LONDON — American actress Amber Heard texted her mother in 2013 that she was heartbroken to discover her then boyfriend, Johnny Depp, became violent and abusive when high on drugs and alcohol, likening him to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The texts were read to the High Court in London, where Heard was giving evidence on behalf of the publishers of a British tabloid newspaper, The Sun, who are being sued for defamation by Depp over a 2018 article that labeled him a “wife beater.”
Depp, who gave evidence last week, denies all Heard’s allegations of violence and abuse and says she assaulted him.
“He’s nuts mom. Violent and crazy. I am heartbroken that THIS is who I love,” Heard said in one of a series of texts she sent to her mother on a single day in March 2013, which were read out by a lawyer.
According to Heard, Depp had been up all night snorting cocaine and drinking whisky when he turned violent after becoming enraged by the sight of a painting by her former partner, Tasya van Ree, hanging on the wall of her apartment.
“I feel like I’m on a very fast train that’s about to explode but I don’t want to jump off and leave my love behind. So I stay on the train. Even though I know it’s about to explode,” she said in another text.
Asked to explain what she meant by that, Heard told the court: “I was so in love with Johnny at that time.”
She said that when he was clean and sober, he was generous and loving. “He’s a remarkable man when he’s like that. I didn’t want to lose that. I always held out hope he would get clean and sober.”
“MR HYDE ON A BINGE”
However, in other texts the same day, she told her mother t Depp had not hit her, that she was “ok physically,” and that he was “raging in general” rather than being violent with her.
Those texts appeared to contradict her sworn witness statement to the court, in which she said he had grabbed her, shaken her and shoved her against a wall during the incident.
Asked why she told her mother that he had not hurt her, Heard said that her father had been violent towards her mother throughout their marriage, and that she became concerned her mother would tell her father about Depp’s violence towards her.
She said she feared her father’s possible reaction to that.
Heard also texted that “the crazy mood swings and binges are really difficult for me to handle.”
“My heart is broken,” she said. “It’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – on a binge.”
After Heard completed her testimony, the court heard evidence from her younger sister, Whitney Henriquez.
Henriquez recounted that on the day in March 2013 when Heard had been texting their mother, she had arrived at the apartment several hours into the incident to try and help Depp calm down.
“It was immediately apparent to me that Amber was upset and had been crying,” Henriquez said in a written statement, released as she began her oral testimony.
“Her face was swollen, but at that stage I didn’t know he had been physical with her. I noticed one side of her face was super-red and she had what looked like a split lip and I remember thinking to myself ‘that’s not from crying’.”
Henriquez rejected accusations by Depp’s lawyer that she was telling lies in order to back up her sister’s account.
The trial is set to conclude next week, although no ruling is expected immediately.