Johnny Depp's Alleged Violence Against Amber Heard Comes from 'Deep Misogyny,' Court Hears

The defense team claimed Johnny Depp created a "misogynistic persona" of ex-wife Amber Heard to paint her as "the stereotype of a nagging woman"

Johnny Depp. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Johnny Depp's alleged physical and emotional abuse inflicted on ex-wife Amber Heard came from a misogynistic place, the London High Court has heard.

On Monday, Sasha Wass closed out the defense of News Group Newspapers (NGN), parent company of U.K. tabloid The Sun, which Depp, 57, is suing for libel after it published a 2018 article calling Depp a "wife beater." The actor testified and presented witnesses to claim the contrary in the London courtroom two weeks ago.

In closing arguments, Wass said, according to The Guardian, that evidence brought forth in the case showed that a "deep misogyny ... lay at the root of Mr. Depp’s anger, and the anger he felt against Miss Heard, which translated into violence when he felt threatened by her."

Wass claimed that Depp manufactured a "misogynistic persona of [Heard] as the stereotype of a nagging woman," accusing her of being a cheater and gold digger. (Depp previously testified that he felt Heard targeted him with an "agenda" to boost her finances and career by marrying him.)

In text messages read to the court on Thursday, Heard said to her mother Paige that Depp was "violent" and a "madman" early in their relationship.

Wass read out text messages the actress sent her mother on March 22 and 23, 2013.

One of the texts reportedly read: “It’s terrible, Mum, I don’t know what to do. He’s nuts, Mum, violent and crazy. I’m heartbroken that this is who I love.” She sent another later: “It’s OK. He’s not being violent to me. The crazy mood swings and hard to handle.”

“I feel really lost and lonely. He’s a madman. I feel I’m on a fastening train but I don’t want to jump off. I stay on the train even though I know it’s about to explode,” an additional text from the time said.

Johnny Depp Amber Heard
Johnny Depp (L); Amber Heard. Marc Piasecki/WireImage; Phillip Faraone/Getty

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In Heard's witness statement obtained by PEOPLE, the actress claimed that Depp had "threatened to kill" her and that she had felt like a hostage.

Heard and Depp tied the knot 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 in the U.S. 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.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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