What allegations against Johnny Depp were proved?

What Allegations Against Johnny Depp Were Proved? What Allegations Against Johnny Depp Were Proved?
The UK High Court found Johnny Depp assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard on a dozen occasions. Photo: PA
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By PA High Court Staff

Johnny Depp is applying for permission to appeal against a UK High Court ruling on his libel claim against the publisher of The Sun newspaper, which found the actor assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard on a dozen occasions.

News Group Newspapers (NGN) originally relied on two alleged incidents of domestic violence during the marriage, on April 21st and May 21st 2016, but later added other allegations to their written defence.

In November, Mr Justice Nicol concluded that “the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard”.

But he said he was “not persuaded” that an alleged “incident of violence” in Los Angeles in December 2014 “constituted a physical assault of Ms Heard by Mr Depp”.

Johnny Depp is questioned by Sasha Wass QC. Photo: Elizabeth Cook/PA

The judge also said he could not rule an alleged incident in LA in November 2015 had been proven because it was not put to Mr Depp in cross-examination.


Here are the details of the 14 allegations which were relied on by NGN, and the judge’s findings in relation to each of them.

1. Early 2013

Ms Heard said Mr Depp was completely sober until early 2013, and around that time he hit her for the first time when they were in Los Angeles.

The court heard this happened after Ms Heard joked about a tattoo on Mr Depp’s arm from his relationship with actress Winona Ryder, which originally read “Winona Forever” but was altered to “Wino Forever” after they split.

She claimed Mr Depp later cried and apologised, telling her that he sometimes turns into “the monster” when he snaps.

Mr Depp “expressly denied” hitting Ms Heard and said that, around early 2013, he had “confined himself to drinking wine and using marijuana, having been sober from around December 2011 to August 2012”.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Nicol said he accepted Ms Heard’s evidence that Mr Depp used the term “the monster” to “refer to that part of his personality when, affected by drink and/or drugs he would do things which he would not otherwise do and of which he might have no recollection after”.

The judge concluded that this incident did occur.

2. March 2013


Ms Heard claimed Mr Depp was angry she had hung up a painting by her ex-partner Tasya Van Ree by her bed in her LA home, then tried to set the painting on fire and hit her “so hard that blood from her lip ended up on the wall”.

Amber Heard. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Mr Depp, however, said he simply asked Ms Heard to move the painting from the bedroom “as a courtesy” and that she had an “extreme reaction”. He said he did not hit her at all.

He also said a text he later sent describing the evening as a “disco bloodbath” was to “placate Ms Heard” and not an apology for alleged violence.

Mr Justice Nicol concluded that Mr Depp “did assault” Ms Heard as she alleged.

3. June 2013

Ms Heard and Mr Depp were in Hicksville, USA, with a group of people including Ms Heard’s sister Whitney and Mr Depp’s assistant Nathan Holmes.

Ms Heard said Mr Depp, who was “taking drugs”, became “enraged” and “jealous” when one of her friends touched her, and he then threw glasses at her, ripped her dress and damaged the cabin they were staying in.

Mr Depp said he drank and took magic mushrooms, as did Ms Heard and her friends who also took MDMA.


He claimed Ms Heard’s friend touched Ms Heard in an “extremely sexual manner” and he spoke to her to ask her to stop, but denied throwing or smashing glasses or ripping Ms Heard’s dress.

Mr Justice Nicol concluded that, in the course of Mr Depp and Ms Heard’s argument, the actor “caused significant damage to the trailer”.

The judge said “the argument and damage to property are symptomatic of Mr Depp’s manner when ‘the monster’ side of his personality was dominant”.

Mr Justice Nicol also said that he had addressed another aspect of this incident in a confidential annex to his ruling in which he did not “accept the further allegations made by Ms Heard in relation to this incident”.

4. May 24th, 2014

The pair took a private plane from Boston to LA. Ms Heard said that during the flight Mr Depp, who had been drinking heavily, threw objects at her, pushed a chair at her, slapped her and kicked her in the back before passing out in the toilet.

Mr Depp, however, said Ms Heard “began to harangue him” as he was sketching in a notebook. He said he then tried to “playfully tap her on the bottom with his foot”, at which Ms Heard took “great offence” and “continued to verbally berate” him.


In his ruling, Mr Justice Nicol found that, in the course of the flight, Mr Depp “managed to kick Ms Heard on her back or bottom”, which was “more than a ‘playful tap’” and contrary to what Mr Depp and his former personal assistant Stephen Deuters had said in evidence.

The judge also said he “did not accept” Mr Depp’s claim that he “simply chose to sleep in the toilet to get away from Ms Heard”, saying he passed out “at some stage” due to “alcohol and drug consumption”.

5. August 2014

The couple went to the Bahamas, Mr Depp said to “cure his dependence on painkillers”, although Ms Heard claimed he was trying to give up other drugs too.

Ms Heard said Mr Depp had “several manic episodes” and his private doctor had to be flown over to help.

She alleged that he slapped, kicked and grabbed her by the hair during an attack.

Mr Depp alleged Ms Heard stopped a nurse from giving him treatment while he was going through withdrawal.

Mr Justice Nicol concluded that Mr Depp’s feelings towards Ms Heard “vacillated wildly” during the trip, and at times he was “extremely fond of her and grateful to her” while at other times “he imagined that she was the cause of his pain and that her actions increased his torment”.


The judge found that it is “more likely than not that Mr Depp did push Ms Heard on at least one occasion”, but added: “I am not able to conclude whether there was more than this one assault”.

6. December 17th, 2014

Ms Heard said Mr Depp was “violent towards” her in LA, and later texted calling himself a “f****** savage” and a “lunatic”.

Mr Depp denied any allegation of violence and said NGN has “failed to provide any particulars of the alleged violence”.

The judge concluded that he was “not persuaded” that this alleged incident “constituted a physical assault of Ms Heard by Mr Depp”.

7. January 25th, 2015

While the couple were in Tokyo, Japan, Ms Heard claimed Mr Depp shoved and slapped her and grabbed her by the hair, before standing over her and shouting while she was on the floor – which Mr Depp denied.

Mr Justice Nicol concluded that Mr Depp “did assault Ms Heard as she and the defendants have alleged” in this incident.

8. March 2015

Mr Depp was said to have repeatedly assaulted Ms Heard after an argument over his alleged use of MDMA during a three-day trip to Australia. She said he stayed up all night, taking pills and drinking, and then attacked her again the next morning.

Johnny Depp during the case. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Ms Heard said that, the following night, Mr Depp pushed her into a table tennis table, tore off her nightgown and attacked her, before smashing a telephone into a wall and severing the top of his middle finger.

She also claimed he had written messages to her around the house in a mixture of paint and blood from his finger, which Mr Depp admitted doing while “in shock”, as well as having “urinated all over the house in an attempt to write messages”, which he denied.

Mr Depp said Ms Heard was in “a prolonged and extreme rage” following an argument over a post-nuptial agreement. He said he broke his sobriety, after not having had a drink in more than a year, with several glasses of vodka.

He claimed Ms Heard threw a bottle at him, severing the top of his finger, and stubbed a cigarette out on his cheek. He denied being violent towards her.

Mr Justice Nicol said in his ruling that “a very considerable amount of damage” was done to the house in Queensland, Australia, and said he “does not accept” Mr Depp’s evidence that it was Ms Heard who caused the damage, or the majority of it.

He also said he did not accept that Ms Heard was responsible for the injury to Mr Depp’s finger, adding “what exactly caused the injury is uncertain” and it “may well be that Mr Depp accidentally cut his finger on a piece of broken glass”.

The judge found: “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.”

But Mr Justice Nicol added: “Yet taking all the evidence together, I accept that she was the victim of sustained and multiple assaults by Mr Depp in Australia.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in 2015. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA

“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.”

The judge also said he accepted a further confidential allegation.

9. March 2015

Ms Heard said Mr Depp became “enraged” when they were in LA with her sister and began destroying things in the house before hitting her “hard and repeatedly”. She also claimed he tried to push her sister down the stairs before hitting Ms Heard again.

Mr Depp, however, said Ms Heard was “berating him in a rage” as he tried to leave, threw a can of Red Bull at him and punched him in the face before he finally left.

The ruling said that Ms Heard alleged this argument started because she “discovered text messages which she said showed he (Mr Depp) had been cheating on her” and she confronted him.

Mr Justice Nicol said “it is no part of my function to decide whether Mr Depp was having an affair” any more than it is his job to decide if Ms Heard had been having affairs – which was alleged during the trial and she denied.

He concluded that, in this case, Mr Depp “did assault Ms Heard” as she and NGN alleged.

10. August 2015

While they were on the Eastern and Oriental Express in South East Asia, Ms Heard alleged Mr Depp “picked a fight” with her, hit her and pushed her against a wall by the throat, “causing her to fear for her life” – which was denied by Mr Depp.

The judge said he “accepts that Ms Heard was assaulted by Mr Depp as she and the defendants have alleged”.

11. November 26th, 2015

In LA, Mr Depp allegedly ripped Ms Heard’s shirt and “threw her around the room”, also throwing a wine glass and a “heavy glass decanter” at her, as well as pushing her over a chair which caused her to bang her head against a wall.

Mr Depp said they were in LA for Thanksgiving, but denied any allegation of abuse.

Media outside the High Court during the case. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Mr Justice Nicol said he did not accept that this incident is proven as it had not been put to Mr Depp in cross-examination.

12. December 15th, 2015

Ms Heard claimed Mr Depp threw a decanter at her in their penthouse in LA, then slapped her and dragged her through the apartment by her hair, pulling “large chunks of hair” from Ms Heard’s scalp.

She said he then followed her upstairs and pushed her to the floor while shouting “you think you’re a f****** tough guy” before headbutting her.

Ms Heard said that when she told Mr Depp she wanted to leave him, he grabbed her and screamed: “I f****** will kill you – I’ll f****** kill you, you hear me?”

It is alleged that during this incident, Mr Depp wrote a message on the kitchen countertop in gold pen saying: “Why be a fraud? All is such bullshit.”

Mr Depp, though, denied the allegations, saying “Ms Heard fabricated the alleged violence” and falsely claimed that “blonde hair on the floor was her hair”.

He also claimed that “the only violence committed on that date was by Ms Heard”, who allegedly “violently attacked” him.

Mr Justice Nicol concluded that the couple had an argument on December 15, and 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”.

The argument was “not just verbal, it became physical”, the judge said, finding that “Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard”.

13. April 21st, 2016

Ms Heard said Mr Depp arrived at her birthday party at their LA home late, “drunk and high on drugs”, and they had an argument after the guests had left.

She claimed he threw a bottle of champagne at her, which hit a wall, and threw a glass of wine over her.

The actress claimed Mr Depp then grabbed her by the shoulders, pushed her on to a bed and blocked the door when she tried to leave.

She alleged he grabbed her by the hair and shoved her to the floor, screaming and threatening her, before he “stormed out of the apartment” and left a note reading: “Happy F****** Birthday.”

Mr Depp said he arrived at the party around two hours late following a meeting with his new business manager and accountants, and that he was not on drugs but “shocked from what he had learnt at the meeting about his business affairs”.

Johnny Depp arriving at the High Court during the case. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA

He claimed Ms Heard had been “drinking heavily” and attacked him while he was reading in bed, punching him in the face four times before he grabbed her arms to stop her.

Mr Depp said that, the next day, Ms Heard or one of her friends “defecated in Mr Depp’s and Ms Heard’s bed”, and claimed Ms Heard later told the building manager Kevin Murphy that it was “just a harmless prank” – at which point he “then resolved to divorce Ms Heard”.

Mr Justice Nicol said in his ruling that Mr Depp had a business meeting that evening during which he was given “very grim news about his financial situation”.

He said Mr Depp had admitted taking cannabis, adding he found it “more likely than not” that Mr Depp “also drank alcohol and took cocaine”.

The judge concluded Mr Depp “assaulted Ms Heard as he had done on previous occasions when he was stressed”.

On the so-called “defecation incident”, the judge said that Mr Depp’s belief that Ms Heard or one of her friends was responsible was relevant because it led him to conclude the marriage could not continue, and it was the cause of part of an argument that took place the following month.

But he added that whether Ms Heard or her friends were responsible is “not important”, saying “it is remote from the central issue, namely whether Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard”.

14. May 21st, 2016

Mr Depp arrived at their LA apartment, allegedly “drunk and high”, while Ms Heard was there with friends. Ms Heard said Mr Depp became “very angry”, throwing her phone at her and hitting her in the eye before smashing “everything he could” with a magnum of champagne.

He said he went to the apartment with two security guards to collect his belongings after Ms Heard and her sister “repeatedly” tried to contact him.

Mr Depp denied being violent, and claimed his two security guards entered the room when they heard Ms Heard shouting, and saw her “repeatedly screaming, ‘stop hitting me, Johnny’” while he was 20ft away in the kitchen.

He also said that two police officers who attended the apartment after the incident “saw no injuries or bruising or swelling”.

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Mr Justice Nicol said the “conflict in evidence” in relation to this evidence is “particularly sharp”, with some witnesses who saw Ms Heard in the days after saying her face showed no sign of injury while others saw evidence of injuries to her face.

The judge said: “There is evidence which I find compelling of witnesses who saw Ms Heard with injuries to her face and who took photographs of these.”

Mr Justice Nicol added that he had reached the view “that Mr Depp did assault Ms Heard as she alleges in Incident 14”.

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