Johnny Depp Says Amber Heard Had 'an Agenda' in Marrying Him as He Takes Stand in Libel Trial
The actor said in court on Tuesday that he feels Amber Heard pursued a romance with him in order to "progress her own career"
On Tuesday, the actor, 57, took the stand at a U.K. libel court case, in which Depp is suing The Sun after the tabloid ran an April 2018 headline calling him a "wife beater." Heard, 34, previously alleged that Depp had been abusive during their 15-month marriage, a claim he has since denied, claiming that he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship. (Heard's lawyer Eric George denied the allegations against the actress, saying in a statement obtained by PEOPLE, "The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard.")
“The increasingly desperate attempts by Mr. Depp and his enablers to revive his career by initiating baseless litigation against so many people once close to him — his former lawyers, former managers, and his former spouse — are not fooling anyone.”
The two met while making the 2011 film The Rum Diary together. In his new court appearance, Depp claimed that Heard came on to him in order to "progress her own career."
"She was then extremely friendly to me and keen to tell me about the breakup with her former partner that she had recently gone through. If I had known then what I knew now, I would have seen the red flag warning signs, but I did not," Depp alleged in court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
"She was beautiful, seemingly incredibly interested in me and my work, and I fell for it," he continued. "She bombed me with what appeared to be love. It was not until much later that I understood that she had an agenda, namely to get married to me in order to progress her own career and/or to benefit financially, and she knew how to bring it about."
He added: "She knew what she wanted, and I was an easy target."
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Depp claimed that Heard "had well and truly research me and my interests and she would try to pose as some expert or intellectual on these things to try to ingratiate herself with me."
"She presented herself as a carbon copy of me, with precisely the same interests, thoughts, favorite writers, taste in music and art as me," he said in court filings. "Rather than see this as calculated, sociopathic and emotionally dishonest, I convinced myself that it was endearing and sweet."
Calling his ex-wife "calculating" and "completely emotionally dishonest," Depp said he's "convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking, and then destroy what remained of it."
Heard and Depp married in 2015. In May 2016, she sought a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016. She donated her $7 million divorce settlement to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.
Depp sued her for defamation after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described being an alleged victim of domestic violence. While she never mentioned Depp by name, the actor’s lawsuit called her allegations against him a “hoax.”
Heard’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, urged the court last fall to throw out the suit, arguing that the column was not about Heard’s allegations against Depp, but in March, a Virginia judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.