane and passed out.
a.4 Shortly afterwards, on May 25, the Claimant was apologetic and appalled at his behaviour during the flight, and cried when his assistant told him he had kicked Ms Heard. He sent Ms Heard a text message admitting, "Once again, I find myself in a place of shame and regret. Of course, I am sorry I will never do it again My illness somehow crept up and grabbed me I feel so bad for letting you down."'
'2.2.C Save that the first sentence is admitted, paragraph 8a.3 is denied. Specifically it is denied that the Claimant behaved in any of the ways alleged during the flight on 24 May 2014. The Claimant and Ms Heard were seated at the central table in the cabin. As the Claimant drew sketches in his notebook, Ms Heard began to harangue him. This quickly progressed to the continuous verbal barrage on her part, with which the Claimant did not engage but continued sketching. Ms Heard stood up. In the hope of calming her, the Claimant stretched his leg out to playfully tap her on the bottom with his foot, but did not reach her. Ms Heard took great offence at this harmless act, and continued to verbally berate the Claimant. It is denied that the Claimant slapped Ms Heard in the face or at all. Eventually, Stephen Deuters and Jerry Judge intervened to calm Ms Heard down, and the flight continued to LA without incident. The Claimant took himself to the plane's bathroom, locked the door and slept on the floor with a pillow.
2.2.D The first sentence of paragraph 8a.4 is denied: paragraph 2.2C above is repeated. It is admitted that Stephen Deuters had a text exchange with Ms Heard on 25 May 2014 in which Mr Deuters said that the Claimant had cried when he had been told that he "kicked" Ms Heard. However, Mr Deuters only used this word because it was a word Ms Heard had used and he wished to mollify her as was the Claimant's specific instruction. It was not because the Claimant had in fact "kicked" Ms Heard. As to the second sentence: it is admitted that the Claimant sent Ms Heard a text message containing the words quoted therein, but it is denied that the said text amounted to an admission that the Claimant had behaved in the way alleged.'
Incident 5: Bahamas August 2014
'On or around 17 August 2014 Ms Heard and the Claimant were in the Bahamas on a trip to try to help the Claimant reduce his dependency on prescription painkillers and other drugs. During this trip the Claimant had several manic episodes requiring medical attention, as a result of which Dr David Kipper, the Claimant's private doctor, was flown in to help assist. The Claimant became angry and kicked and pushed Ms Heard to the ground, slapped her with an open hand, and grabbed her by the hair. During this attack, the Claimant kicked a door so hard that it splintered.'
'The first sentence of paragraph a.5 is admitted save that the purpose of the trip was for the Claimant to cure his dependence on painkillers and not other drugs. The second sentence is denied. Ms Heard was only present because she had insisted on going on the trip and taking the place of Nathan, the Claimant's assistant. The Claimant required 24 hour medical care and was frequently sedated because of the physically painful process of withdrawal. The Claimant was being treated by a nurse, Debbie Lloyd, but Ms Heard intervened and withheld medicine from the Claimant causing him to have spasms and withdrawals. As a result, Dr David Kipper was flown in to attend to the Claimant and they returned earlier to Los Angeles than planned. The Claimant then asked Ms Heard to leave him alone and paid for a suite for her and her friends at the Beverley Hills Hotel for five days so he could recover undisturbed. The third and fourth sentences are denied; the Claimant did not assault Ms Heard, nor did he kick or splinter a door. The photograph that Ms. Heard presented, which was purported to be a damaged door from the property in the Bahamas is in fact a door at one of the Claimant's properties in Los Angeles.'
Incident 6: Los Angeles December 2014
'In Los Angeles on 17 December 2014, after the Claimant had been violent towards Ms Heard the Claimant sent Ms Heard text messages apologizing for his behaviour and calling himself a "fucking savage" and a "lunatic".'
'As to paragraph 8a.6 without prejudice to the fact that the Defendants have failed to provide any particulars of the alleged violence, it is denied that the Claimant had been violent towards Ms Heard on 17 December 2014 or that the text messages sent on that date were an apology for any alleged violence on the part of the Claimant.'
Incident 7: Tokyo January 2015
'On or around 25 January 2015 Ms Heard and the Claimant were in a hotel room in Tokyo. The Claimant shoved Ms Heard, slapped her, and grabbed her by her hair. When she tried to stand up, the Claimant muscled her back to the floor. He stood over her and yelled and she cried on the floor.'
'Save that it is admitted that the Claimant and Ms Heard were in Tokyo on or around 25 January 2015, paragraph 8a.7 is denied.'
Incident 8: March 2015 Australia
'a.8 On or around 3 March 2015 Ms Heard and the Claimant were in Australia. The Claimant subjected Ms Heard to a three-day ordeal of physical assault which left her with injuries including a broken lip, swollen nose, and cuts all over her body. On the first day, there was an argument about the Claimant's drug use after the Claimant took out a bag of MDMA (ecstasy) and Ms Heard confronted him about his drug-taking. The Claimant argued that MDMA was not on his "not allowed" list, which Ms Heard disputed. The Claimant pushed Ms Heard, slapped her, and shoved her to the ground and slapped her again before she retreated to a locked bedroom. The Claimant stayed up all night taking around eight MDMA (ecstasy) pills and drinking alcohol.
a.9 The following morning, the Claimant became physically abusive towards Ms Heard the Claimant swallowed more pills and chased them down with liquor. Ms Heard, concerned about the interaction of the various drugs the Claimant was taking, asked him what else he had taken that day. The Claimant grabbed Ms Heard by the neck and shoved her against the fridge. He said he could crush her neck and told her how easy it would be to do so. The Claimant held Ms Heard by the hair and hit and slapped her in the face. The Claimant screamed at her and grabbed her by the wrist as she tried to leave the room, then violently dropped it and said words to the effect of "leave anyway". She left the room. The Claimant barged in and attacked Ms Heard. During the course of the day, the Claimant hit Ms Heard multiple times, shoved and pushed her to the ground, choked her, and spat in her face. The Claimant then handed her a liquor bottle that he was drinking from and asked her, "What are you going to do?" When Ms Heard threw the bottle on the floor, the Claimant responded by throwing unopened glass bottles at her.
a.10 That night, the Claimant shoved Ms Heard into a ping pong table, threw bottles through window panels of a glass door, then grabbed Ms Heard and tore off her nightgown. The Claimant grabbed Ms Heard by her neck and choked her against the refrigerator in the kitchen. The Claimant mocked her, touched and grabbed her by her breasts, and repeatedly shoved her up against the refrigerator. The Claimant then grabbed Ms Heard by the neck and collarbone, slammed her against the countertop, and strangled her. The Claimant shook and hit Ms Heard and banged her head against the countertop. Ms Heard's arms and feet were slashed by the broken glass on the kitchen countertop and floor. She was scared for her life and told the Claimant, "You are hurting and cutting me". The Claimant ignored her and continued to hit her with the back of one closed hand. At one point the Claimant slammed a hard plastic telephone against a wall with his hand until it smashed. Further details of this incident are contained in the Confidential Schedule to the Re-Amended Defence. The following morning, Ms Heard saw that the Claimant had severely injured his finger, cutting off the tip and believed the injury had probably occurred while the Claimant was smashing the telephone. Once Ms Heard had managed to escape from the Claimant, she barricaded herself in a bedroom.
a.11 The following day, Ms Heard found numerous messages that the Claimant had written to her around the house, on the walls, and on her clothes, written in a combination of oil paint and the blood from his finger. The Claimant also urinated all over the house in an attempt to write messages.'
There are further allegations in the Confidential Schedule to the RAD.
'2.2H Save that it is admitted that the Claimant and Ms Heard were both in Australia in March 2015, paragraph 8a.8, 8a.9 and 8a.10 are denied. There was only the one incident referred to below:
2.2H.1 Immediately before 8 March 2015, Ms Heard had a conversation with the Claimant's then lawyers, Bloom Hergott who explained the Claimant's intention to enter into a post-nuptial agreement. On 8 March 2015 this caused Ms Heard to go into a prolonged and extreme rage. The Claimant had been retreating from Ms Heard throughout the day, seeking refuge in locked bathrooms in the house. Ultimately, the Claimant, who had not had a drink in over a year, sought to avoid Ms Heard by going to the downstairs bar in the house. She followed him, screaming at him abusively. The Claimant did not grab or hurt Ms Heard in any way. He did not threaten her, hold her by the hair or the neck, slap her or otherwise attack her in any of the ways described in paragraphs 8.a.8 - 8.a.10. The Claimant simply sought to remove himself to other parts of the house consistently throughout the day.
2.2H.2 The Claimant poured himself a number of glasses of vodka and drank them. Ms Heard took a bottle and threw it at the Claimant's head, narrowly missing him. The bottle flew past his head, smashing into the mirror and bottles behind him. The Claimant poured and had another drink of vodka. Ms Heard took another bottle and threw it at the Claimant. The Claimant's hand was resting on the marble top of the bar, the bottle smashed against his finger, severing the top of his finger and fracturing multiple bones in it. Ms Heard then put a cigarette out on the Claimant's right cheek.
2.2H.3 The Claimant was first taken to the home of one of his security guards, Malcolm Connelly. The Claimant's injury to his finger was assessed and considered to be too serious to be treated there. The Claimant was then taken promptly to hospital for treatment to his hand no later than 4.30pm on 8 March 2015, according to the hospital records.
2.2H.4 For the avoidance of doubt, it is expressly denied that the Claimant took MDMA, that Ms Heard found a bag of MDMA pills or that there was any conversation about MDMA.
2.2H.5 The further incidents set out in the Defendant's Confidential Schedule to the Re-Amended Defence are responded to in the Confidential Schedule to this Re-Amended Reply.
2.2I As to paragraph 8a.11: it is admitted that the Claimant wrote on a mirror and walls in blood and oil paint. The Claimant was in shock. It is denied that the Claimant urinated over the house as alleged.'
Incident 9: Los Angeles March 2015 (the staircase incident)
'In March 2015, Ms Heard, her sister and the Claimant were in Los Angeles. After becoming enraged, the Claimant began to destroy personal property in the house, including Ms Heard's belongings in her closet. The Claimant also hit Ms Heard hard and repeatedly. When the Claimant then lunged to hit Ms Heard again, Ms Heard's sister placed herself between them to try to interrupt the fight. The Claimant then turned his attention to Ms Heard's sister, who was standing at the top of a flight of stairs. The Claimant reached out and shoved Ms Heard's sister, causing Ms Heard to believe that the Claimant was about to push her sister down the stairs. The Claimant grabbed Ms Heard by the hair with one hand and hit her repeatedly in the head with the other hand.'
'Paragraph 8a.12 is denied. It is denied that the Claimant destroyed the personal property as alleged. It is further denied that the Claimant was violent in any way towards Ms Heard or her sister. The Claimant was attempting to leave the house. Ms Heard tried to prevent him, berating him in a rage. The Claimant summoned help from Debbie Lloyd and Travis McGivern (a security guard) prompting them to arrive on the scene to intervene. Ms Heard threw a can of Red Bull at the Claimant, striking him in the back. Ms Heard then threw another object at him, which McGivern blocked from hitting him. Mr McGivern tried to protect the Claimant by standing between him and Ms Heard, but she lunged at him, punching him in the face with a closed fist causing him visible swelling and injury. The Claimant did not retaliate but simply left the premises.'
Incident 10: Southeast Asia August 2015
'In August 2015, Ms Heard and the Claimant were travelling on the Eastern Oriental train in Southeast Asia. The Claimant picked a fight with Ms Heard, hit her, and pushed her against a wall by grasping her throat and holding her there, causing her to fear for her life.'
'Save that it is admitted that the Claimant and Ms Heard travelled on the Eastern Oriental train in August 2015, paragraph 8a.13 is denied.'
Incident 11: Los Angeles November 2015
'On 26 November 2015, Ms Heard and the Claimant were in Los Angeles. The Claimant ripped her shirt and threw her around the room. He threw a wine glass and a heavy glass decanter at her, which missed her. The Claimant also pushed Ms Heard, causing her to fall over the back of a lounge chair and hit her head against a brick wall which resulted in a lump on the back of her head and a split lip.'
'Save that it is admitted that the Claimant and Ms Heard were in Los Angeles on 26 November 2015 for Thanksgiving, paragraph 8a.14 is denied.'
Incident 12: Los Angeles December 2015
'a.15 On 15 December 2015, Ms Heard and the Claimant were in their penthouse in Los Angeles. The Claimant threw another decanter at her, knocked items around the room and punched the wall. He slapped her hard, grabbed her by her hair, and dragged her through the apartment. In the process, the Claimant pulled large chunks of hair and scalp out of Ms Heard's head.
a.16 Ms Heard tried to escape the violence by going upstairs. The Claimant followed Ms Heard, hit her in the back of her head, again grabbed her by her hair, then dragged her by her hair up the last few steps. At the top of the stairs, the Claimant shoved her twice, which made her fear that she would fall. Ms Heard told the Claimant that he had broken her wrist in an attempt to get him to stop.
a.17 The Claimant repeatedly hit Ms Heard, knocking her to the floor. Each time Ms Heard was knocked down, she stood back up. The Claimant responded by yelling, "Oh, you think you're a fucking tough guy?" He then head-butted her in her face, bashing her nose, which immediately began bleeding and caused her searing pain. When a few days later, on 20 December 2015, Ms Heard said to the Claimant, "You head-butted me", he responded, "I just gave you a little knock with my head". The Claimant then said what a "fuck up" he was and left the room. Later during the evening of 15 December 2015, Ms Heard told the Claimant that she wanted to leave him, and that she would call the police if he ever touched her again. When she then began to walk away towards the guest apartment, the Claimant pushed her. He then grabbed her and pulled her from one room to the next, gripping her by her hair.
a.18 By the time the Claimant had dragged Ms Heard into the upstairs office, she had told him she was leaving him as she could not put up with his behaviour any longer. The Claimant reacted by grabbing Ms Heard by her throat, pushing her down to the ground, and punching her in the back of her head. The Claimant grabbed Ms Heard by her hair, slapped her in the face, and screamed at her, "I fucking will kill you I'll fucking kill you, you hear me?" or similar words.
a.19 The fight continued onto a bed. The Claimant got on top of Ms Heard and placed his knee on her back and the other foot on the bedframe while repeatedly punching her in her head. The Claimant screamed, "I fucking hate you" over and over again. The bedframe splintered under the weight of the pressure of the Claimant's boot. The Claimant hit Ms Heard with his closed fists, pushed her face into the mattress, and pulled out chunks of her hair. Ms Heard screamed and feared for her life. She suffered severe headaches and other pain for at least a week after this incident.
a.20 During this incident, the Claimant also wrote a message on the kitchen countertop in gold pen that said, "Why be a fraud? All is such bullshit".'
'Save that the first sentence is admitted, paragraph 8a.15 and paragraphs 8a.16, 8a.17, 8a.18 and 8.a.19 and 8.a.20 are denied. Ms Heard fabricated the alleged violence and, as part of that pretence, falsely claimed that the blonde hair on the floor was her hair that had been pulled out by the Claimant. The only violence committed on that date was by Ms Heard; she violently attacked the Claimant, leaving him with scratches and swelling around his face. The day after the alleged incident, Ms Heard had no visible injuries on her face.'
Incident 13: Birthday celebration Los Angeles 21st April 2016
'8.b On 21 April 2016 Ms Heard had a birthday celebration with friends at the couple's property at 849 South Broadway, Los Angeles ("the South Broadway apartment"). The Claimant arrived, drunk and high on drugs. After the guests had left the Claimant and Ms Heard had a conversation about his absence from the celebration. This deteriorated into an argument. The Claimant threw a magnum sized bottle of champagne at Ms Heard which missed and hit a wall and threw a glass of wine over Ms Heard, which smashed.
8.c The Claimant then grabbed Ms Heard by the shoulders, pushed her onto a bed, and blocked the bedroom door when she tried to leave. The Claimant then grabbed Ms Heard by the hair and violently shoved her to the floor. The Claimant screamed at and threatened Ms Heard, taunting her to stand up and saying "You really think you're that tough, huh? Tough guy" and similar words. When she stood up, the Claimant shoved her down again. Ms Heard eventually escaped from the bedroom and walked through the office, at which point the Claimant pushed Ms Heard and grabbed her by the back of her hair. Ms Heard then returned to the bedroom and the Claimant pushed her again. When Ms Heard lifted her arms to defend herself, the Claimant pushed them down and bumped his chest into hers, causing her to fall back onto the bed. Ms Heard tried to walk past the Claimant to leave the bedroom, but he pushed her to the floor. After this he stormed out of the apartment, tossing aside and smashing items as he left. The Claimant left Ms Heard a note which said, "Happy Fucking Birthday".'
2.3 'The first sentence of paragraph 8b is admitted.
2.4 Save that it is admitted and averred that the Claimant arrived at the party just under two hours late, having been at a meeting with his recently hired business manager and his accountants, the second sentence of paragraph 8b is denied. Earlier that day, the Claimant had told Ms Heard about this important meeting and, during the meeting itself, texted Ms Heard to let her know that he was likely to get out of the meeting far later than the birthday dinner was scheduled to start. The Claimant was not drunk or high on drugs; he was shocked from what he had learnt at the meeting about his business affairs. Despite the Claimant having told Ms Heard the reason why he was unable to make the birthday dinner on time, and had kept her updated by text, Ms Heard was cold towards the Claimant when he arrived.
2.5 As to the third and fourth sentences of paragraph 8b: it is admitted and averred that after the guests had left, Ms Heard began criticising the Claimant for being late. The Claimant got into bed and began reading, and Ms Heard, who had been drinking heavily, became aggressive and violent towards the Claimant, punching him twice in the face as he lay in bed. The Claimant stood up and asked Ms. Heard if she wanted to hit him again. She did so, punching the Claimant twice in the face. The Claimant defended himself by grabbing Ms Heard's arms to stop her punching him again and told her to stop. He pushed her away from him onto the bed and told her he was leaving and that she should not follow him.
2.6 The Claimant called Sean Bett (a member of his security team, and an 18 year veteran detective of the LA Sheriff's Department), who was stationed in a penthouse apartment next door, and asked to be driven home, explaining that Ms Heard was "at it again", or words to that effect. The Claimant was taken by Mr Bett to the Claimant's house in West Hollywood. The Claimant did not toss aside or smash items as he left. Mr Bett took a photograph of the injury to the Claimant's face.
2.7 The fifth and sixth sentences of paragraph 8b, and paragraph 8c in its entirety are denied, save that, the Claimant cannot recall whether he left a note saying "Happy fucking Birthday". Paragraphs 2.5 and 2.6 above are repeated.
2.7A The following morning, Ms Heard (or possibly one of her friends) defecated in the Claimant's and Ms Heard's bed. On 12 May 2016, Ms Heard told the Estate Manager, Mr Murphy, that leaving the faeces in the Claimant's bed had been "just a harmless prank" thereby effectively acknowledging that she had been responsible.
2.7B The Claimant then resolved to divorce Ms Heard.'
Incident 14: Los Angeles 21st May 2016
'd. The next time Ms Heard saw the Claimant was on 21 May 2016. He arrived at the South Broadway apartment at around 7.15 pm. He was drunk and high. Ms Heard was present together with Elizabeth Marz, Raquel Rose Pennington and Ms Pennington's fiancι Joshua Drew who were in neighbouring penthouse apartments in the same building at the time of the Claimant's arrival. Ms Pennington and Mr Drew lived in a neighbouring apartment, and Ms Pennington kept a key to the South Broadway apartment.
e. During a conversation with Ms Heard the Claimant became very angry. Ms Heard tried to calm him down by telephoning one of his trusted employees and asking him to intervene, but this was unsuccessful.
f. The Claimant became increasingly enraged. Ms Heard became concerned for her safety and texted Ms Pennington who was by now in her apartment next door, asking Ms Pennington to come back over.
g. The Claimant insisted that Ms Heard call their friend iO Tillet Wright, which Ms Heard attempted to do. The Claimant ripped the phone from Ms Heard's hand and began screaming profanities and insults. The Claimant then tossed the phone away and stormed upstairs. Ms Heard picked it up and iO Tillet Wright yelled over the phone to Ms Heard to get out of the house. After a short period upstairs, The Claimant came back down the stairs then grabbed the phone again and this time threw it at Ms Heard, striking her cheek and eye. Ms Heard sustained an injury to her right eye. Ms Pennington and/or Mr Drew subsequently took photographs of the injury as well as of items which the Claimant smashed.
h. Ms Heard covered her face and was crying with pain. The Claimant charged at her. He forcibly pulled back her hair and Ms Heard attempted to get up from the sofa. Ms Heard called out "Call 911", hoping this would be heard by iO Tillet Wright who was still on the phone. The Claimant shouted "I hit your eye? I hit your eye, huh? Let me see your eye. Let me see. Let me see your eye. What if I pulled your hair back? Let's see how hard I hit you", pulled Ms Heard's hair, struck Ms Heard and violently grabbed her face. The Claimant started to slap, shake and yank Ms Heard around the room while she continued to scream.
i. Ms Pennington entered the flat, at which point Ms Heard escaped from the Claimant's grasp and moved to the other side of the room. The Claimant charged at Ms Heard again. Ms Pennington ran between them, extending her arms to separate them and begged the Claimant to stop. The Claimant then grabbed Ms Pennington's arms and continued to yell obscenities.
j. Ms Heard then retreated to the couch. Ms Pennington came over and covered Ms Heard in a protective posture. The Claimant picked up the magnum size bottle and began drinking out of it and swinging it around, smashing everything he could.
k. The Claimant then moved closer and closer to Ms Heard, acting in a threatening manner. By this time members of the Claimant's security team, including Jerry Judge, had entered the flat. Ms Heard yelled at Mr Judge to help her and said that if the Claimant hit her again she would call the police. Mr Judge said, "boss, please". The Claimant continued screaming and breaking things before leaving the apartment.
l. As the Claimant walked down the hallway he smashed other items and kicked a hole in a door. He went into an adjoining apartment, which Ms Heard used as an office, painting studio and closet, where Ms Heard heard him smashing further items and screaming.
m. Mr Drew and Ms Pennington then took Ms Heard into their apartment to keep her safe from the Claimant.
n. Following this incident, Ms Heard filed a petition for the dissolution of her marriage to the Claimant on 23 May 2016 and on 27 May 2016 issued an application for a domestic violence restraining order against the Claimant. She sought an order preventing the Claimant from contacting her, or harassing, attacking, striking, threatening, hitting, following, stalking, molesting, keeping under surveillance, impersonating or blocking her movements, as well as disturbing the peace or destroying her property. She also sought an order requiring the Claimant to attend 52 weeks of anger management courses.
o. In support of her application she signed a declaration in which she truthfully described her ordeal at the hands of the Claimant, as set out above, and explained how she was "petrified" that he would return to the South Broadway apartment. She said she required protection from the Claimant. She described her fear that the Claimant would return to "terrorize [her], physically and emotionally" and said that she therefore needed the protection of the court. She said there had also been previous domestic violence incidents, including a severe one in December 2015 when she feared her life was in danger.'
'2.8 As to paragraph 8d:
2.8.1 The first sentence of paragraph 8d is admitted, although in the meantime, Ms Heard repeatedly tried to contact the Claimant directly and through her sister, Whitney Heard, who pleaded for the Claimant to get back in touch with Ms Heard.
2.8.2 The second sentence of paragraph 8d is admitted save that the Claimant cannot recall the precise time he arrived at the South Broadway apartment, and accordingly no admission is made as to the time. The Claimant texted Whitney Heard on 21 May 2016 at 7.30 pm in response to a text he received from her at 7.15 pm, suggesting his arrival may have been later than 7.15pm.
2.8.3 The building has multiple penthouses, some of which are adjoining. Penthouse 3 is the location Ms Heard alleged the "abuse" occurred; Penthouse 5 is the penthouse across the hallway in which Ms Heard and Ms Pennington claimed Mr Depp "destroyed" items on that evening. Penthouse 4 adjoins Penthouse 3.
2.8.4 The third sentence of paragraph 8d is denied. The Claimant was not drunk or high when he arrived. The Claimant came to the South Broadway apartment with two of his security team, Mr Bett and Jerry Judge, to collect some of his belongings from Penthouse 3. The Claimant brought his security guards with him precisely because he was concerned about what Ms Heard might do. The security guards waited immediately outside the door of Penthouse 3.
2.8.5 The fourth sentence of paragraph 8d is denied: to the best of the Claimant's knowledge at the time, Ms Heard was alone in Penthouse 3 when he arrived, although the Claimant now believes Ms Pennington must have been hiding in the Penthouse. The Claimant does not know who Elizabeth Marz is, but observed a woman in Penthouse 5 with Mr Drew.
2.8.6 It is admitted that Ms Pennington kept a key to the South Broadway apartment, and that a number of Ms Heard's friends including Ms Pennington and Mr Drew lived in and worked out of the Claimant's penthouse apartments rent-free for approximately 4 years.
2.9 Save that no admissions are made as to whether Ms Heard sent a text to Ms Pennington, or as to what iO Tillett Wright said to Ms Heard on the phone as this is outside the Claimant's knowledge, paragraphs 8e to 8l are denied:
2.9.1 When the Claimant arrived at Penthouse 3 his security guards waited just outside the door while the Claimant went in for approximately 10 minutes in total. Ms Heard was in the penthouse when the Claimant arrived.
2.9.1A The Claimant and Ms Heard called Kevin Murphy from downstairs. The Claimant asked Mr Murphy to repeat to Ms Heard what he had earlier told the Claimant about Ms Heard's admission that the defecation in the bed was "just a harmless prank." Mr Murphy repeated that Ms Heard had admitted to him that she was responsible. Ms Heard yelled and swore at Mr Murphy, repeatedly calling him "a fucking liar". The Claimant told Ms Heard not to speak to Mr Murphy in that way and that he wanted a divorce. As Ms Heard would not stop screaming, Mr Murphy hung up the phone.
2.9.1B The Claimant went upstairs to collect his belongings. Downstairs, Ms Heard telephoned iO Tillett Wright and began talking loudly on the phone in mocking and goading terms about the Claimant and the defecation incident.
2.9.2 The Claimant then went back downstairs, and took the phone in order to speak to iO Tillet Wright. The Claimant said to iO Tillett Wright "you got what you want, you can have her [Ms Heard] I don't care, it's over" or words to that effect. He then tossed the phone onto the sofa and crossed the room away from Ms Heard towards the kitchen which was some 20 feet away from Ms Heard who was sitting on the sofa. The Claimant did not scream profanities or insults. The Claimant did not "storm" upstairs or come back down and grab the phone for a second time.
2.9.3 The phone did not hit Ms Heard on the face or elsewhere. Nor did the Claimant pull Ms Heard's hair or strike her, or grab her face, or touch her, or slap, shake and yank Ms Heard around the room or say the words alleged in paragraph 8h. Two police officers who attended the apartment directly after the alleged incident and interviewed Ms Heard twice in good light, saw no injuries or bruising or swelling to Ms Heard's face (or elsewhere). When one of the officers asked Ms Heard what had happened she responded "nothing". When Ms Heard was asked if she was hurt, she shook her head. Ms Heard did not say to the officers that she had been assaulted, and when asked if she had been injured in any way she said she wasn't injured and refused medical treatment. Ms Heard said she did not want to make a police report and there was nothing wrong. Ms Heard had no visible injuries the following day.
2.9.4 Both of these officers subsequently confirmed their evidence to this effect in separate depositions, which are attached to this Reply at Annex A. In the premises, if and to the extent that Ms Pennington subsequently took a photograph of Ms Heard's face (as pleaded in paragraph 8g and which is not admitted), it was not a photograph of any "injury" caused by the Claimant. In the subsequent proceedings brought by Ms Heard, hardcopy photographs were put in evidence, but neither the original images nor the associated metadata were produced.
2.9.5 As the Claimant was crossing the room away from Ms Heard towards the kitchen, Ms Heard began shouting. Upon hearing Ms Heard shouting, the security guards immediately, i.e. within one or two seconds, opened the door and rushed into Penthouse 3 via the kitchen where the Claimant was standing. Immediately upon opening the door, the security guards observed the Claimant standing in the kitchen area, far away from Ms Heard. Ms Heard was repeatedly screaming "stop hitting me Johnny" (or words to that effect) into the phone before and at the moment the guards entered. The Claimant was not hitting Ms Heard. He was standing in the kitchen, approximately 20 feet away from Ms Heard. Just before the security guards entered, Ms Pennington suddenly appeared from behind the Claimant, running past his right side towards Ms Heard shouting "Don't do it, stop it, leave her alone" (or words to that effect).
2.9.6 Ms Heard was visibly shocked to see the security guards enter, and attempted to feign crying, as did Ms Pennington. Ms Heard changed from the present tense to the past tense and said: "he hit me with a phone" and "that's the last time you hit me Johnny" and "You better not hit me again" (or words to the effect). The Claimant did not move but said: "What are you talking about? You're crazy. I didn't hit you." Ms Heard screamed "Call 911" (presumably because iO Tillett Wright was still on the phone). One of the security guards, Mr Judge, said to Claimant: "Let's just get out of here boss" and took the Claimant immediately out of the door.
2.9.7 There was no interaction between the security guards and Ms Heard. The time between the security guards entering the apartment and leaving with the Claimant was less than a minute. The Claimant did not move from the kitchen from the time the security guards entered to the point he left the penthouse with them. The Claimant did not touch or approach Ms Pennington during the entire time she was there.
2.9.8 The Claimant did not smash any items in Penthouse 3, Penthouse 5 or elsewhere, nor did he kick a hole in a door. For the avoidance of doubt: the Claimant did not brandish a magnum sized, or any other sized bottle of wine, or any object at all. The Claimant did not use a bottle to, or otherwise, strike glass, fruit, cutlery, flowers, candles or any other object. The police officers who attended shortly after the alleged incident, inspected the property and saw no smashed items, broken bottles, broken glass, destroyed cutlery, destroyed flowers, or spilled wine in either Penthouse 3 or 5, (as detailed in their depositions at Annex A). In the premises, if and to the extent that Ms Pennington subsequently took photographs of smashed items (as pleaded in paragraph 8g and which is not admitted), those items were not smashed by the Claimant.
2.9.9 After leaving Penthouse 3, the Claimant went with his security guards to check Penthouse 5 where he discovered Mr Drew, a woman (whom he now presumes was Elizabeth Marz) and a dog. It appeared they were using Penthouse 5 to operate their business (some kind of craft beading business). The Claimant ordered them to leave Penthouse 5 which they did and the Claimant and his security then left at about 8.30pm.
2.10 Save that the imputation that Ms Heard needed to be kept "safe" from the Claimant is denied, no admissions are made as to paragraph 8m because the Claimant does not know what Ms Heard did after he left Penthouse 3.
2.11 As to paragraph 8n: it is admitted that Ms Heard filed a petition for the dissolution of her marriage to the Claimant on 23 May 2016 and issued an application for a domestic violence restraining order against the Claimant on 27 May 2016 but it is denied that this was "following the incident" as described in the Defence. The second and third sentences are admitted.
2.12 It is admitted that Ms Heard's declaration contained the matters set out in paragraph 8o of the Defence as originally filed; it contained none of the other alleged incidents added by amendment. As to the first sentence of that paragraph, the true facts are set out above. As to the second to fourth sentences, the Claimant does not plead further to the second to fourth sentences as it is not necessary to do so.'
What the Claimant must prove to make out his claim in libel
'(1) A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.'
Meaning of the articles
i) The Claimant had committed physical violence against Ms Heard
ii) This had caused her to suffer significant injury; and
iii) On occasion it caused Ms Heard to fear for her life.
i) Whether the words imputed that the Claimant was guilty of domestic abuse against Ms Heard 'on overwhelming evidence'.
ii) Whether the words imputed that the Claimant was constrained to pay no less than £5 million to compensate Ms Heard for the physical violence he had inflicted on her.
iii) Whether the words imputed that the Claimant had resulted in him being subjected to a continuing restraining order.
iv) Whether the words imputed that due to the Claimant's physical violence against Ms Heard he was not fit to work in the film industry.
i) I agree that the Claimant's reference to 'overwhelming evidence' makes no difference to the meaning which the Defendants must prove. They accept that the words alleged Mr Depp was violent to Ms Heard. If they establish the substantial truth of that sting to the necessary standard of proof, it will be immaterial whether or not the evidence was 'overwhelming'.
ii) I agree that the published words do not state or suggest that Mr Depp paid Ms Heard £5 million as compensation for his violence. I agree that there is no reference to Ms Heard having sought damages for his violence. Nor would a reasonable reader treat the words as implying that this was why the Claimant had paid her that sum. Amber Heard is described as his 'ex-wife'. I agree that an alternative explanation for the payment would be understood as having been part of a divorce settlement.
iii) I agree that there is no reference in the articles to the restraining order continuing.
iv) I also agree that the criticism for casting the Claimant in the 'Fantastic Beasts' film is directed at J.K. Rowling and not at the Claimant. As to this last point the Defendants added in their skeleton argument at paragraph 37 'If the court were to find that this is a comment about the Claimant's fitness to work in the film industry, the Defendants have informed the Claimant that they will rely on the statutory defence of honest opinion under s.3 of the Defamation Act 2013.' Had it been necessary I would have found that such a defence ought to have been pleaded; it was not; and there was no application to amend the RAD to do so. As it is, the issue does not arise because I agree with the Defendants that the words complained of do not include such a comment about the Claimant.
'A witness statement which stands as the evidence in chief is open to inspection during the course of the trial unless the court orders otherwise.'
An introduction to the relationship of the Claimant and Ms Heard
'I am from a Southern family and rules were instilled in me from birth by my mother: you would be a southern gentleman or it would be beaten into you. ... Integrity, dignity, honesty and respect for women: these were the characteristics that I was always expected to have.'
'actually romanticizes the entire drug culture and has no accountability for his behaviours.'
The approach I will adopt to the fact-finding exercise
The Claimant's challenge to the credibility of Ms Heard independent of particular allegations of abuse
i) Alleged lie to the Department of Homeland Security regarding the status of Savannah McMillan
'My name is Amber Heard. I am a proud lawful American citizen.
I am writing this letter in response to a fraudulent report made against my English friend, Savannah Mcmillen. It has come to my awareness that while spending time visiting me in the United States someone made a false claim against her stating, without any proof or corroboration, that she was unlawfully working for me.
As her friend, I can say truthfully and unequivocally that this allegation is entirely false. It was clearly made from the safety of anonymity in order to satisfy a personal vendetta. This allegation absolutely bears no merit, worth or truth.
I would like to go on record as saying that Savannah McMillen is a personal friend and to my knowledge has never worked unlawfully or otherwise in the United States. Or for me. I regret that the precious time of our immigration agencies has been bastardized on such a petty personal matter, made out of malice, not truth.
I would like to request that this fraudulent report be removed pending the confirmation of its baseless and false stance. I expect the same standards that we hold as pillars in our great justice system, be allied [sic] to immigration policies, as they serve at the forefront in representing the United States and her values. Since I expect further investigation to reveal the statements made above as true, I hope that your agency will see to it that no further inconvenience will befall my friend in her attempts to continue discovering our beautiful country.
Thank you for your time,
'Since Savannah did not have much money, I occasionally gave her money. I would sometimes refer to the money I gave to Savannah as "payments" to minimize the discomfort and embarrassment to Savannah for receiving this money from me. The payments were partly to cover expenses for both of us, like shopping and errands. The money I gave Savannah was not related to any amounts I paid to Kate James as my Assistant.'
ii) Conviction in Australia for knowingly making a false declaration regarding the importation of dogs to Australia
'at the time of Ms Heard's departure for Australia in April 2015, Ms Heard was unaware the documentation for the dogs' importation into Australia had not been completed. She relied on staff to organise this, along with other travel arrangements. Just prior to Ms Heard leaving for Australia, her assistant, one of the staff responsible for that documentation had been dismissed from her employment in acrimonious circumstances [This was a reference to Ms James]. There were difficulties associated with this, and that had repercussions on the preparation of the documentation concerning the importation of the dogs.
Further to this, Ms Heard had a belief that, at the time of arriving - that the form she filled out did not cover her pets. She believed the relevant paperwork had been completed for the dogs and provided to the Australian authorities separately. I accept that she did not deliberately set out to deceive the Australian authorities. I also accept that it's not a question of a person believing she's above the law.
In pleading guilty, she accepts responsibility for the offence. Her actions indicate that she is truly remorseful for incorrectly filling out that form. ...
First of all, I say at the outset that this is not a trivial offence. Ms Heard comes before the court without any criminal history. References provided speak of her generosity and kindness as I've already spoken about. She's employed as an actor, and this requires a great deal of international travel. Sometimes she travels with her dogs, sometimes not. She's always complied with the various rules and regulations concerning such travel ...
There's genuine remorse and a high degree of cooperation. Ms Heard has returned to this country to have the matter dealt with, and her and her husband have provided a video with regards to not making a false declaration. This video no doubt will be quite useful for the department.'
iii) Allegation that Ms Heard sought to procure false evidence by Kevin Murphy and Kate James for the purpose the criminal proceedings in Australia
'The only thing we are missing is evidence of the process being initiated however not completed and therefore the dogs weren't taking [sic] on the trip. That is obviously harder to prove since it involves documenting something that DIDN'T happen. However, since I know we attempted to bring them at least once before the Australian trip, I can ask Kate to include that in her statement if that would be helpful?'
'That would be great.'
'Kevin, what do you think???? Could you possibly reach out for us?? Do you think you could get her to do it?'
'I don't know what your relationship with her [Kate James] is at this time since you fired her. You have to be careful that she will cooperate and will not go public if you ask her not to be truthful.'
'Marty I'm waiting to hear back from you before I reach out to Kevin to liaise with Kate.'
'Jake was involved, Marty Singer was involved. I also went to a couple of friends who had connections in the sort of upper echelon of Australian government and I was ultimately that was the - - I was paying the lawyer lawyers here - - I was paying lawyers in Australia to deal with the case, and got it whittled down - - she was facing two misdemeanours or something.'
'... I've been by your side, for every drama, illness and ugly situation.!!! How do you think the goddam felony charges went away???'
'Although Mrs Depp [Ms Heard] initially instructed me to make arrangements for the dogs to travel to Australia in April 2015, it was Ms James, an Australian citizen, who assumed the primary responsibility for preparing the necessary travel-related paperwork to permit the dogs to travel with Mrs Depp to Australia. However, prior to the trip to Australia, Mrs Depp terminated Ms James' employment. Nevertheless, I was under the impression that prior to her termination, Ms James had arranged for all necessary travel-related paperwork for the dogs to legally travel to Australia. Ms James never indicated otherwise.'
'Per the household policy, Mr Depp and Mrs Depp would not have travelled with the dogs to Australia if they didn't believe all the necessary travel-related paperwork had been completed and approved.'
'The true position is that I was responsible for the paperwork which I could not obtain in time and that Ms Heard was fully aware of this in advance of travelling to Australia with the dogs.'
'Yeah [presumably discontinue the travel paper process] unless there's another way to get them there or get them on the plane with J. I can't send them cargo. It's too dangerous.'
'Well I want your help on this .... I wouldn't want you to have a problem with your job.'
'Through [the Los Angeles law firm], I then retained an Australian barrister, Robert Ranken, on 14 July 2016 for specialist advice concerning my potential criminal liability. I sought advice as to the implications in Australia arising from the false statement provided by me in a statutory declaration tendered in criminal proceedings in Queensland, the prospect of avoiding prosecution by making a disclosure as to the falsity of such statements and the steps I would need to take to make a voluntary disclosure. I very much wanted to understand the process and to explain the pressure that I had been under to sign a statement that Ms Heard knew to be false.'
'Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's criminal case then-pending in Australia. That represented [sic] concluded in August 2016.'
The letter says nothing about the nature of the advice which was given to Mr Murphy.
i) Mr Depp wanted Pistol and Boo to come to Australia in April 2015. He knew they were on the plane with him and Ms Heard. It was not true, as Mr Murphy had said, that he wanted the dogs to remain in Los Angeles.
ii) Mr Depp's staff were responsible for arranging the paperwork for the trip, including for the dogs.
iii) Mr Depp filled out the same form as had Ms Heard on entry into Australia at Brisbane.
iv) Mr Depp was anxious that he should not be held personally responsible for importing the dogs because of the implications which this might have for his ability in the future to obtain a visa for Australia.
v) Ms Heard pleaded guilty to the charge of knowingly making a false declaration.
vi) It was not true that she asked Kate James or Kevin Murphy to lie for her. In any event, it would make no sense, because of her plea of guilty. It was untrue that she had threatened Mr Murphy with the loss of his job, if he did not make a false statement for the Australian proceedings.
vii) Mr Depp's lawyer, Marty Singer, was always his lawyer and he and Mr Depp 'called the shots'.
i) Although there had been email correspondence between Mr Murphy and Ms Heard regarding the difficulties of taking the dogs to Australia, the last in that chain had been 1st April 2015, some 20 days before the flight to Australia.
ii) I accept the evidence of Ms Heard that the journey to Australia was essentially for Mr Depp's benefit. His staff were responsible for making the travel arrangements. She herself was in Los Angeles for only a short time before the plane took off with her, Mr Depp and the dogs. In those circumstances, I accept her evidence that she believed whatever difficulties there might have been had been overcome. I do not accept Mr Sherborne's submission that it was apparent from Ms Heard's cross-examination on the topic (Transcript Day 12, not Day 14 pp.1901-4) that she did know the difficulties remained unresolved. Mr Sherborne refers also to correspondence between Mr Murphy and Mr Deuters, but there was no evidence that Ms Heard was party to these communications.
iii) In his evidence in this trial, Mr Murphy accepted that he did have primary responsibility for making the travel arrangements.
iv) On his own account, Mr Murphy was prepared to give false evidence to the Australian court. That is not an encouraging starting point for the submission that his evidence is now to be believed.
v) Mr Murphy did not mention in his first statement in these proceedings, nor in his declaration of 13th May 2019 in the Virginia libel proceedings, that he had actually made a statement in the Australian proceedings brought against Ms Heard.
vi) Mr Murphy says that he was pressurised by Ms Heard into making a false statement, however he felt able to refuse to ask Kate James to make a statement.
vii) Mr Murphy was an enthusiastic supporter of Mr Depp. As he wrote in an email to Mr Depp on 30th May 2019,
'I'll always have your back ... anytime/anywhere ... Continued relentless exposure of the fraud and the scamber bandits is key ...'
Mr Depp replied expressing appreciation for Mr Murphy's loyalty. He said on the same date,
'And bless your heart for being such a warrior for me and for your passion to join me in this battle!!!! I will never forget it ... It speaks volumes about who you are ... And I've always known who you are, pal ...'
viii) I do accept that it is not sufficient for Ms Heard to refer to her plea of guilty to the single charge. Mr Murphy's statement in the Australian proceedings was dated 13th October 2015. The magistrate said that it was on 3rd November 2015 that Ms Heard had indicated a willingness to plead guilty to this charge if the other two charges were discontinued. Mr Murphy's evidence to the Australian court together with the affidavit of Ms Heard were plainly material in the magistrate taking the lenient course that she did.
ix) The letter from the Los Angeles firm of attorneys is bland and tells me nothing of the advice which they gave to Mr Murphy. Such advice would, of course, be privileged but, at least as far as the present proceedings are concerned, such privilege could be waived.
iv) Allegation that Ms Heard tried to 'grease' a vet to procure necessary travel documentation for the dogs
'Can you maybe help Kevin procure a slightly altered health doc that has their shots recorded as two days before so they can all leave together on the 25th?? Do we have a vet we could grease? Connection?'
'I think this was about Johnny wanting Boo to have the shots to be able to travel - "grease" is Johnny's language, not mine and, although I cannot specifically remember, I would likely have written it at Johnny's request.'
v) The growth in number and seriousness of the allegations of domestic violence by Ms Heard
'During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me. I endured excessive emotional, verbal abuse from Johnny which has included angry, hostile and humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.'
'There have also been several prior incidents of domestic violence with Johnny, in particular there was one severe incident in December 2015 when I truly feared that my life was in danger.'
'Unfortunately, this is not the first incident of domestic violence. In fact, there have been two other incidents in the past six months'. [my emphasis].
vi) Ms Heard's enthusiasm to meet with Mr Depp in July 2016 despite the restraining order
vii) Ms Heard's admission to violence in recorded conversations contrasted with her evidence in which she denied being the violent party
'JD: It's not true. It's not true. I'm not the one who fucking throws fucking pots and whatever the fucking else at me.
AH: That's different. That's different. That's one ... does not negate the other. That's irrelevant. It's a complete non sequitur. Just because I've thrown pots and pans does not mean you can come and knock on the door.
JD: Vases and fucking ...
AH: Just because there are vases does not mean you come and knock on the door.
JD: Relationships should let you throw ...
AH: I'm not saying that. You're saying that. You're putting words in my mouth and then making non sequiturs.
JD: You punched me
AH: ... hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you, it was not punching you. Babe, you're not punched.
JD: Don't tell me what it feels like to be punched.
AH; I know you've been in a lot of fights, you've been around a long time. I know, yeah.
JD: No, when you fucking have a closed fist
AH: You didn't get punch. You got hit. I'm sorry I hit you like this. But I did not punch you. I did not fucking deck you. I fucking was hitting you. I don't know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you're fine. I did not hurt you. I did not punch you. I was hitting you.
AH: You're a fucking baby.
JD: Because you start physical fights?
AH: You're such a baby. Grow the fuck up.
JD: Because you start physical fights?
AH: I did start a physical fight.
AH: But I do ... and I can't promise you that I'll be perfect, I can't promise you that I won't get physical again. God, I fucking sometimes get so mad I lose it. I can fucking promise you I'm ... I'll do everything to change...'
'JD: I don't want a divorce, I never wanted a fuckin' divorce. I didn't want you to fuckin' go to Coachella [presumably a reference to the fact that Ms Heard and a group of friends went to the Coachella music festival after incident 13] without fuckin' talking to me because I left you because you were fuckin' ... you fuckin' hay-makered me, man. You came around the bed to fuckin' start punching on me.
AH: I'm so sad. I love you so much.'
viii) Ms Heard's invention of 'the monster' in an attempt to portray the Claimant as a 'Jekyll and Hyde' character
'Thank you, my dear Jerry!!! Very very kind mate!! All I had to do was send the monster away and lock him up!!! We've been happier than EVER!!! Love you brother JD'
'... By the way Amber and I have been absolutely perfect for 3 fuckin' months solid!!!! I have locked my monster child away in a cage deep within and it has fuckin' worked!!!We're goddam best friends now!!! Amazing!!! Big love to you, my brother... JD'
'Need to discuss the News Helicopters hovering outside the house this morning ... I'm ready to shoot a motherfucker!!! But don't worry ... The Monster is not involved.'
'I am going to, quite gracefully, glide into a massage of my broken back and neck ... I shall exit in one hour, a MONSTER!!! Shall we swallow an E each (or perhaps it's MDMA) at around 8pm and go to dinner with A few of my wee team at a wonderful Peruvian spot ... ??? Let us enjoy this night my brother!!! Let us reward ourselves for the hard work and the misery of the heat that we push ourselves to conquer every goddam day!!! The Shatter'
'100 fucking days of clarity for an old reprobate twat like me ... no one would have believed it possible, but a very select few. Most importantly YOU!! So today I am fucking celebrating you!!! ...
I would have been swallowed up by the monster, were it not for you. That is a simple fact.'
Mr Depp's record or non-record for violence
i) An incident in 1989 when Mr Depp was arrested on suspicion of assault. There is not sufficient evidence that he was ever charged with an offence, let alone convicted of one as a result of this incident. It seems that this was the incident referred to in a 2003 broadcast interview when the Claimant said,
'It was a bad day. You know you have bad days. And you know, some guys go play golf, some guys you know smash hotel rooms.'
It may be that part of this broadcast was a voice-over insert. Mr Depp did not deny the remark just quoted and which had been attributed to him. He said he was trying to be humorous. It may be that the reference was to the incident in (ii) below. It is unnecessary to resolve this.
ii) In 1994 there was an incident in New York when a hotel room was damaged. A press article at the time said that Mr Depp had agreed to pay $10,000 compensation to the owner of the hotel. When asked about the amount of compensation which he had had to pay, Mr Depp said that it was too long ago and he could not recall. He denied this was symptomatic of a general anger management problem.
iii) In 1998 Mr Depp made a film based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. One of the actors in the film was Ellen Barkin. On 22nd November 2019 Ms Barkin was deposed as part of the process of discovery in the Virginia libel action. She said that there had been an argument between Mr Depp and his assistants and a wine bottle had been thrown in her direction.
iv) An incident in 1999 when Mr Depp was having dinner with his then partner, Vanessa Paradis who was then pregnant. A group of about 14-15 paparazzi photographers tried to take their picture. Mr Depp agreed that he picked up a piece of wood, about 12-15 inches long and hit them with it. He said he thought they were being rude and aggressive, and he was protecting something sacred to him.
v) In 2018 he was making a film called 'City of Lies'. A member of the crew called Greg Rocky Brooks brought a civil claim for assault alleging that Mr Depp had punched him twice. Mr Depp was contesting the claim. He said that Mr Brooks had behaved nastily and aggressively to one of the extras who was an African-American woman. There had been verbal exchanges, but he had not assaulted Mr Brooks. The claim is ongoing.
'JD; I will bring some cash over and tip the bitch!!
VP:: Yeah sloppy slut.
JD: Fucking ugly fat whore!!!
VP: Bring the cash and the whore
JD: For the idiot cow!!!
JD: Will do!!! I'll smack the ugly cunt around before I let her in, don't worry ...
JD: Did that worthless hooker arrive???'
Mr Depp said that this was a jokey exchange, although he struggled to explain the nature of the joke or why it was funny. Elsewhere in his evidence he described his sense of humour as 'niche'. Mr Depp did agree that the views he was expressing in this exchange were not those of the Southern Gentleman he aspired to be.
Ms Heard's record or non-record for violence
'In order to convict Amber van Ree of Assault, the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that van Ree deliberately assaulted [name redacted]. Although the state does not have to prove that an injury resulted from the assault, the state would have to show that the contact was offensive to the victim. In this case, there is no signed statement from [redaction] indicating that she was offended by Van Ree grabbing her arm not [? nor] that the contact caused her pain. In addition, due to the minimal nature of the assault and the fact that both victim and suspect are residents of California, we are declining to file charges at this time.'
i) No conviction of Ms Heard took place in consequence.
ii) It seems that Ms Heard took lawful and proper steps to delete the record of her arrest.
iii) Notwithstanding the allegation, Ms van Ree remained supportive of Ms Heard.
iv) In consequence this incident has little bearing on the issues I have to decide.
'Please get her out of this room NOW!!! She's struck me about 10 times ... Can't take any more!!! ...
Mr Connolly replied several hours later,
'Amber gone through, no problems! Are you ok? Do you need anything mate? Anything I can do?
'she has insight into her short temper and insecurities ... She has no effective self-soothing techniques other than to engage JD in reassurances.'
I accept that shortness of temper is not the same as recourse to violence.
'You have heard that D has no previous convictions. Good character is not a defence to the charge(s) but it is relevant in two ways. First, the defendant has given evidence. D's good character is a positive feature which you should take into account in his/her favour when considering whether you accept what D told you. Secondly, the fact that D has not offended in the past may make it less likely that D acted as the prosecution alleges in this case.
What importance you attach to D's good character and the extent to which it assists on the facts of this particular case are for you to decide. In making that assessment you may take account of everything you have heard about D.'
Although this is a civil, not a criminal case, I shall follow this guidance.
Incident 1: the tattoo incident
Incident 2: the painting incident
'JD: Just thought you should know that there exists a book titled "Disco Bloodbath". That's all.
AH: We need that book! Is it about last Friday night by any chance?
JD: How can you make me smile about such a hideous moment??? Yes, it is... Funny bitch. I fucking love, you cunt!!!.'
'On 10th March 2013 I told Kate [Kate James, Ms Heard's then assistant] about Johnny hitting me after being upset about Tasya. The day after the painting incident (9th March 2013) I sent a text to Kate telling her "There was long drama last night and I'll tell her about it later".'
'During the course of reading through these materials, I have now realized I cannot be sure that the painting incident took place on 8 March 2013. There were numerous incidents of violence in March 2013 and many fights over that month about the painting. While the incident I have described in my statement was around that time, I cannot say for certain it was on 8 March 2013.'
'As I explained in my earlier statements, there were numerous incidents of violence in March 2013 which coincided with Johnny's drug use. I now realize that the incident I had initially described as having taken place on 8 March 2013 took place on 22 March 2013. There was a separate incident on 8 March 2013. The incident I describe involving the painting took place on 22 March, which is apparent from the photographs now at tab 148(f) (which show Johnny's cocaine in my kitchen at my house in Orange) and was on one of the days Johnny was due to be filming a documentary with Keith Richards.'
'WH: By the way! You never responded to my other text! The "van Pee" painting earned you twenty points in my book cunado.
JD: Subtle, eh??? Made me laugh as I was doing it!!! Thanks, sweetheart!!! Can't stand that fucking hovering vulture!!!'
i) Mr Depp was drinking whiskey on this occasion. That was the evidence of Ms Heard and Ms Henriquez. The photograph that I have referred to includes a large glass of what Mr Depp agreed was whiskey. Of course, one cannot tell from the photograph whose drink it was, but I accept that Ms Heard did not drink spirits (as opposed to wine). Mr Depp said that he had fallen off the wagon by March 2013 and he did recall sitting drinking whiskey in the morning after a nasty argument which had occurred the previous evening.
ii) Mr Depp admitted, eventually, that the box marked 'Property of JD' was his and that it contained cocaine. Ms Henriquez explained that the cylindrical blue object in the photograph was a tampon applicator which she had given to Mr Depp for the purpose of snorting cocaine. I accept her evidence in this regard.
iii) Thus, I accept the evidence of Ms Heard and Ms Henriquez that Mr Depp had been drinking heavily on the evening of 21st/22nd March 2013. Although Mr Depp did not recall taking cocaine on that occasion, I find that he had been taking cocaine as well, as Mr Depp later admitted in his cross-examination. That also accords with a text which Ms Heard sent to Christi Dembrowski at 17.14 on 22nd March 2013 in which she said of Mr Depp (file 7/1(f)/H21A.23),
'He's another person when he's like this. He's fuelled up on booze and coke ... He finds something to jump on and then uses it as an excuse to dose himself up. Which is where he is now. Wasted.'
iv) As a result of consuming so much alcohol and cocaine Mr Depp was late for filming the Keith Richards documentary, called 'Happy', at Mr Depp's property on Sweetzer Avenue. Mr Depp's evidence was that his presence was not necessary. That accords with a text which he sent to Stephen Deuters at an uncertain time on 22nd March 2013 which said (file 7/56(c)/H206.8),
'GO GODDAMIT!!! I AM BUT A FLY ON THE WALL!!! Com-mence!!! There is nothing I can add to whatever magic is already there!!!GO!!! You make whatever calls you need to make!!! I am on my way ...'
But a contrary impression is given by the text exchanges between Ms Heard and Nathan Holmes and between Ms Heard and Ms Dembrowski (see file 7/1(e) and 1(f)). Ms Dembrowski was not only Mr Depp's sister, but also the producer of the Keith Richards documentary, according to the script notes for the film (see file 11/151/P4). I conclude that Mr Depp's presence at Sweetzer Avenue was either required or desirable, but he was unable to be there on time because of his consumption of alcohol and cocaine the night before.
v) Mr Depp was jealous of Tasya van Ree. He admitted in the course of his cross-examination that he could be jealous. His views towards Ms van Ree are also apparent from his text exchange with Ms Henriquez in which he admitted changing Ms van Ree's signature to 'van Pee' and in which he referred to Ms van Ree as a 'fucking hovering vulture'. The fact that Ms van Ree was a woman who had had a relationship with Ms Heard may have exacerbated Mr Depp's feelings towards her. Shortly after this incident on 9th July 2013 he castigated her attitude towards him as that of a 'lesbian camp counsellor' (file 7/2(b)/H23.3). I also accept the evidence of Ms Heard and Ms Henriquez that, on a previous occasion, Mr Depp had tried to set fire to another of Ms van Ree's paintings, the one referred to at trial as 'Flamingos'. Ms Heard said that there had been minimal damage to the back of the painting. I accept the evidence of Ms Henriquez that, in her original witness statement, she had merged the damage to the two paintings.
vi) Ms Heard had a series of text exchanges with her mother (Paige Heard). At 19.02 on 22nd March 2013 she wrote (file 7/1(b)/H21A.2),
'He's nuts mom. Violent and crazy. I am heartbroken that THIS is who I love.'
At 20.14 her mother replied,
'You should tell your dad and be honest. JD will listen best chance.'
At 20.37, Ms Heard responded
'I can't tell dad.'
In her re-examination Ms Heard explained that she feared her father would react violently towards Mr Depp if she told him that Mr Depp had assaulted her.
At 20.42 (on 22nd March) Ms Heard wrote to her mother,
'It's OK mom. He's not being violent with me. He's just even raging in general. And the crazy mood swings and binges are really difficult for me to handle.'
In her evidence Ms Heard said that she had not told her mother the truth (that Mr Depp had indeed been violent towards her). She said that her father had been violent to her mother when she was growing up and continued to be until her mother had died. She had alluded to this in her later text on 23rd March 2013 at 11.42 when she wrote (file 7/1(b)/H21A.4),
'He [Mr Depp] makes dad look like a saint when he falls off the wagon.'
At 21.11 (on 22nd March 2013) Ms Heard texted her mother to say,
'No - my heart is broken. I'm OK physically. JD didn't hit me or anything last night. I told him that would be if he did and it worked last night. But I'm scared by who I see now. It's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - on a binge.'
vii) There is a photograph of Mr Depp, Ms Heard, Keith Richards and Ms Henriquez at file 9/94(a)/J10.1. There does not appear to be any metadata to establish when the picture was taken. In Ms Heard's cross-examination it was suggested that her face appears to be uninjured. However, the filming of the Keith Richards documentary began on 21st March 2013. If the picture was taken then, as Ms Heard said it was, in the course of her re-examination, that would have been before the alleged assault took place. In the absence of clear evidence that the photograph was taken after the alleged assault, it does not assist me in deciding whether Ms Heard was assaulted on the evening of 21st/22nd March. Ms Heard was asked about a different picture (file 9/86(e) (i)/J48.14) which showed her and one of the musicians associated with Keith Richards called Ian McLagan. Although a copy of the photograph at file 7/86(e)/J48.16) has a date 7th April 2013, it was put to Ms Heard that travel documentation (file 11/148/P1) and the shooting script for the documentary (file 11/153/P20) showed that Mr McLagan was on the set of the documentary only on 23rd March 2013. It was put to Ms Heard that in this picture her face seems uninjured. She disputed that and said her bottom lip appeared to be swollen. It is unclear whether the photograph was taken on 23rd March as opposed to 7th April 2013, but, in any case, in my view, the photograph is not sufficiently clear for me to make a decision one way or the other in this regard.
viii) Mr Sherborne submitted that it was significant that Ms Heard had originally given a different date for Incident 2 and that she and her sister had been caught out in a lie which had led them to change their story and split Incident 2 into two separate incidents (three in the case of Ms Henriquez). He submitted that I should therefore conclude that there was no assault by Mr Depp on Ms Heard as she had alleged in Incident 2. Mr Sherborne in his closing submissions referred to other alterations in the details of this incident. I was not persuaded by this submission. I accept Ms Heard's explanation for how she originally came to give the date of 8th March. Ms Heard said that Mr Depp inflicted a number of assaults on her in March 2013. Only one is pleaded, but I accept that is why in some respects Ms Heard's account was confused. I accept Ms Henriquez's explanation that she had merged the two different incidents regarding Ms van Ree's paintings.
ix) There was an allegation in Ms Heard's original statement that on the drive to Sweetzer, Mr Depp held the dog Pistol out of the window and joked about dropping her. It is not possible to conclude, one way or the other, whether this happened, but it is immaterial to the substantive allegation that Mr Depp had assaulted Ms Heard the night before.
x) Overall, I conclude that Mr Depp did assault Ms Heard as she and the Defendants have alleged in Incident 2.
Incident 3: Hicksville June 2013
'I just don't know if I can do this anymore.
It's like dr Jekyll and mr Hyde half of you I love. madly. the other half scares me. I can't take him. I wish I could but I can't the problem is, I never really know/ understand which one Im dealing with until it's too late.
The drinking assures me that I am dealing with the monster the abused scared insecure violent little boy. I just can't tell where the line starts Also drugs seem to guarantee I will be forced to deal with the monster as well once again it's knowing what/how much/ and when which makes all the difference. sometimes the hangover, te morning after is just as bad as the full on disco bloodbath I've come to expect you live in a world of enablers you cut out and resent (whether you realize it or not) everyone who isn't an enabler I can make a clear distinction as to who falls into which category with complete ease. ...
I myself watch you pass out cold on the floor after drinking yourself sick one of these times you cut yourself so badly that you needed stitches.'
i) This email was written in June 2013 and so some 3 years before Mr Depp and Ms Heard separated. That would have been a very long time for Ms Heard to concoct a plot. While theoretically possible, I do not accept that was the case.
ii) As I have said previously, I do not accept that the term 'the monster' to describe one side of Mr Depp's character was a fiction invented by Ms Heard.
iii) I have accepted that incidents 1 and 2 involved violence by Mr Depp against Ms Heard as the Defendants have alleged.
iv) In a text which Mr Depp had sent to Stephen Deuters on 12th May 2013 he had said (see file 6/119/F697.7),
'Might need some Hydrogen Peroxide and some butterfly bandages ... Cut my hand last night.'
And a few minutes later another text from Mr Depp said,
'Might require stitches'.
In his evidence Mr Depp said that he could not recall the incident when he cut his hand, but this also fits with what Ms Heard said in her June 2013 email. I find it more probable than not that Mr Depp cut his hand at a time when he was under the influence of drink or drugs but was so oblivious because of his intoxication that he did not realise what he had done until shortly before his texts to Mr Deuters. That also accords with what Ms Heard said in her 11th June email to herself, 'I myself watched you pass out cold on the floor after drinking yourself sick. One of these times you cut yourself so badly that you needed stitches.'
v) It was also 11th June 2013 when Mr Depp had a particularly striking exchange of texts with his friend Paul Bettany which included the following (see file 6/119/F697.8):
'JD: Let's burn Amber!!!
PB: Having thought it through I don't think we should burn Amber she's delightful company and easy on the eye, plus I'm not sure she's a witch. We could of course try the English course of action in these predicaments we do a drowning test. Thoughts?
JD: Let's drown her before we burn her!!! I will fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she's dead.
PB: My thoughts entirely! Let's be CERTAIN before we pronounce her a witch.'
vi) In the email to herself which I have already quoted, Ms Heard commented that Mr Depp surrounded himself with 'enablers', people whom he paid for instance 'to prevent your feet having to hit the rock bottom' and who turned a blind eye when he passed out or vomited. As I comment later, that appears to have been the case with many employees of Mr Depp.
i) Mr Depp had been angry with the attention which Kelly-Sue appeared to be paying to Ms Heard. He regarded Ms Heard as 'his girl' and her behaviour sparked his jealousy. Rather as with his feelings towards Tasya van Ree, the jealousy may have been aggravated rather than diminished because Kelly-Sue was a woman.
ii) When Mr Depp and Ms Heard retired to their trailer, their argument continued, as Ms Sexton could hear. There was shouting and screaming.
iii) In the course of the argument, Mr Depp caused significant damage to the trailer. Ms Sexton could see that the damage was more than a broken light fixture which Mr Depp admitted damaging. I accept her evidence.
iv) The argument and the damage to property are symptomatic of Mr Depp's manner when 'the monster' side of his personality was dominant.
v) I also accept the evidence of Ms Heard that another aspect of 'the monster' was that Mr Depp physically assaulted her as she described.
vi) I address another aspect of this incident in the Confidential Annexe to this judgment in which I do not accept the further allegation made by Ms Heard in relation to this incident.
Incident 4: the plane journey from Boston to Los Angeles
'Mr Depp is a 50 year-old male who has had a life-long history of self-medicating behaviours involving multiple substances of abuse. These include alcohol, opiates, benzodiazepines, and stimulants (cocaine).... Impression ... Chronic substance abuse disorder. Plan: ... Maintain current dosing of Roxycodone and Klonopin. Discussed the withdrawal of these two drugs once patient is back in Los Angeles. I would not recommend withdrawal until he completes his current work. ... Psychological counseling after he returns home from Boston and his medications have been properly adjusted.'
'I'm gonna properly stop the booze thing, darling ... Drank all night before I picked Amber up to fly to LA this past Sunday ... Ugly, mate ... No food for days ... Powders ... Half a bottle of Whiskey, a thousand red bull and vodkas pills, 2 bottles of Champers on plane and what do you get ... ??? An angry, aggro injun in a fuckin blackout, screaming obscenities and insulting any fuck who gets near... I'm done. I am admittedly too fucked in the head to spray my rage at the one I love. For little reason I'm too old to be that guy But, pills are fine!!!.'
'I did not remember that flight being such a nightmare.'
'He's up. In the bathroom. Moving slowly. Will [let] you know when on route and how he is in the car ... He's in some pain, as you might guess '
'We're on our way to [Sweetzer Avenue] ... He's been sick. We're gonna get him straight to bed.'
'Once again, I find myself in a place of shame and regret. Of course I am sorry. I really don't know why or what happened. But I will never do it again. I want to get better for you. And for me. I must. My illness somehow crept up and grabbed me. I can't do it again. I can't live like that again. And I know you can't either. I must get better. And I will. For us both. I love you. Again I am so sorry. So sorry. I love you and [f]eel so bad for letting you down. Yours.'
'Hey. He's up. He's much better. Clearer. He doesn't remember much, but we took him thru all that happened. He's sorry. Very sorry. And just wants to get better. Which allows us to make him follow up on that promise. ... He's teary. He doesn't want to be a fuck-up any more his words. He's got bad indigestion this morning but otherwise alright. He's gone back to sleep for a bit.'
'There feels like a sea change in him this morning. He just spoke about how bad he feels and he wasn't talking physically ... He's incredibly apologetic and knows that he has done wrong. He wants to get better now. He's been very explicit about that this morning ... Feel like we're at a critical juncture.'
'Obviously he has no idea what he did or to the extent that he did it. If someone was truly honest with him about how bad it really was, he'd be appalled. The man johnny is would be humiliated. And definitely wouldn't say to me that he doesn't deserve it. I'm sad he doesn't have a better way to really know the severity of his actions yesterday. Unfortunately for me, I remember in full detail everything that happened.'
'He was appalled. When I told him he kicked you, he cried ... It was disgusting. And he knows it.'
'I know you have a sickness I know you're suffering Johnny. I'd do anything to be able to take that away from you ... if only I could.'
'No reason for her to speak to anyone, let alone a doctor ... I'm out. I'm done. Her actions have added more drama than necessary and when was I unhealthy, exactly??? When I was not sober for a day??? Hmm ... I guess that's what people call falling off the wagon ... It's happened to a lot of my friends. ... Their wives don't stop calling them.'
Mr Depp's response to his sister does not sit easily with Dr Kipper's notes which I have already quoted above and which Mr Depp agreed in evidence must have come from information he provided to Dr Kipper.
'I remember the flight from Boston to Los Angeles in detail'.
That, too, does not accord with his evidence in cross-examination when he said that 'parts of the flight are apparently blacked out', which is also what Mr Deuters described.
''I've been so busy with film here in Boston then back to L.A. for kiddies ... When I was in NYC ... They were brief visits, and fucked and charged by horrific flights with Amber ... I fucked up and drank and got shitty. Was so disappointed in myself ...'
i) Before and/or during the flight Mr Depp consumed substantial quantities of alcohol. He also took cocaine.
ii) Mr Depp was jealous of Mr Franco who was much younger than Mr Depp and closer to Ms Heard's age. Mr Depp suspected that Mr Franco and Ms Heard were having an affair. Ms Heard denied that was the case, but whether it was true or not is immaterial. It could not (and Mr Depp did not suggest it could) justify any abuse of Ms Heard or what followed.
iii) As had happened previously when Mr Depp became drunk and high on illegal drugs, he insulted Ms Heard and screamed obscenities at her. In his closing submissions, Mr Sherborne submitted that Mr Depp would not have done this in the presence of Mr Deuters, Mr Jerry Judge (Mr Depp's head of security) and the flight crew. However, I prefer the evidence of Mr Depp's text to Mr Bettany in which after recounting what he had consumed he asked rhetorically, 'What do you get?' Mr Depp's answer to that question was,
'a fuckin' blackout, screaming obscenities and any fuck who gets near.'
iv) These verbal insults became, in the course of the flight, physical abuse. Whatever the configuration of the furniture on the plane, Mr Depp managed to kick Ms Heard on her back or bottom. This was more than a 'playful tap', contrary to what he and Mr Deuters said in their evidence. Mr Sherborne submitted that Mr Deuters (and Mr Judge) would not have allowed that to happen. I do not accept that submission. Their first loyalty was to Mr Depp.
v) At some stage, because of his consumption of alcohol and drugs Mr Depp passed out. I do not accept that he simply chose to sleep in the toilet to get away from Ms Heard. Her account that he passed out is more in keeping with Mr Deuters' text, after they landed and Ms Heard had disembarked, that Mr Depp could not leave immediately because he was ill.
vi) His consumption of alcohol and drugs was also the reason he was ill when the plane arrived in Los Angeles.
vii) Mr Depp did not, as he said in his trial witness statement, remember the flight in detail. On the contrary, as he agreed in cross-examination, there were times when he blacked out. That also accords with the evidence of Mr Deuters.
viii) It was perhaps because of his patchy memory that he did not recall kicking Ms Heard until he was reminded of this by Mr Deuters. He was then tearful and apologetic. I do not accept his and Mr Deuters' explanation that Mr Deuters' text communicating this and Mr Depp's text of apology were an insincere attempt to placate Ms Heard.
ix) I have reached my conclusions regarding this incident without reliance on the tape played by Ms Wass. It was not sufficiently established by the evidence that this was a recording of the same flight.
Incident 5: Bahamas August 2014
'I couldn't have made it without her ... I would have gone for a swim and swallowed a big drink of ocean without her to be honest ... It was a hell of my own doing that your little girl walked through with me step by step ... I know you're already proud of her, but if you'd seen her in action ... Amazing!!! It was an exercise of monumental patience and instinct. I wouldn't be alive, sweetheart ... There were more than a few times when I thought it would be more simple to take that route. It was Amber and Amber only that got me through this ... And it was not easy ...'
'Issue has arisen again. He took the meds about 30 mins ago (which seems to be the trend) as I reckon they haven't kicked in yet all of a sudden he's flipping again. Just started screaming he was so mad he pushed me and I asked him to get out. Don't know what else to do. Sorry to keep at you guys.'
'there were blackouts, for sure, but in any blackout there are snippets of memory, and in recalling those memories, you see images that you saw and images that you went through, but you do not see the whole picture.'
i) The process of detoxification was extremely painful for Mr Depp.
ii) His feelings towards Ms Heard vacillated wildly. At times he was extremely fond of her and grateful to her. At other times he imagined that she was the cause of his pain and that her actions increased his torment. I say 'imagined' because there is no evidence that Ms Heard was anything other than solicitous and following strictly the regime prescribed by Nurse Lloyd and/or Dr Kipper.
iii) I find it more likely than not that Mr Depp did push Ms Heard on at least one occasion (as reflected in her text of 17th August 2014). I am not able to conclude whether there was more than this one assault.
iv) That Ms Roberts never saw Mr Depp assault Ms Heard takes the matter no further. The staff (including Ms Roberts) lived in a different part of the island. In any event, Ms Heard's account is that she was generally assaulted by Mr Depp only when no one else was present. That is a common feature of domestic abuse.
v) Ms Heard acknowledged that she had made a mistake about the location of the door which was splintered. That is a peripheral matter and I do not find it causes me to doubt her account of being assaulted by Mr Depp.
Incident 6: Los Angeles December 2014
'It's away... I've let it go...Went too far ... We/I tend to do that ... I always regret it when I jump, or worse ... when you jump!!! I don't want to be conditioned to continue that behaviour ... therefore I'll put in heavy work with Shrank [Mr Depp said this should be 'shrink']. I'm sorry for being less ... For your disappointment in me ... For my behaviour. I'm a fucking savage ... Gotta lose that!!! The Devil is all around right...?? I wish I were able to bring just a glimmer of a smile to the pretty face of my most gorgeous of dreams and darkest nightmares ...'
Ms Heard could not recall the incident of violence itself.
Incident 7: Tokyo: January 2015
i) I have found that on other occasions, not long before Incident 7, Mr Depp was adversely affected by drink and/or drugs, whether prescription or controlled drugs.
ii) During those incidents, Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard.
iii) I do not accept that the presence of his children would have inhibited Mr Depp from doing so again. They were staying in another room.
iv) Nor do I find that the presence of his children would have prevented Mr Depp from gaining access to controlled drugs. After all, a short time later in February or March Nathan Holmes was helping Mr Depp to acquire controlled drugs in Australia (see Incident 8 below).
v) I conclude that Mr Depp did assault Ms Heard as she and the Defendants have alleged in Incident 7.
Incident 8: Australia March 2015
'Honestly I will not again be doing anything that involves this discussion of furthering my embarrassment of having whored for all these fucking wasted piece of shit nothing years on characters that I so ignorantly started to think of as my legacy .. Every cunting fight!!! Every fucking time!!! I held my ugliness and rage deeper down and get in check when there was still room in my head to do such a thing!!!!'
'Also I am confused. If you are convinced that all problems between the two of you stem from his drug abuse, why would you have participated with mushrooms on the island during the wedding and Ecstasy in Australia?'
Ms Heard denied that Dr Kipper's note was correct regarding the Ecstasy in Australia. The information in his message had not come from her. It must have come from Mr Depp, who was Dr Kipper's client or patient.
'Disappearer!!! We should have more happy pills!!!?? Can you???'
'Yes we can!! I'm giving them to Stephen to give you ... Yay.'
'Good afternoon, I just picked a little something from set, I am about to bring it up to you. Is that OK?
'Also ... may I be ecstatic again??? Helps... Color me deceased'
'There was two G in that jar ... Are you out? The guy only carried 2 a day and more tomorrow ... He said it's because if he's caught with more than 2 it's 20 years in prison. I can try another guy and get one more for when you pick Malcom up.'
This was plainly a reference to illegal drugs measured in grams. The obvious inference is that Mr Holmes was offering to supply cocaine.
'When I was a kid I loved my writers, my directors, my musicians ... But there was only one actor I loved. ONE actor whose films I would go and see every single one of, at the cinema. And I was not alone. Nor am I now. You are a MAVERICK. An ARTIST. A bona fide FUCKING LEGEND. One of the ALL TIME GREATS ... ALL TIME!!! You are LOVED out there in the world and all anybody wants to see on the screen is the Johnny Depp they know and LOVE. That said you DESERVE some time off - take a break, look after yourself for a while then we can discuss other stuff, you need to be less harsh on yourself and remember and salute all that you have accomplished in life. No one has achieved what you have managed to achieve from critical hero to box office juggernaut, all the while managing to retain the people's touch. A phenomenal, unprecedented, never to be repeated feat!!! You've inspired MUTIPLE generations of young artists, from actors to musicians, to wannabe writers ... In fact similar to Keith in that respect, you've transcended all genres you're the one who everybody loves, been accepted by every niche. So, as I've told you before, to call it an honor to work for you, doesn't do my feelings on the topic any justice whatsoever. But safe to say, I wouldn't work for anyone else. You're the reason I'm in this business, and by fuck does this business need you.'
'JD: I don't need you for that ... no more
NH: I'm sorry you feel that way.
JD: No, you're not Why?? That is not part of the job description. And I'm telling you now ... Any ONE of ANY of you guys start to lecture me ... I just do not want to hear it ... No stupid bullshit about sappy bollocks.
NH: I am not and never would lecture you ... Have I not been helping, I'm trying to keep the supply coming ... But it's not the same here. Sorry.
JD: I am a grown fucking man and I will NOT BE JUDGED.
NH: I have never judged you and never will!! I fucking love you and do everything I can to make you happy.
JD: AND I WILL NEVER ... EVER ... LIVE... IN THIS WORLD CAGE ANY LONGER.
NH: Do you honestly think I ever want to upset you!! You have been nothing but good to me for my entire career ... It is because of you that I am still in this industry!! I only want you to be happy.
JD: I'll do whatever I damn well please.
NH: I would encourage you to do it!! You are my legend!! Fuck Disney ...
I know you will ... And I will never stop you from doing whatever you please
JD: That's very sweet and you know I love you
NH: I know you do!! That's why it upsets me when you get like this ... You know I would die for you ... For your kids!! I will do anything in my power ever to make you happy ... ANYTHING!!!'
'Hi C. Not sure how much you are aware of right now, but I am at the house with Kipper and Debbie [Lloyd] who are speaking with JD and Amber respectively, separately. Obviously, things have not been calmed over the last day or so apparently there he has been making calls to LA but I am not aware of the particulars there as well there has been fighting between the two here so Kipper is now talking to JD, hoping to get thru to him, and explain to him that "this period" needs to end now before we get into real trouble. I'll keep you posted on the outcome. The good news thus far is that JD did not cancel this mtg and that he is engaging in conversation. We'll see how that goes and will do whatever else we need to do ...'
'well conversations seem to be going well ... JD is agreeing to all that Kipper is requesting he do in order to turn himself around ... of course we've heard that before, so we'll see ... they are now sat with Amber as well, but look to be wrapping up soon ... more shortly.'
'Amber and JD have been fighting non-stop since he confirmed his need for a pre-nup on the way to the airport (going to Japan to promote his movie). She tried to push up the date of the wedding to avoid all this, but the reality is he will need a pre-nup. If she fails to sign, they won't get married. Both behaved like super triple DD types, complete with thrown coffee, attempts by him to storm the cockpit, attempts by her to leave the plane while thy were over the fuckin ocean, etc.'
'I knew exactly what I was doing.'
'Look at my finger. She's cut my fucking finger off. She's smashed my hand with a vodka bottle.'
Mr Connolly also said that Mr Depp told him that Ms Heard had also put a cigarette out on his cheek. Mr Connolly could see a mark on Mr Depp's face. Mr Connolly agreed that Ms Heard was saying that Mr Depp had burnt himself with the cigarette, although she did not say that in his presence.
Mr Connolly was shown a photograph of Mr Depp lying in hospital. He identified the mark to which he had referred on the right side of Mr Depp's face.
Mr Connolly did not recall Mr Depp coming out with a variety of explanations for the injury to his finger. On the way to the hospital other explanations were discussed for how the injury could be said to have occurred. These included that it had happened when Mr Depp was slicing onions. Mr Connolly himself said he suggested that they should say that the finger had been injured in a folding door in the house. There was such a door in the house, though Mr Connolly said that could not have been how the injury occurred because the door had a safety device. Mr Connolly said that these other explanations were thought up to protect the abuser (Ms Heard).
'JJ: And honestly, he wrecked this place. I mean wrecked. Windows broken. The TV - - she did it. There was a cup thrown it missed [indiscernible] There's been bottles thrown and she admits to me she threw the first - - she threw a bottle [indiscernible] She [indiscernible] first ....
She has scratches on her left arm ... and I've seen those scratches before on a lot of people and as far as I am concerned they're self-inflicted. I'm convinced it was self-inflicted ... And she admitted that she hit him first. He has a small [Burn?] on the right hand side of his face, which she says I've seen that yesterday. But she didn't say -- she said on Friday he put a cigarette and burnt his own face with a cigarette ...There's blood everywhere... these two are covered in blood [indiscernible] down in the bar, he drank everything in the past week [indiscernible] and within two hours he'd taken 10 - - 10 ecstasy tablets [indiscernible] not the time to talk about it. If someone keeps supplying him, he's going to O.D. on this. ... I am not going to say that she did or he did it [indiscernible] sink, but yesterday, she is stone cold sober. She doesn't smell of booze ... We need to get this house before anybody sees it, we need to get it cleaned up ...
BK: Speaking of cleaning up, how much do you owe? I would safely say we've lost the deposit on this one.
JJ: Lost the deposit [indiscernible] ... Between me and you, I'm looking at $50 75 k ... That's what it's going to cost for this [indiscernible]. Carpets and all.
BK: Oh easily. Probably more. This floor will need re-doing because that's paint, isn't it? It will probably need a complete sanding ...
JJ: What I'm most concerned with now is that if the owner sees the house he'll kick us out and go to the newspapers ... The TV, they tell me the TV is about 10 grand, 15 grand on its own. There are two pictures here [indiscernible] standing very sexy, the same picture, in a bikini with her hands on her breasts. And what he did with one of them - - he drew or painted a fake dick on her pussy. ... And we're trying to keep a lid on this. One of the windows leading to the outside of the house has been broken.'
'Yeah I called and said I just need to come home and she said, whatever you need I love you, I'm here.'
In her evidence Ms Heard said that she did not recall phoning her sister, though she did not dispute that she had said that on the day.
'When I arrived, I found a significant amount of damage, particularly to the bar area on the lower ground floor. The mirror behind the bar was heavily cracked and there was broken glass and other debris strewn on and around the bar.'
'I was in charge of arranging the clean-up and replacing things or getting damage repaired. The immediate physical damage was tidied up, such as broken glass, paint, liquid spillages and broken china where a cup had struck a TV. I also cleaned the graffiti from the mirrors. I was there for several hours. ... I came back around a week later to deal with the larger clean-up work, such as organising for the floors to be sanded, the curtains cleaned, paintwork and plasterwork, and chipped stone on the counter-top in the bar area and on the staircase down to the bar, where a flower vase had been launched from the floor above.'
Mr King said, however, that he saw no sign of a broken telephone.
'Hi ... Fucked man ... Had another one ... I just cannot live like this ... She is as full of shit as a Christmas Goose!!! I'm done. NO MORE ... !!!
The constant insults, the demeaning, belittling, most heartbreaking spew that is only released from a malicious, evil and vindictive cunt!!!! But, you know what ...?? FAR MORE hurtful than her venomous and degrading endless "educational" ranting ... ??? is her hideous and purposely hurtful tirades and her goddam shocking treatment of the man she was meant to love above all ... Here's the real deal, mate ... Her obsession with herself .... ?? Is far more important ... she is SO FUCKIN' AMBITIOUS!!!! She's so desperate for success and fame ... That's probably why I was acquired mate... !!Although she has HAMMERED me with what a sad old man, has been I am... Cowan has done me the most cruel of favors ... I'm so very sad ... I cut the top of my middle finger off ... What should I do Except, of course, go to a hospital ... I'm so very embarrassed for jumping into anything with her ...'
'Need more whitey stuff ASAP, brotherman ... And the e business!!! Please ... I'm in bad bad shape ... Say NOTHING TO NOBODY!!!!'
'1300 Patient was having a hard time leaving the house so security suggested that the MD [i.e. Dr Kipper] and RN [presumably Debbie Lloyd] go to house to see patient.'
'unclear history of traumatic event and no witnesses. Patient under the influence and not coherent nor sure of mechanism.'
'after another night of broken promises to remain sober and compliant.'
'They are fighting relationship volatile and destructive to any sense of growing trust. Her coping skills seem minimal ... Big event that turned angry ... They are both volatile and she doesn't back down when confronted. I understand he badly injured his hand.'
'Have you ever been so angry with someone that you just lost it?'
Mr King said he had never felt that way at which, he says, Ms Heard was incredulous and repeated her question.
'I can't promise you that I'll be perfect, I can't promise you that I won't get physical again. God, I fucking sometimes get so mad I lose it ...'
'she had a couple of marks which looked like cuts in fairly uniform lines at a sort of diagonal angle downwards.'
'Pirate steers off course! Johnny Depp injured his hand GO-KARTING with Mick Doohan at Australian motorbike champion's luxury estate - forcing the star to fly home.'
Mr Deuters agreed that the statement was complete rubbish. Mr Deuters said that Mr Depp had told him that Ms Heard had been responsible for the injury to his finger.
'She sobbed telling me about the fight and what had happened. She was not hiding the abuse from me at this point. I also saw her injuries, so there was no hiding it. Her lip was swollen and busted up a bit, and she also had these horrible cuts on her arms like gashes ... The she told me that the cuts on her arms were from the broken glass that was from him throwing bottles and smashing glasses all over the place.'
'Just make sure you say you aren't sure how he hurt his hand.'
It also accords with the false explanation put out by Mr Oman.
i) Mr Depp was jealous of Billy Bob Thornton and believed that he and Ms Heard were having an affair. Ms Heard had come out to Australia after filming 'London Fields' in which Billy Bob Thornton also starred. Mr Depp's belief that Ms Heard and Mr Thornton were having an affair is the obvious inference from the graffiti which Mr Depp scrawled on one of the mirrors. It also fits with his reactions to James Franco and Tasya van Ree. The sexual element of his ill temper is also apparent from what Mr Judge observed about the pornographic defacement of a picture.
ii) Rightly or wrongly, Mr Depp also believed that Ms Heard was resistant to a post-nuptial agreement. That added to his anger.
iii) A further cause of Mr Depp's stress was his dissatisfaction or concern about the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' series and with what he saw as his legacy, as shown by his text to Stephen Deuters.
iv) Mr Depp did what he often did when subjected to stress: he drank alcohol excessively and used controlled drugs. I do not accept his evidence that the alcohol with which Nathan Holmes had stocked the fridge was only for visitors or Ms Heard. Nor do I accept that Mr Depp remained sober until he and Ms Heard argued on the night of 7th/8th March 2015.
v) Nathan Holmes was available to supply him with cocaine and MDMA and he provided Mr Depp with both. There are two post-injury events which point in the same direction. The first is the first text which Mr Depp sent after texting Dr Kipper. This was to Nathan Holmes asking Mr Holmes to supply 'more' whitey (obviously cocaine) and E (obviously ecstasy). The second post-injury event is that Dr Kipper terminated his professional relationship with Mr Depp because of Mr Depp's continued 'broken promises to remain sober and compliant' (as Dr Kipper said in his email to Dr Connell Cowan of 15th March 2015). I recognise that allowance must be made for the injury itself to be a contributing cause. However, there is ample evidence of Mr Depp's excessive drinking and use of controlled drugs before he injured his finger so that these two events cannot simply be attributed to the injury itself.
vi) I do not accept that the MDMA was for Ms Heard. I accept her evidence that she only rarely used MDMA and neither she, nor anyone on her behalf, asked Nathan Holmes to acquire it for her in Australia.
vii) I reject Mr Depp's evidence that he was looking to Nathan Holmes to supply him with prescription drugs. Debbie Lloyd was with him and it would make no sense at all for Nathan Holmes to be the source of prescription drugs rather than she.
viii) I accept Ms Heard's evidence that she was angered or concerned by Mr Depp's excessive drinking and consumption of controlled drugs. Her father had been an alcoholic and had physically abused her mother as a result. I accept her evidence that she feared Mr Depp was set on the same path. By the time of Incident 8, I have found that she herself had been the victim of Mr Depp's violence. That would have been a further cause of her concern.
ix) I accept that Ms Heard's anger or concern at Mr Depp's consumption of alcohol and drugs led her to remonstrate with him. I accept that she would have been alarmed that this was another manifestation of 'the monster' side of Mr Depp's character. Her remonstration would have added further fuel to his rage.
Mr Depp did not take kindly to what he perceived as others lecturing him, as can be seen for instance from his exchange of texts with Mr Holmes on 2nd March 2015.
Nor was Ms Heard immune from this reaction because she was not one of Mr Depp's employees, as was apparent from a text which Mr Depp sent to his sister on 20th October 2013 and from his characterisation of her as a 'lesbian camp counsellor' (file 7/2(b)/H23.3). In his evidence, Mr Depp said (in the context of his exchange of texts with Paul Bettany, which I have quoted above),
'I was resentful of the fact that Ms Heard was very aggressive and quite insulting about my use of alcohol, or, if cocaine came into the picture, she did not like Mr Bettany, and I am afraid she did not really like me that much either, and she was constantly harping on things that did not even exist.'
At another point in his cross-examination, Mr Depp commented that he was twice the age of Ms Heard and her lectures were not appropriate.
x) A very considerable amount of damage was done to the Queensland house. That is apparent from the accidentally recorded conversation of Mr Judge and others (though, their estimate of the cost of repairs may not be reliable) and the evidence of Mr King who was the house manager for the trip and who had to make a return visit to Australia to continue the clean-up operation. It does not appear that the damage included urine. I accept the evidence of Mr King to this effect.
xi) I do not accept Mr Depp's evidence that it was Ms Heard who caused the damage or, at least, the great majority of the damage. It was he who had drunk excessively, not she. It was he, not she, who had arranged for Nathan Holmes to supply controlled drugs. It was he, not she, who suffered from jealousy. (There is in Erin Boerum's notes for 27th August 2014 (see file 9/132/K182) this comment, 'Client expressed concern to husband and Dr Kipper that she is nervous about being alone while husband is working (on movie set in London) and expressed that she has difficulty dealing with feelings of insecurity and jealousy when not in the presence of her husband.' Ms Heard disagreed with this note and said it was not she who had feelings of jealousy but Mr Depp. I accept her evidence in this regard. The provenance of the information obtained by Ms Boerum is unclear: it may have come from Dr Kipper and / or Mr Depp but Ms Boerum did not say in her note that it came from Ms Heard herself. Further, I have had evidence of Mr Depp's jealousy towards James Franco, Billy Bob Thornton and Tasya van Ree.). It was he, not she, who was concerned about his legacy. It was he, not she, who scrawled graffiti on the mirrors and lampshade.
xii) I reject Mr Depp's evidence that it was Ms Heard who added the graffiti about Carly Simon. The writing in black (for which Mr Depp accepted responsibility) appears to have been added after the graffiti in red which mentions Carly Simon. In any event, whether or not Ms Heard liked to have the last word, it would in all the circumstances have been peculiar for her to add to Mr Depp's graffiti. I do not accept that happened.
xiii) The damage clearly included a broken window-pane, as can be seen in the photograph which Mr King took.
xiv) The damage also included a great deal of broken glass, as Mr King testified. Mr Depp said that Ms Heard had thrown bottles at him and this was the source of the broken glass. I do not accept that she threw more than the one bottle she admitted. For the same reasons as I have found that it was he, not she, who was responsible for the damage, I find that it was he and not she who was generally throwing the bottles.
xv) Mr Depp admitted in his evidence ripping a telephone off the wall.
xvi) I do not accept that Ms Heard was responsible for the injury to Mr Depp's finger. The first account appears to have been in Mr Depp's text to Dr Kipper. It is notable in that text that he says he cut his finger, not that she cut it. Mr Connolly said that Mr Depp told him on his arrival that Ms Heard had caused the injury to his finger, but that is not what Mr Depp said in his text to Dr Kipper. Nor did Mr Depp say that Ms Heard had been responsible for the injury to his finger in either of his two texts to sister Christi on 8th March 2015. What exactly caused the injury is uncertain. Mr King spoke of there being a great deal of broken glass around and it may well be that Mr Depp accidentally cut his finger on a piece of broken glass. As is apparent from Mr Connolly's evidence, there was much discussion on the way to the hospital as to what (false) explanation could be given. Mr Deuters is undoubtedly right that this was a potential public relations catastrophe for Mr Depp. It seems that the hospital was told that Mr Depp had cut his finger accidentally. I do not accept that this untrue account was given simply to spare Ms Heard as the real abuser.
xvii) Quite how long an interval elapsed between Mr Depp's finger being injured and help being summoned is impossible to gauge. Ms Heard's estimate of 12 hours may not be accurate. The sense of timing by witnesses to traumatic events is notoriously unreliable, but it is notable that, according to Dr Kipper's note, even when Mr Depp's security team arrived, they had difficulty in persuading him to leave the house. Given that he had by then suffered the serious injury to his finger that speaks to his heightened emotional state and is supportive of Ms Heard's account that, despite that injury, he did not seek help at once.
xviii) Ms Heard was in a distressed state when she was seen by Dr Cowan a few days later. She was also visibly distressed when seen by her sister, Whitney, on her return from Australia.
xix) Ms Heard had cuts on her arms as seen by Mr Judge (as he said in the accidental recording) and by Mr King. The cuts were also seen by Ms Henriquez and Ms Pennington. The photograph of the scars to which I have referred was taken many years later and is too indistinct to be of much value, but I accept that Ms Heard did cut her arms. I do not accept that the cuts were self-inflicted as Mr Judge speculated in the recording. His (non-expert) view that they were self-inflicted carries little, if any, weight. In any event, Ms Heard had no history of self-harming. A much more likely explanation (and one which I find to be the case) is that they were caused accidentally by the abundance of broken glass in the house. Ms Heard said that her feet were also cut as she also told Ms Pennington. That also is likely to have been the result of the abundant broken glass. Mr Judge also says in the accidental recording that he had seen a bruise on Ms Heard.
xx) The injury to Mr Depp's cheek can be seen in the photograph of him on the hospital trolley. None of the doctors appear to have remarked on it. None of them gave evidence. For the hospital, the explanation may have been that the injury to his finger was what required immediate attention. The omission of Dr Kipper to comment on it is more notable. In any event, I do not accept Mr Depp's evidence that Ms Heard caused this injury by putting out a cigarette on his cheek. Quite how it happened and whether the cause was accidental or deliberate is not necessary for me to decide, but, given Mr Depp's heightened emotional state and his other actions that night, the possibility that he injured himself (whether deliberately or accidentally) is plausible.
xxi) Ms Heard's description of the days in Australia as akin to a hostage situation was something of a hyperbole. She was not being kept in the house against her will. The house was set back on a long drive, but there were people around. Ms Heard had a mobile phone. She agreed in cross examination that she could have contacted anyone. In the accidentally recorded conversation she spoke of phoning her sister. Ms Heard could have left the house.
xxii) Yet taking all the evidence together, I accept that she was the victim of sustained and multiple assaults by Mr Depp in Australia. It is a sign of the depth of his rage that he admitted scrawling graffiti in blood from his injured finger and then, when that was insufficient, dipping his badly injured finger in paint and continuing to write messages and other things. I accept her evidence of the nature of the assaults he committed against her. They must have been terrifying. I accept that Mr Depp put her in fear of her life.
xxiii) I have also accepted the further allegation in the confidential annexe regarding this incident.
xxiv) I accept that it is possible that Ms Heard made the remark which Mr King attributed to her. It certainly has an uncanny echo of exactly the same phrase which Ms Heard used in Argument 2. But, even if she did make that remark and intend it to refer to herself, rather than Mr Depp, my conclusions remain the same for all the other reasons I have given.
Incident 9: the stairs incident 23rd March 2015
i) Mr Depp was drinking from a bottle of whiskey at the time even though Debbie Lloyd was there with him.
ii) Mr Depp threw a can of Red Bull at Ms Heard and herself. It missed them but hit Ms Lloyd.
iii) The security guards (who included Travis) had been at the bottom of the stairs, but they only intervened after Ms Heard had been assaulted.
iv) Ms Heard used Penthouse 5 to store her clothes. The following morning, Ms Henriquez went in to PH5 and found that the shelves where Ms Heard had kept her clothes had been pulled over. Things had been taken out of boxes and thrown around. Ms Henriquez took photographs which she sent to Kevin Murphy and exhibited to her witness statement.
'Bad night last night. They got into it and it got violent again. I had to separate them and we are at 80 [Sweetzer Avenue] now. Jerry aware ... I was there at 1.30 to give him a shot. He said she was trying to start. He took his meds and went to bed but then she found the texts to Rochelle and all hell broke loose!! He had Travis get me back there around 4. Good thing he called or they would have hurt each other. We had to physically restrain both of them.'
'WH: Good morning sir ... So .... um Johnny destroyed Amber's closet. And there's some other damage to PH5 ... You're the lucky person I should talk to about that - correct?
KM: I suppose so ... I'm up.
WH: Insanity. Just fucking insanity.
[WH then sent various photos of closet and home]
WH: Juuuust to give you an idea.'
i) It is no part of my function to decide whether Mr Depp was having an affair with Rochelle (any more than it is my function to decide whether Ms Heard had affairs with James Franco, Billy Bob Thornton, Elon Musk or anyone else). Even if he or she had been unfaithful in this sense, it could not begin to excuse the use of violence in consequence. To be fair to Mr Depp and Ms Heard, neither suggested that it could.
ii) I regard the most reliable account of what took place as the texts sent by Ms Lloyd. They were written very shortly after the events she is describing and they are therefore a near-contemporaneous account. Ms Lloyd was also independent of both Mr Depp and Ms Heard.
iii) It is plain from these texts that this argument was not simply a verbal argument. She speaks of them 'getting violent again'.
iv) It is also plain from what Ms Lloyd said in her texts that there was violence on both sides. Ms Heard has accepted that she punched Mr Depp, but it is clear from Ms Lloyd's texts that she was not the sole aggressor. As Ms Lloyd said, 'We had to restrain both of them.'
v) However, Ms Lloyd makes no mention of Mr Depp being struck on the back by a can of Red Bull. Either this did not happen, or the force of the blow was so minimal that it was not worth Ms Lloyd referring to it. Either way it is of no consequence.
vi) All agree that Mr Depp still had a cast on his injured right hand, but in Ms Lloyd's account (which I find to be true) that did not stop him being one of those who was violent or having to be physically restrained.
vii) While Ms Heard did not mention the cast in her 1st witness statement for these proceedings (nor, for that matter, was it mentioned in any of her subsequent statements) she did refer to it in her declaration for the Virginia libel proceedings. In any event, her omission to mention this aspect was, she said, because she did not in her witness statement include all the details. She said that in any event, this was a minor incident by comparison with what had taken place in Australia only a few weeks earlier. I accept these explanations for why in her statement she did not mention that matter. I also note that Ms Lloyd in her texts referred to Mr Depp being violent and needing to be restrained, but she did not mention that he was behaving in this way despite the cast on his hand. Ms Henriquez did not mention the cast either, but, when she was asked about this omission in her evidence, she explained that what was memorable about the occasion was that this was the first time she had seen Mr Depp be violent to her sister.
viii) In short, I accept that Mr Depp did assault Ms Heard as she and the Defendants have alleged in Incident 9.
ix) I find that Ms Heard was in her pyjamas as Ms Henriquez said (and as would be natural in the early hours of the morning). She did not have her purse with her (whether 'purse' for these purposes is as it would be understood in England or in the USA). I do not find that she threw a can of Red Bull at Mr Depp. As she admitted, she did punch him, but I accept that was in defence of her sister.
x) Mr McGivern agreed that the account of the incident which he gave in cross-examination differed from the account in his statement. He did not have a satisfactory explanation for the difference. I find that the weight I can give to his evidence is consequently reduced.
Incident 10: south east Asia train incident
'Since Australia we've been on our honeymoon and we had a great time other than the fact that we had a fight on the train, which was physical...'
'After 3 hours of sleep and terrible fight we got in last night, we are both walking zombies today ... A night that ended at 3.30 and was brutally interrupted by the train's imminent arrival to the Singapore station too early this morning after 3 hours of sleep it has felt like an even more brutal heart hangover. But last night was particularly bad. We finally fell asleep with one another smashed together in desperate child-like anger, fear and love finally succumbing to exhaustion and ultimately unavoidable futility.... Our fight was terrible. J [Mr Depp] finally at one point found himself with his shirt wrapped around my neck (amazing to think about the precision/coordination that required considering the circumstances). He hit me several times. I don't even know how I wound up with this huge rather annoying knot on the back of my head? Fuck, I hate that it [indecipherable] there. I hate that I allow it to by never using that as a line for which I stand my ground. Where are my cones? Do I have any left?'
i) Mr Depp did not mention in his trial witness statement that Ms Heard had assaulted him during this train journey (although he did allege that she had assaulted him on other occasions). There is no evidence that Mr Depp mentioned to Mr Connolly that he had been injured by Ms Heard on this occasion.
ii) I cannot see any injury to Mr Depp's nose on the photograph to which I have referred.
iii) I have quoted above what Mr Depp said in Argument 2 that their disagreements got physical on the train. Had he intended this to be a reference to violence by Ms Heard on him, I would have expected him to say so in his trial witness statement and/or to have pleaded that in his reply. He did neither.
iv) I accept that Ms Heard's diary entry was written when it purports to have been. It is a near contemporaneous account of the assault in Incident 10. Of course, the diary entry is not independent of Ms Heard, but it is nonetheless supportive evidence.
v) I accept that Ms Heard was assaulted by Mr Depp as she and the Defendants have alleged in Incident 10. I accept that she feared for her life on this occasion.
Incident 11 Los Angeles 26th November 2015
'[Ms Boerum] visited client and client and husband /client JD's home. Client appears well groomed, calm, in good spirits. Client socialises well with peers and [Ms Boerum] and appears to be enjoying hosting her family and friends Client and husband JD. JD appeared calm and coherent. Client notified [Ms Boerum] that she will need refills on routine and PRN medications ...'
'went to look for Johnny and stayed up there a long time. When I asked Amber what had happened she told me Johnny had thrown a bottle of wine at her in the bedroom. I went to look and found that a full bottle of wine had hit and broken a piece of art that Amber really loves above the bed and that broken glass was scattered all over the bed.'
'Third, I regard it as essential that witnesses are challenged with the other side's case. This involves putting the case positively. This is important for a judge to enable him to assess that witness's response to the other case orally, by reference to his or her demeanour and in the overall context of the litigation. A failure to put a point should usually disentitle the point to be taken against a witness in a closing speech. This is especially so in an era of pre-prepared witness statements. A judge does not see live in chief evidence, thereby depriving the witness of presenting himself positively in his case.'
Peter Smith J added at ,
'None of the above or the helpful assistance provided by the reported authorities is necessarily determinative. All of them provide factors to enable a judge to come to a particular conclusion about the acceptance or rejection of a particular person's evidence.'
Incident 12: 15th December 2015 (the day before Ms Heard's appearance on James Corden's Late Late Show)
'emergency can you please call me?'
'I had an accident tonight Jodi. I'm really bruised and might have a black eye or two tmrw same with my nose. Nurse on the way to make sure I don't have concussion. There's a chance I might not be fit for tomorrow. But I won't know how bad the bruising is until the morning. Giving you a heads up. I'll call tmrw to let you know -k?
'AH: I need you. ... J beat me up pretty good ... Rocks on the couch with me now ... When r u back ... I'm hurt. Don't know what to do. Need you.'
'I had an accident tonight Jessica. I'm really bruised and might have a black eye or two tmrw same with my nose. Nurse on the way to make sure I don't have concussion. There's a chance I might not be fit for tomorrow. But won't know how bad the bruising is until the morning. Giving you a heads up. I'll call you tmrw to let you know k? Can we push to my morning stunt appt to the next morning perhaps??'
'AH: You can't throw a punch but yet screaming's OK. You can head-butt somebody but don't scream huh?
JD: I head-butted you in the fuckin' ...
AH: I couldn't believe you did that.
JD: ... forehead. That doesn't break a nose.
AH: I don't know if you were aware, I don't think you did. I don't think you broke it.
JD: Don't think I broke it, I didn't touch it!
AH: Oh please, you didn't touch it? You don't know.
JD: There's nothing wrong with your nose.'
'I am sure that I read some of [his witness statement]. I do not know that I read it all.'
'... I just wanted to let you know that the maids will be needed down town today, even though Johnny didn't sleep here last night. He left quite a dent on the place before he left.'
'She states husband JD was inebriated. [Ms Heard] states the disagreement escalated and states JD used his forehead to hit her head. [Ms Heard] denies loss of consciousness. States she has headache and bruised eye. [Ms Boreum] encouraged [Ms Heard] to notify Dr Kipper and/or go to emergency room if she was injured or felt like she is in danger. [Ms Heard] declined and stated friend Rocky [Pennington] is with her and that husband JD will not be able to re-enter home.'
'Just found a bunch of Coke ...Which explains it.'
'Between you and I JD and I were up all nite talking. Bad bust up re Amber. Everyone sleeping a few more hours!'
'Johnny did a number on me tonight. I'm safe with my support tonight but I need some real help. Can I come tomorrow. I called earlier because I thought I had a concussion and didn't know if I should have called police. But I have a nurse close to me and rocky and a her [sic] have been here for me. Can I see you tmrw.'
Dr Cowan has noted a second text message from Ms Heard which said,
'Connell, sorry haven't called because rocky came over last night. Then dealt with Security and called nurse for medical help and went down to sleep ... Today has been filled with work (I'm shooting a late show appearance today with two black eyes) In short? I need your help. But will have time tomorrow to get it. Can you please make time for me??'
'[Ms Boerum] in contact with [Ms Heard] to notify her that she would be able to deliver medications to her home. [Ms Boerum] waited at door for several minutes after knocking. [Ms Heard] greeted [Ms Boerum] at door looking dishevelled. Her hair appeared unbrushed. [Ms Heard] appeared weepy and sad. Posture is slouched. [Ms Heard] told [Ms Boerum] about argument with husband. [Ms Boerum] offered emotional support but reminded [Ms Heard] that [Ms Boerum] could not stay as on duty with another client. And was only visiting in order to deliver medication. Per [Ms Heard] she has not had contact with husband since altercation. [Ms Heard] had visible bright red blood appearing at center of lower lip. When [Ms Boerum] made [Ms Heard] aware that she was actively bleeding on her lip [Ms Heard] stated it was from the injury sustained in the argument between her and her husband, and that it continues to bleed actively. [Ms Heard] also states that her head is bruised and that she lost clumps of hair in the altercation. [Ms Boerum] briefly looked at her [Ms Heard's] scalp but was unable to visualise the haematomas [Ms Heard] had described. [Ms Boerum] encouraged [Ms Heard] to be seen by physician Dr Kipper or go to emergency/Urgent care for thorough assessment.'
'EB: Just finished watching your appearance last night. I had recorded it. You looked and sounded great, and honestly, nothing looked wrong at all.
AH: That's a miracle ... Hey, I have had a headache basically for the last couple of days ... my head is still really bruised. I still feel a lot of welts on it. I called Kipper's office and Lisa said he was away until tomorrow but that Monroe could look at me. Do you think I should go and get checked out by him?
EB: I think if you are still hurting at this point then it wouldn't hurt to get a full check up / assessment. Monroe is a really good guy and very smart nurse practitioner. ... Are you OK??? Did you go to the office?
AH: yes I did I saw Monroe. And went to therapists and lawyer's office today. Just really sad.'
'Some spark ignited an argument that escalated and got violent. Shoving and screaming. Amber related that he started the physicality pushed her down. Amber got back up. Hard for her to de-escalate a fight. Her strategy (despite our conversations) is not to [indecipherable word] and fight back (not protective of self and very self-defeating)'
'Phone consultation: headache...
Amber Heard is a 29 year-old English speaking Caucasian female with a past history of insomnia, anxiety and attention deficit disorder. Today the patient reports a headache after she bumped her head while standing up 2 days ago. The patient reports no loss of consciousness, no nausea or vomiting. No change in mental state, or vision changes. Last seen in the office on 12/23/2015 [It is hard to understand this in a note written on 18th December] the patient has not experienced any cardiovascular events., Symptomatically she denies chest pain or dyspnea, PND, orthopnea and ankle edema she denies palpitations, syncope or pre-syncope....Neurological: At present the patient is awake, alert and fully oriented ... Assessment / Plan ... Reassurance. Dr Kipper is aware of the medical pan and is in agreement... The patient was told to contact Dr Kipper or Monroe AGACNP if there are any questions or changes to health. The patient was also instructed to go directly to the emergency room or dial 911 should she experience dizziness, extreme sleepiness, breathing problems, nausea and vomiting, confusion, difficulty walking, slurred speech, memory loss, poor coordination, seizures or numbness or paralysis in any part of her body.'
'Below is a text that I never hit send on from a week or so again ...
[Mr Depp expresses his warm feelings for David Heard] Yes, I fucked up and went too far in our fight!!! I cannot and WILL NOT excuse my part inside these dramas!!! But, I can promise you, with all confidence, THEY WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!! My most sincere apologies if I've let you down ... Love you brother ... JD.'
In his cross-examination, Mr Depp said that he remembered sending the text, and that he had previously forgotten to hit the send button. He was apologising for his part in the argument with Ms Heard. He never said that he had hit her. He agreed that he did not say to Mr Heard that he had hit his daughter accidentally.
i) There was an argument on 15th December between Mr Depp and Ms Heard. I find that it is more probable than not that on this occasion, as on others, Mr Depp was under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled drugs.
ii) The argument was not just verbal: it became physical.
iii) Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard. This included head-butting her, as he admitted in the course of his cross-examination, but in my view, it was not the accidental blow which he admitted. That was not what he said in the San Francisco recording and, although I recognise that I must be careful not to attribute too much weight to such out of court remarks, the deliberate nature of the head-butt fits with the other evidence of what took place that evening. I also agree with the Defendants that it is of some significance that Mr Depp did not say to David Heard that he had headbutted his daughter, but accidentally.
iv) Mr Depp also tore out clumps of hair from Ms Heard's head. These were photographed later. If the photos show hair without roots (and I make no finding that that is the case), I am not in a position to consider the significance of that in the absence of expert evidence.
v) Ms Pennington and Ms Inglessis saw Ms Heard that night. I accept their evidence of her condition then. That supports Ms Heard's account of what had taken place.
vi) I accept Ms Pennington's evidence that Ms Heard consulted a nurse who was part of the concierge services. She did so that night.
vii) The first of the text messages which are in Dr Cowan's notes was, I find, sent on 15th December 2015 (not 16th December). As I have said, that is what appears from another copy of the text at file 7/13(a)/H81.1.That message, too, supports Ms Heard's account, as does Ms Heard's earlier message to Dr Cowan asking him to call her as an emergency.
viii) Ms Heard sent a further text to Dr Cowan (which was on 16th December). And she saw him on 17th December, as she had urgently requested him so to do.
ix) Ms Heard also saw someone (probably Nurse Practitioner Monroe Tinker) in Dr Kipper's office on 17th December. I do not attribute significance to the comment by Ms Heard that she had bumped her head (accidentally) while standing up. She had not, at that stage, decided to go public with her allegations against Mr Depp.
x) Ms Heard was seen briefly by Erin Boerum on 17th December. Ms Boerum identified an injured lip. I do not find that this was caused by Ms. Heard biting her own lip, as the Claimant alleged. Ms Boerum did not see any sign of haematoma on Ms Heard's head, but it is apparent, from Ms Boerum's note of the encounter, that she was on her way to see another patient. This was a cursory inspection rather than a clinical examination. I do not draw any adverse conclusion against Ms Heard's account from Ms Boerum's omission to see anything more.
xi) These consultations with medical professionals mark out these assaults from others which Ms Heard alleged she suffered from Mr Depp. Although the consultations show that she had not suffered long term or other significant injury (and her nose was not, it seems, actually broken) these assaults would, particularly in combination, have been extremely frightening. I accept that they put Ms Heard in fear of her life.
xii) In addition, there was the property damage that can be seen in the photographs. I accept that this was done by Mr Depp. He admitted writing the graffiti in gold pen and, in that mood (which Mr Depp said was not his best) I find that he caused the other damage as well. That damage would have added to Ms Heard's alarm. It also speaks to Mr Depp's state of mind.
xiii) Mr Bett's photographs of the alleged injuries to Mr Depp's face are not very clear. So far as I can judge, any scratch to Mr Depp's nose was considerably less than Mr Bett's estimate of 1 ½ -2 inches long. I cannot see any swelling or abrasion in the photographs. However Mr Depp came by the scratch to his nose, in my judgment it was not caused by Ms Heard.
xiv) Ms Heard appeared on James Corden's TV show on 16th December. She had been anxious as to whether she could do this with her injuries, as she said in her messages to Jodi Gottlieb and to Jessica Kovacevic, but I accept her evidence that it was important for her to keep the commitment. Ms Inglessis was able to conceal Ms Heard's injuries with make-up and lipstick. I find that Ms McMillen saw her after the make-up had been applied which was why the injuries were not apparent to her. For the same reason, the injuries cannot be seen on the still photographs from the show.
xv) For all of these reasons, I accept that Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard as she and the Defendants have alleged in Incident 12.
December 2015 - Bahamas
Incident 13: 21st April 2016 (the birthday party)
'Her fiance [Mr Depp] has a history of polysubstance abuse and completed a medical detox in July 2014. He has abstained from all substances since the detox period.'
That cannot be correct. In August 2014 Mr Depp had just returned from his detox trip to the Bahamas. Either Ms Boerum meant August rather than July or she was referring to an earlier detoxification episode, but in that case the earlier episode could not have been completely successful because it had to be repeated in August 2014. Ms Heard also said in her evidence that Ms Boerum had incorrectly recorded that she had a history of eating disorders: Ms Heard said that she had never suffered from an eating disorder.
i) Mr Depp had a meeting on the evening of 21st April 2016 at which he was given very grim news about his financial situation. Ms Sexton misunderstood the reason for Mr Depp's delayed arrival.
ii) In consequence Mr Depp took marijuana, as he admitted. I find it more likely than not that he also drank alcohol and took cocaine. This had been his practice on other occasions when he was faced with stress.
iii) As he accepts, he arrived late at the dinner party to celebrate his wife's birthday.
iv) He assaulted Ms Heard as he had done on previous occasions when he was stressed.
v) I do not accept that Ms Heard assaulted Mr Depp on 21st April 2016. Mr Bett's evidence that he saw an injury to Mr Depp's face, is considerably weakened because the photograph he initially said that he took of that injury was, in fact, taken on a different occasion (23rd March 2015), an occasion when Ms Heard accepts that she punched Mr Depp. I have explained already why my view on this remains the same notwithstanding the recorded conversation in San Francisco in July 2016.
vi) Ms Heard and her friends went the following day to the Coachella music festival. She admits that that weekend was a rare occasion when she took MDMA and magic mushrooms. She felt ill in consequence of one or other or both of the drugs. Whether or not she vomited in the car park as Starling Jenkins describes is not material, but I accept that one of the other members of the party was Whitney Henriquez, Ms Heard's sister, who is of similar appearance to Ms Heard. Ms Henriquez was pregnant at the time and agreed that she did vomit on more than one occasion. To the extent that it is material, I find that Mr Jenkins confused the two sisters. In any event he accepted in cross examination that he had identified Ms Heard by her clothes rather than any other feature.
Faeces on the bed
'Will you squat in front of the door of the master bedroom and leave a giant coil of dookie so that Amber steps in it and thinks that one of the dogs, primarily Boo, has a major problem. It'll be funny!!!'
'Last night she [Boo] shit on Johnny. While he was sleeping. Like all over him. Not exaggerating.'
Incident 14: 21st May 2016 Los Angeles
'Met w/vict. Chckd Loc. Verified Husband left Loc. Vict advised verbal dispute and refused to give further info. Issue Bus Card.'
'I think I'm done "being there" for Johnny, wouldn't you agree "mom and dad"?'
A little later she added,
'I called him again and said I was ready to talk. He was fucked up and delusional. Claiming some ridiculous shit I had no clue of or how to make sense of. Then he started hitting me with the phone and threw me down and hit me in the head. That's when rocky and then Josh rushed in. Cops came right after he split. That's all you need to know. If you text him or involve yourself anymore in his life I will never speak to you guys again. Dad either you understand that and respect that or you don't. But if you go against my wishes I will never speak to you again.'
i) Mr Depp was about 6 feet away from her when he threw the phone at her face.
ii) When Ms Pennington entered their apartment, she and Mr Depp could hear the door opening. There was a long narrow hallway. She said that the grip on her hair loosened. She pushed him away, so that by the time Ms Pennington entered the room there was a few feet between them.
iii) When Mr Judge came in, she cried out, 'If he hits me again, I'll call the police.'
iv) She agreed that after Mr Depp left, she called her publicist as well as Ms Spector.
v) Mr Depp smashed the apartment he shared with Ms Heard (PH3). His security team let him into the neighbouring apartment where she kept her things (PH5) and he started causing damage to property there as well.
vi) The first pair of officers who attended Eastern Columbia Building (Officers Saenz and Hadden) would have been able to see the damage to the property.
vii) She denied that she, Mr Drew and Ms Pennington staged purported damage to the apartments.
viii) In the early hours of the following (Sunday) morning, Ms Heard said that she had tried to contact her friend Savannah McMillan who was in the UK. She sent Savannah a text which said, 'Sav! Shit is bad but I'm OK. Please don't text Rocky or anyone. It's OK. I'll explain later.'
ix) The photographs of her face were taken by either Ms Pennington or Mr Drew.
x) Apart from her court appearance on 27th May 2016, Ms Heard said that it was standard practice for her to wear make-up when she went out in Los Angeles. The reason was that she would often be photographed by paparazzi.
xi) One of the things that Mr Depp had destroyed had been some bead necklaces which had been made by Ms Pennington. The following day (22nd May 2016) Ms Pennington had a display of some of her necklaces. Ms Heard said that Ms Pennington fortunately had some necklaces in reserve. A photograph taken that day (file 6/148E/F894.224) showed Ms Heard with Ms Pennington. Ms Heard said that she was wearing some of the necklaces.
xii) At 23.52am on 21st May 2016 Ms Heard sent a message to Erin Boerum. She said (see file 7/28(a)/H144.5),
'...he [Mr Depp] was completely delusional. Hit me in the face several times, while on the phone to iO. She [iotw at the time identified as a woman. This was a reference to him] had dialled the cops, restraining order will be filed in the am. Cops just left (Long after he did of course) Rocky and Josh were here too. It was horrible.'
Ms Heard denied that this was part of her effort to galvanise support from her friends.
xiii) At 07.58 on 22nd May 2016 Ms Heard had an exchange of text messages with Mr Drew which included the following (file 7/35/H159),
'AH: Hey Josh, I hope you and Rocky got some sleep last night. I don't want to bother her on her big day but the lawyers asking for brief statements from you guys, as witnesses so that she can file the appropriate way for a restraining order ... Is there any way that you could just write a brief statement this would happen ... Doesn't have to be fancy or even well-written, nothing like that just a brief play-by-play of what you saw...
Josh Drew: No problem sweetheart. How are you doing ?...
AH: Thank you so much. I'm Okay. Just a little shaken up.'
xiv) On 21st May 2016 iotw was in New York (which, as I have said, is 3 hours ahead of Los Angeles). Beginning at 20.16 on 21st May 2016 he had the following exchange of texts with Ms Pennington (see file 8/58/H420),
'iotw: Are you at Eastern ... JD attacking Amber ... She told me to call 911 ... I'm doing it .
RP: Call me
iotw: Does she have her phone with her?
RP: Yes, she's talking to her lawyer
Iotw: Ok, the cops have her number
RP: Are they indeed coming? ... Calling when they arrive?
Iotw: They are on their way they said
iotw: Probably not gonna call ... I told them penthouse 3 so maybe tell the door guy to call you when they are downstairs coming up.'
'iotw: Are you OK? Did he get arrested? Are you taking out a restraining order?
AH: Yes restraining order. They didn't arrest him because I didn't make a statement.
iotw: Good!! That's gonna be the only thing that will get him arrested next time
AH: They said if I did they would be obliged to go arrest him.
iotw: Why didn't you
AH: Because it would have gone straight to tmz [a celebrity news website] ... which will happen on Monday anyway
iotw: How are you feeling
AH: I'm suffering.'
'MI: u ok babe?
AH: No. Johnny came over "to talk". His mom just died. Then he went sideways. Convinced of some CRAZY shit. Beat on me. Cops were called. They just left. Filing a restraining order. Divorce goes through on Monday. My face looks stupid. Bad night.'
'That was it. The last encounter forever. You were already ready to strike!!! Why did I even come there in the 1st place?? To be yelled at by you!!! I'm an idiot. PH5 is Rocky's studio?? You are shameless ... I tried to make it work and you just turned more and more into a spoiled brat. All you wanted was to make me fucking miserable. Well I'm finally there. I'll never be able to understand how I fell in love with you ... You're not her. I loved you more than anything ... I did everything I could. But you never fucking loved me ... I hope our divorce goes as quickly as possible and that it is as painless as possible. So sorry you were as unhappy with me as you were ... obviously the purity of whatever was, has been gone for a long time. I will miss the moments of beauty and truth ... Goodbye Amber ... What the fuck was I thinking??? I wish you all you merit ... The former Him'
'Radio call of dispute. Refused report. Adv'd can call @ later time if changes mind.'
The time on the card was 9.16pm and the card itself was photographed on 21st May 2016 at 9.19pm. The officers said they looked around the apartment. They said there did not appear to be any damage and no broken glass. Officer Saenz thought they were in the building for about 30-60 minutes. CCTV shows their arrival at 9.04 and their departure at 9.19. As I have said, the Incident Report is timed at 21.21
'At 8pm PST [Pacific Standard Time] Amber texted me and asked me to call her. When I called her, she explained that Johnny was convinced that we had defecated in his bed as some kind of prank. I started laughing at the absurdity of the situation, which he heard because Amber had put the phone on speaker phone. Johnny then walked away which she told me, and went upstairs. I asked her why she was in a house with someone who had previously attacked her. She explained that his mother had died and she was worried about him and he needed some items from the house before going on tour with his band. I then heard Johnny come back downstairs and he picked up the phone and started yelling expletives at me. Still on speakerphone, I told Amber that she should get out of the house because I could tell that he was potentially going to get violent. At that point I heard the phone be thrown. Shortly thereafter Amber pick the phone back up and explained that he had thrown it directly at her face and hit her with it. At that point I heard Johnny say "Oh you think I hit you? What if I pull your hair back?" The phone then dropped. I heard Amber shriek, and she yelled at me to please call 911. At that point I hung up and texted Raquel that she needed to immediately go to penthouse 3 to intervene, and called the police.'
i) She had seen wine spilled on the floor (internal page 30);
ii) the side of Ms Heard's face was red, puffy and swollen (internal page 35)
iii) she saw Mr Depp flailing around with a big bottle of wine and yelling (internal page 42).
'I want her replaced on the WB film.'
He agreed that this was a reference to the Warner Brothers film 'Aquaman' in which Ms Heard had starred. Ms Heard hoped to appear in the sequel. He denied that he had orchestrated a petition seeking the same end.
'Sorry if I was a bit ... Please know that my hurt towards you is over ... My apologies are eternal and belong to you!!! Solid.'
The Claimant denied that he was apologising for hitting her in the face with the phone.
'Just let me know when you have a minute And I'll give you a call. ... Nothing I have to say to you should elicit anything, but a sense of ease. All my love and profound apologies ... J.'
i) Sean Bett was present that night. He said in his statement,
'I have quite good eyesight. I was able to see that Ms Heard was wearing little or no make-up, her skin was quite pale and she had no red marks or evidence of any bruises or abrasions to her face or body.'
ii) Cornelius Harrell was the doorman on duty on Sunday 22nd May 2016 in the lobby of the Eastern Columbia Building. The Claimant had intended to call him to give evidence. He was unable to do so because of Mr Harrell's ill health. Mr Harrell's witness statement was therefore admitted as hearsay. Mr Harrell said that Ms Heard came to the front desk at about 1.0pm She wanted to pick up a delivery of wine. Mr Harrell took her to the mail delivery room They spoke for about 8 minutes. He says he was about 1 foot away from her. He says she appeared to be wearing minimal or no makeup He said,
'I did not notice any bruises, cuts, swelling, red marks or any other injuries of any kind to Ms Heard's face or body.'
iii) Isaac Barruch is a very old friend of the Claimant. The Claimant allowed him to live rent-free in PH2 in the Eastern Columbia Building. The Claimant had been very generous to him. He described the relationship as one of 'patronship'. He saw Ms Heard on 22nd May 2016. Ms Heard reported to Mr Barruch that the Claimant had thrown a phone at her and the phone had hit her in the face. Mr Barruch asked where she had been hit. She showed him. Mr Barruch in his statement says,
'We were both standing in front of the open doorway to Penthouse 1. With lights from the hallway and the sunlight that came in through the windows from Penthouse 1, which filled the room and spread into the hallway, it was very easy for me to get an excellent view of Ms Heard's face. I literally was around 12 inches from her inspecting her face and I did not see a single mark or evidence of any marks, bruising or swelling of any kind anywhere on her face. She also definitely did not seem to be wearing any makeup at this time of day that could cover any marks or swelling'.
Mr Barruch complimented her and said he could see no marks. She laughed.
Mr Barruch saw Ms Heard again on a number of occasions over the period 23rd-26th May 2016. He never saw her with any sign of injury.
Mr Barruch did notice on 22nd May, spilled wine and broken glass outside PH1.
In cross-examination Mr Barruch said that he was 100% certain that Ms Heard had no make-up on when he saw her on 22nd May 2016. He was shown the photographs taken on 21st May. He said that Ms Heard did not look like that when he saw her on 22nd May.
iv) Samantha McMillen says that she saw Ms Heard on 24th May 2016. She says,
'Ms Heard was not wearing make-up. There were no visible marks, bruises, cuts or injuries to her face or any other part of her body. I saw her by the kitchen door during daylight...'
Ms McMillen was shown the photograph purporting to show redness on Ms Heard's cheek and she said that Ms Heard not looked like that when she saw her on 24th May. She said she had only noticed Ms Heard's beautiful skin.
v) Trinity Esparza, who was in charge of concierge services at the Eastern Columbia Building, was on the front desk of the building on 23rd, 24th and 25th May 2016 when Ms Heard passed through the lobby. On none of those occasions did Ms Heard have any sign of visible injury to her face. Ms Esparza said that Ms Heard only rarely wore make-up. When Ms Heard's allegations of abuse began to be publicized, Ms Esparza reviewed the CCTV footage from the security cameras for each day of the week after 21st May She says,
'I did not see any bruises, cuts, swelling, red marks or any other injuries of any kind to Ms Heard's face or body on review of the security footage.'
Ms Eesparza claimed that the CCTV also showed Ms Henriquez throwing a fake punch in the direction of Ms Heard. In cross examination, Ms Heard denied that there had been any such fake punch, as did Ms Henriquez.
I was told that the CCTV footage is no longer available.
vi) Hilda Vargas saw Ms Heard on 24th May 2016 at the Claimant's house on Sweetzer Avenue. She was with Rocky Pennington. Ms Vargas says of Ms Heard,
'Her face was pale and she did not appear to be wearing any makeup. I saw no bruises or marks of any kind.'
In her statement Ms Vargas says that Ms Heard told her on 24th May that the pictures Ms Vargas had taken of the faeces had destroyed her marriage. Ms Vargas said that she was very nervous, but did not believe that the marital problems of Mr Depp and Ms Heard were her fault.
vii) Alejandro Romero in 2016 was one of the doormen on the Eastern Columbia Building. On 25th May at about 10.30pm he was on the front desk and had a brief conversation with Ms Heard. Ms Heard was standing about 3 feet away from him. He said in his statement, 'I did not notice any bruises, cuts, swelling, red marks or any other injuries of any kind to Ms Heard's face'. Ms Heard then asked him to search the penthouse to make sure that no one was there and that it was safe. Over about an hour Mr Alejandro searched PH1 and PH5. He was accompanied by Ms Heard and Ms Pennington.
Mr Alejandro was confused by dates. In his witness statement he said that he had first seen Ms Heard in 2015 'but I understand that she was not resident at Eastern until around 2016'. He did not agree that Ms Heard became resident in the Eastern Columbia Building in 2013. He accepted that he might be muddled by dates.
'That moment when everything comes home to roost and all the shit compounds itself into one monstrous steaming pile of catastrophe. Just trying to keep him upright at the moment. But at least the bitch is gone (yes I do mean Amber not the Mom). Poor Betty Sue has been on her way out for the last six months. It was a relief to, at most of all herself.'
Mr Deuters added (apparently in a text to himself),
'Sociopathic show pony. Machiavellian overlord. Talentless cunt. Good riddance to bad shit. (Yes I do mean Amber not the Mom, even tho she was a devil herself.)'
In cross-examination, Mr Deuters said he regretted his language.
'I was with Amber and interacted with her frequently on several days immediately following her abuse allegation of May 21 2016, including at least on May 23, 24 and 25. On those days I worked with Amber, retrieved packages for her, rode elevators with her, and saw her up close and in person. On none of those days immediately following the abuse claims did I observe any signs of physical abuse or injury, including any redness, swelling, cuts, bruising or damage of any kind. I never saw Amber injured in any way, although I am now aware that she has made many different abuse claims.'
Whether the emails which Mr Sherborne wished to rely on in re-examination were privileged
'Please forward this letter to all counsel involved for Depp, Heard and the Sun newspaper (UK).'
i) The privilege is that of the client (here Ms Divinere) not of her lawyer (Mr Sherman).
ii) The privilege can be waived by the client.
iii) By passing the exchange to Mr Murphy, Ms Divinere had waived her privilege.
iv) In any event, it is only confidential documents in which privilege can be claimed. By passing the exchange to Mr Murphy, the exchange was no longer confidential.
v) Although Mr Sherman had submitted that any disclosure to Mr Murphy was accidental, I do not accept that was the case. Her statement that she wished her views to be communicated to various people, including Mr Depp, strongly indicates the contrary.
vi) Ms Diviniere herself had sent the email chain to Mr Murphy.
'My client's position is that she voluntarily gave a truthful and accurate declaration in the other case based on her best recollection of the events and if compelled by the US District Court to testify; her testimony will be completely consistent with that position.'
'My declaration is 100% truthful and that will not change. In retrospect where I may have thought I was unduly pressured to write and sign my declaration I now believe that was not the case. My declaration went through three iterations with my complete involvement and understanding. Again, I signed knowing that my declaration was truthful best to my recollection. I did the best I could do.'
The Defendants' application for permission to adduce expert evidence
'as to the timing and authenticity of the metadata relating to images taken in May 2016 as disclosed to us by the Claimant in January 2020.'
'(a) You accept that date/time metadata (as extracted from the JPEG files) is accurate in respect of each image enclosed.
(b) You are not alleging that the May 2016 images have been falsified or otherwise manipulated; and if you are making any such allegation, in what respects you claim that the images have been manipulated.'
'We do not dispute the accuracy of the accompanying date/time metadata to the May 2016 Images
We do not accept that the May 2016 images have not been edited or otherwise manipulated. The metadata you refer to does not address edits including where an image has been saturated or otherwise "photoshopped". Some files have "edited" in the filename.'
'(1) A party shall be deemed to admit the authenticity of a document disclosed to him under Part 31 (disclosure and inspection of documents) unless he serves a notice that he wishes the document to be proved at trial.
(2) A notice to prove a document must be served
(a) By the latest date for serving witness statements; or
(b) within 7 days of disclosure of the document,
whichever is later.'
i) The authenticity of images which had been taken of Ms Heard in December 2015 and which she had also produced to the Claimant in the course of the Virginia libel proceedings, and
ii) The authenticity of a recording of part of the flight from Boston to Los Angeles (incident 4). This recording had been disclosed by the Defendants on 1st July 2020 as a digital file together with underlying metadata. Mr Wolanski submitted that the authenticity had not been challenged until, on Friday 10th July 2020, the Claimant questioned whether it was a recording made on that flight.
i) As Schillings had made clear, there was no dispute that the timings in the Schedule to Brown Rudnick's letter of 29th January 2020 were wrong and the Claimant accepted that the date and times of the metadata in the copies of the photographs which Simons Muirhead and Burton had sent on 10th July 2020 were correct.
ii) Mr Smele's witness statement said that Mr LaTulippe had been instructed 'in order to put the metadata beyond doubt', but that was unnecessary because the metadata was not challenged.
iii) The formal report of Mr LaTulippe considerably expanded on the application notice which had been issued in that:
a) It addressed whether the May 2016 images had been manipulated (and not just their metadata).
b) It considered the December 2015 images of Ms Heard and not just the May 2016 photographs.
c) It considered the Boston plane recording.
Mr Sherborne submitted that the Defendants should not be allowed to shift their position in this manner.
iv) It had to be remembered that the documents have originated from Ms Heard. They had come into the Claimant's possession as a result of discovery in the Virginia libel proceedings. The Claimant did not have access to the original devices on which they had been created. He did not challenge that they had been created by Ms Heard or the dates and times on which they had been created.
v) By r.35.1 'Expert evidence shall be restricted to that which is reasonably required to resolve the proceedings.' - see also British Airways v Spencer  EWHC 2477 (Ch) at -. The Defendants had not been able to show that test was satisfied here.
vi) At  of British Airways Warren J. (after citing a passage from Warby J's judgment in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 3590 (QB) had said,
'This, it seems to me, is saying something very different from the proposition that, because expert evidence may prove of assistance, it should be admitted. A judgment needs to be made in every case, and, in making that judgment, it is relevant to consider whether, on the one hand, the evidence is necessary (in the sense that a decision cannot be made without it) or whether it is or very marginal relevance with the court being well able to decide the issue without it, in which case a balance has to be struck and the proportionality of its admission assessed. In striking that balance, the court should, in my judgment, be prepared to take into account disparate factors including the value of the claim the effect of a judgment either way on the parties, who is to pay for the commissioning of the evidence on each side and the delay, if any, which the production of the such evidence would entail (particularly delay which might result in vacating the trial date).'
vii) The application for permission to rely on expert evidence had been made extremely late which itself was a reason not to permit it (see White Book 35.0.2).
viii) Mr LaTulippe had initially thought that five of the images had been altered, but, from access to Ms Heard's devices he could see that four of the five had not in fact been altered. This conclusion created further problems: first the devices in question appeared to have been acquired after the images had been created; and second the Claimant did not have access to the devices in question.
ix) Mr Sherborne said (in paragraph 47 of his submissions made at 06.46 on 20th July 2020) that the Claimant's position,
`is not that Ms Heard went into the bathroom of the penthouse and took flawless photos of herself which she then photoshopped. While many of the photos show little, if anything, the Claimant's case is that Ms Heard altered her appearance in a number of possible ways before taking photographs in an attempt to show some sort of marks. The selection of filters or subsequent editing may have been an attempt to highlight the effect of whatever she did for example making her face redder. But, critically, an analysis of all the digital images will not yield much more, if anything, than what the Court can see from the images and decide from them and the surrounding evidence of eyewitnesses.'
x) So far as the audio recording was concerned, the Claimant had asked for the metadata on 9th July 2020. Mr LaTulippe was apparently able to access the device on which it had been recorded.
xi) There was a practical problem to do with the location of the devices and the location of the Claimant' expert.
xii) In any event, there would not be time on the present trial timetable to address adequately this expert evidence.
i) As Mr Wolanski accepted, r.32.19 does not, in terms, apply to the situation regarding the May 2016 photographs because they were disclosed by him, to the Defendants, not by the Defendants to Mr Depp.
ii) Mr Wolanski may be right that, by reference to some more general principle, ordinarily it would assist the court if advance notice was given of challenges to the authenticity of other documents. However, in this case the May 2016 images were disclosed by the Claimant because, in the Virginia libel proceedings, they had been disclosed to him by Ms Heard. In those circumstances there is force in Mr Sherborne's submission that the Claimant was not able to express a view as to whether they were authentic or not. In any event, as I have noted, all the times in the Brown Rudnick schedule were precisely midnight. That could not have been the correct time at which each of the several photographs had been taken. The Defendants would thus have been alerted at an early stage to the suspect nature of those times and, could, if they had wished, have investigated them at an earlier stage.
iii) The application has been made at a very late stage. There have been further delays while there have been discussions between the parties (and Ms Heard's own lawyer, David Price QC) as to whether the Claimant could have access to all the material and all the devices to which Mr LaTulippe had access. Plainly such access would be necessary for the Claimant to have an adequate opportunity to meet this evidence. From messages which I received after the submissions referred to above, it seems that this could have been arranged. Nonetheless, the time for the Claimant's expert to review the necessary materials would be very tight.
iv) The normal process would be that, once the Claimant's expert had reported, the experts would meet to identify their areas of agreement and disagreement (see r.35.12 which gives the court power to direct that such a meeting shall take place). That is a valuable exercise, but time would not permit it if the experts were to give evidence in the current timetable. The Court would not, therefore, have that assistance.
v) I shared Mr Sherborne's scepticism that the expert evidence could be heard within the current trial time estimate, particularly, but not exclusively if the experts had been unable to meet in advance of giving evidence. In March I had increased the time estimate for the trial from 10 days to 15 days. I had added a further day in the course of the present trial. It would not be right or proportionate to extend it yet again.
vi) Schillings' letter of 17th July had accepted that the time and dates of the May 2016 were as disclosed in Ms Heard's July 2020 copies of the photographs. Mr Sherborne had said what his client's case regarding the photographs was going to be and what it was not going to be in paragraph 47 of his submissions of 20th July 2020 and which I have quoted above. In those circumstances the contribution which expert evidence could make is diminished.
vii) In British Airways Warren J. had envisaged situations at either end of the possible spectrum. This case, like many others, is somewhere in between, but the principle of proportionality is in play as Warren J. said. In my view it would not be proportionate to grant the Defendants' application.
Conclusions on Incident 14
i) Some of their evidence is contemporaneous. Thus, for instance, Mr Tillett Wright heard Ms Heard yelp down the phone. He was sufficiently alarmed for her safety to call 911 even though he was in New York at the time. Other parts are near contemporaneous. Thus, the accounts given by Mr Drew and Ms Pennington were drafted on the following day. Mr Tillett Wright also sent his email (which I have quoted above and which broadly accords with his subsequent statement) on 22nd May 2016.
ii) There are the photographs. The metadata is not disputed and shows that one of the photographs of Ms Heard's face was taken before the first pair of police officers arrived. I have quoted above what Mr Sherborne said was the Claimant's position. Since one of the photographs was taken before the arrival of the police it could not have been the product of later manufacture or fakery of some kind. I appreciate that the photographs were taken in different lighting conditions and that is a good reason why what can be seen differs from one to another. I do not agree with the submission that they are valueless as evidence of Ms Heard suffering some injury to her face. They clearly show (at least) some reddening to her cheek, as Mr Depp in the course of his cross-examination admitted. There are also the photographs of spilled wine (file 6/148(e)/F894.185 and F894.187) which were taken, according to the metadata, on 21st May 2016 at 21.04, which was just before the police officers arrived in the apartment.
iii) In my view Mr Drew was an impressive witness. He gave his evidence carefully and conceded some matters even when alternative answers would have better suited Ms Heard and the Defendants. I accept his evidence, including his account of what he saw of Mr Depp that night, the injury to Ms Heard's face, and his denial that the photographs of her face and the damage to the apartments was staged in any way.
iv) While I accept that the views I have reached are in conflict with the evidence of Officer Saenz and Officer Hadden, I maintain them nonetheless. It is notable that the officers took no contemporaneous notes. While it is not for me to criticise the methods of another police force, the absence of contemporaneous notes means that their evidence does not carry the same weight as it would otherwise. Their first account appears to have been when they gave their depositions some two months later. The absence of contemporaneous notes means that they did not note the names of the man and woman they first encountered in the penthouses (although this was likely to have been Mr Drew and Ms Pennington). They significantly over-estimated the length of time that they were in the apartments. Officer Saenz said it was 30-60 minutes. I have noted above the times that they were captured on the CCTV in the lift going up and then going down from the apartment. While there is no evidence as to the accuracy of the timer on CCTV, that would not affect the interval between those two which was 15 minutes. The officers would have known that Ms Heard did not wish to make a complaint. While a visiting card was left with contact details in case she changed her mind, in the absence of a complaint the officers would have known that no further criminal action could be taken. Officer Saenz did observe reddening on Ms Heard's cheek. Although she attributed this to Ms Heard crying, an ambiguity remains. I accept that the officers said there was no damage to the property, no broken glass and no spilled wine, but that evidence has to be contrasted with the spilled wine which Mr Barruch did see and the photographs of wine stains which were taken just before their arrival. The officers' evidence of the absence of damage to property has also to be seen in the context of the very limited time they were in the apartment and their knowledge that no further action was likely to be taken in the absence of a complaint by Ms Heard. Only Officer Saenz gave oral evidence. I had the deposition of Officer Hadden. In view particularly of the limited time, I would not hold against the Defendants their decision not to require Officer Hadden to give oral evidence. To the extent that Mr Sherborne in his closing written submissions suggested that this course was not open to me, I do not accept his proposition. The Civil Evidence Act 1995 s.4(1) obliges the court to take into account 'any circumstances from which any inference can reasonably be drawn as to the reliability or otherwise of the evidence'. One of the factors which may be taken into account is 'whether it would have been reasonable and practicable for the party by whom the evidence was adduced to have produced the maker of the original statement as a witness' (Civil Evidence Act 1995 s.4(2)(a)). I have taken that into account, but maintain the view which I have expressed nonetheless.
v) That night Ms Heard called her lawyer and her publicist. Since she was contemplating seeking a divorce from Mr Depp, it is unremarkable that she called her lawyer. Contacting her publicist might seem a little more surprising. However, given the prominence of Mr Depp and Ms Heard in Hollywood, Ms Heard was right to anticipate a media storm when the news of their divorce broke and, in those circumstances, I accept that a publicist may offer useful advice and therefore her contact with Ms Gottlieb is not a reason to doubt her account.
vi) I reach the view that Mr Depp did assault Ms Heard as she alleges in Incident 14 despite the testimony of the witnesses who I have previously listed. In brief:
a) Sean Bett's first loyalty I find was to his employer, Mr Depp. I accept Ms Heard's evidence that he was not likely to intervene to protect her from Mr Depp. As was apparent when various explanations were given in Australia for the injury to Mr Depp's finger, his security team were acutely conscious of the potential for adverse publicity to harm Mr Depp's reputation. I do not accept Mr Bett's evidence to the extent that it conflicted with the evidence of Ms Heard, Ms Pennington, and Mr Drew.
b) The same may be said of Mr Judge. In any event, Mr Judge's evidence is unreliable in several respects; he said that Ms Heard did not threaten to call the police if Mr Depp hit her again, but Mr Depp heard her say that; Mr Bett and Mr Depp both agree that he went into PH5, Mr Judge says that Mr Depp did not; Mr Judge does not mention in his declaration that Mr Depp left his phone in PH3, yet this plainly did occur and Mr Drew had to bring it down to Mr Judge and Mr Bett. Had Mr Judge been still alive, he might have been able to address these matters, but I must decide the case on the evidence I have seen and read, not speculate as to what other evidence there might have been.
c) I accept Ms Heard's evidence that she usually went out of the apartment wearing makeup and she did so because of the enthusiasm of the paparazzi to try to photograph her. In particular I accept that she was wearing makeup on 22nd May when she went to Ms Pennington's exhibition, on 23rd May when she went Ms de Cadenet's party (Ms de Cadenet had made a declaration in the Virginia libel proceedings explaining why she was not going to be a witness for Ms Heard in the current action. The Defendants wished to cross-examine Ms de Cadenet on this statement. I refused permission since I considered her evidence to be marginal at best and it would not have been proportionate to permit her cross-examination). I find that Ms Heard was wearing makeup when seen by Mr Harrell, Mr Barruch, Ms McMillen, Ms Esparza, Ms Vargas and Mr Romero. Since she was not at these stages willing to go public with her allegations against Mr Depp, one purpose of the make-up would have been to do her best to conceal the injuries and marks.
d) Mr Harrell had said that he and Ms Heard had spoken for about 8 minutes in total. That is an over-estimate. CCTV from the lift shows that the interval between Ms Heard exiting the lift and returning with her parcel was a little over 2 minutes.
e) I place no weight on the evidence of Ms Esparza regarding the fake punch. The CCTV to which she referred had never been produced and no explanation has been given for that omission. In any case, in the absence of that evidence, it is impossible to form a view as to what should be made of any incident of that kind.
f) So far as Mr Romero is concerned, his evidence as to dates was plainly unreliable.
g) I have explained already why I cannot place any weight on the evidence of Ms Devinere.
vii) I do not accept that Ms Pennington had been hiding in a closet of PH3. She was plainly summoned by a text from Ms Heard. Ms Pennington herself says that she initially found the door to PH3 locked when the text came and she went back and got her own set of keys for PH3. I find that the reason her arrival was not seen by Mr Judge and Mr Bett was because they were waiting in the 'cubby hole', as was their usual practice.
viii) Ms Marz's evidence was that she saw Ms Heard with a red, puffy and swollen face. She also said that Mr Depp had been flailing around with a wine bottle and that there was spilled wine on the floor.
Stepping back and considering the evidence as a whole
'Following this publicity, I have been subjected to a campaign of targeted online abuse on social media as well as online petitions calling for me to be removed from any future sequel to Aquaman and from my association with L'Oreal. This has not been limited to my professional and commercial projects. It has also been aimed at what is most important to me: my humanitarian work, including my partnership with the United Nations (UN) and other non-governmental organisations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and many others, and the important work these organisations do.'
This part of Ms Heard's evidence was not challenged either. I accept it.
'She's begging for total global humiliation. She's gonna get it. I'm gonna need your texts about San Francisco brother ... I'm even sorry to ask ... But she sucked Mollusk's [I assume a reference to Elon Musk] crooked dick and he gave her some shitty lawyers ... I have no mercy, no fear and not an ounce of emotion or what I once thought was love for this gold digging, low level, dime a dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market ... I'm so fucking happy she wants to fight this out!!! She will hit the wall hard!!! And I cannot wait to have this waste of a cum guzzler out of my life!!! I met fucking sublime little Russian here ... Which makes me realize the time I blew on that 50 cent stripper ... I wouldn't touch her with a goddam glove. I can only hope that karma kicks in and takes the gift of breath from her ... Sorry man ... But NOW I will stop at nothing!!! Let's see if Mollusk has a pair ... Come see me face to face ... I'll show him things he's never seen before ... Like the other side of his dick when I slice it off.'
Conclusion and summary
ANNEXE Original on-line article
GONE POTTY How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?
In his brand new column, Dan Wootton reveals the Harry Potter author is facing a
significant backlash from the #MeToo movement over her decision to stand by the
casting of Depp despite claims he beat ex-wife Amber Heard
By Dan Wootton, Executive Editor
1. FOR a holier-than-thou Twitterati preacher, JK Rowling tries to present herself as a leading light for women in the entertainment industry.
2. But the author will need to use every trick in Harry Potter's magic book to handle the growing outrage in Hollywood over her decision to stand by the casting of Johnny
Depp in the lead role in her precious Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
[Photo Caption] JK Rowling has faced sharp criticism for backing Johnny Depp to
star in her latest Harry Potter film.
3. Today I reveal a significant backlash from within the #MeToo and Time's Up
movement because the Scot is hellbent on backing her famous pal despite his clearly
inexcusable behaviour towards ex-wife Amber Heard.
4. Rowling is proving herself to be the worst type of Hollywood Hypocrite here.
5. Her claim that she is "genuinely happy" to have Depp star as the central character,
dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, in her big-budget film sequel Fantastic Beasts: The
Crime of Grindelwald provides him total rehabilitation in the eyes of the movie
6. She is condoning behaviour that she would be loudly slamming on social media if it
was a male executive making the same decision.
[Photo Caption] Depp has been slapped with a restraining order after ex-wife Amber
Heard produced evidence of domestic abuse
7. So let me be very clear for the benefit of an apparently unaware Ms Rowling:
Overwhelming evidence was filed to show Johnny Depp engaged in domestic
violence against his wife Amber Heard.
8. She was granted a restraining order after alleging Depp assaulted her following a
drunken argument and submitted photographs to the court showing her bruised face.
9. Heard backed up by numerous friends on the record recounted a detailed history
of domestic abuse incidents, some of which had led to her fearing for her life.
According to the court documents, there were kicks, punches, shoves and "all-out
10. While Depp's many high powered friends accused Heard of simply seeking a pay-out,
she proved them wrong by committing to donate ALL of the £5 million she received
[Photo Caption] However, he is set to star as Gellert Grindelwald in the latest
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film
11. If Rowling is the supporter of women's rights she claims, has she been blinded by a personal friendship with Depp?
12. After all, she coveted him enough to have spent £22m buying his old yacht, which he had ironically re-named for Heard.
13. Rowling is a powerful figure, who likes to slaughter anyone who dares publicly
question her morals or decisions.
14. But today two brave members of Me Too/Time's Up both victims of Harvey
Weinstein go public to question her decision.
[Photo Caption] Amber Heard produced a huge amount of evidence outlining the
abuse including shocking pictures of bruising on her face
15. In a message to Rowling, actress Caitlin Dulany says: "We would like to see things change in this industry and not see people who have allegedly victimised women.
16. "It is not much of a change if you are seeing people rewarded with roles.
17. "Amber has been through a difficult time with him. But it seems like what happened hasn't really affected Johnny.
18. "We would like to see things change in this industry and this is an example of that not happening.
19. "I would hope for different role models than someone who has that kind of history. It is important when you are casting."
[Photo Caption] Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the next instalment in
the Harry Potter franchise
20. Actress Katherine Kendall adds: "I don't stand behind hitting people or abusing
people. It seems that Amber got hurt.
21. "As someone who has been the victim of sexual abuse and a supporter of Me Too and telling my story to help others, I cannot advocate violence.
22. "I think it is a confusing message to put people in roles that are aimed at children and young people if there is a suggestion they have done something of that nature."
[Photo caption] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne,
was a huge hit with fans but should Johnny Depp star in its sequel?
23. So today I publish five questions Rowling MUST answer:
1. Do you take domestic violence accusations as seriously as sexual harassment
given your support of the Me Too movement?
2. If so, do you believe Amber Heard's detailed 2016 court filing detailing abuse
allegations by Johnny Depp, which included pictures showing her injuries
and on the record accounts by other witnesses?
3. Why did Depp agree to pay £5 million as a settlement, including a confidentiality agreement, if there was no truth to the allegations?
4. You admitted last year there were "legitimate questions" about Depp's
casting. What were these and how did you overcome them?
5. Heard appeared to suggest on Instagram that you had taken her divorce
statement "out of context" in order to defend Depp's casting. Have you
spoken to her directly?
24. Warner Bros releases the Depp-fronted film in November.
25. While Rowling has an inability to ever admit she's made a mistake, it's not too late for a last-minute re-cast. It would cost millions, but Rowling has the money.
26. I believe it is the only decision that would show she's a woman of true character and principle, even when her famous friends are involved.