In the second week of the libel trial against The Sun, Johnny Depp’s former personnels said they were “threatened” by Amber Heard and that the former spouses fought like “school children”.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are back at London’s High Court to proceed with the second week of a libel trial against The Sun. Depp delivered his final evidence on Monday and the court called in Depp’s personnel as witnesses.

On Tuesday, the court heard from Depp’s former estate managers Ben King and Kevin Murphy, as well as Heard’s former assistant Kate James. 

Shocking revelations from court today include King’s statement that he found a piece of Depp’s flesh following a fight between the former spouses and James’ accusation that Heard stole her story of sexual violence. 

Depp’s former partner Winona Ryder was due to give testimony today, but she will now appear tomorrow due to a video link delay. Vanessa Paradis, Depp’s wife of 14 years, will also appear in court tomorrow. 

King: Depp and Heard argued like ‘school children’

The court heard from King first, who worked for Depp on three different occasions in London, Australia, and Vancouver. King provided his first witness statement in 2014 but recently turned another one in that doubled in length. 

Last week, Depp accused Heard of throwing a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger. King visited the house the day after the injury and was in charge of the cleanup, removing “liquid spillage” including blood as well as the graffiti Depp drew with his blood.

Whilst cleaning, King “found a piece of flesh” from Depp’s finger near the bar area, which he then retrieved. King said there was “blood everywhere” around the bar but insisted that there was no urine, as Heard previously said Depp “took out his penis” before urinating inside the house. 

King was also with Heard on the flight from Australia to Los Angeles and noticed she had cuts on her arm. He said he suggested she pull down her sleeve to cover them. A recording previously played in court of Depp’s former head of security Jerry Judge, who passed away, showed that Judge saw “scratches” on Heard’s arm that he believed were self-inflicted. King said Judge’s comment had no influence on his statement as witness.

According to King, Heard regularly drank wine but Depp, a former drinker, was “teetotal.” He also overheard the couple arguing at times when he worked for them, including one time in London. The couple often sat in the “TV snug room” and King once heard Heard complain after Depp moved his hand from her. King said the argument escalated to screaming and that such arguments reduced them to “school children.”

Murphy: Heard ‘would have made my life miserable’

Murphy is the house manager of properties owned by Depp and responsible for maintenance and cleaning. The court brought up an incident from 2015 in which Heard illegally brought two dogs to Australia, a bio-hazard breach that was against the country’s laws. Murphy said that he instructed Heard she could not bring the dogs as the paperwork and permits were incomplete but Heard proceeded to anyways, 

In Murphy’s statement, he said Heard “threatened” him, making reference to the safety of his job. He went to court in Australia and gave a declaration saying he was in charge of “getting the necessary permits to get the dog into foreign countries,” but he was not completely truthful. 

Murphy said Heard pressured him to do so and did not ask Depp to interfere because “Ms. Heard wielded a lot of power, and would have made my life miserable.”

In Murphy’s statement, he also claimed that he heard Ms. Heard shout at Depp but never the other way around. He denied ever seeing Depp behave violently but agreed that Depp had a drinking problem. 

Murphy said Heard became “increasingly volatile” when she mixed alcohol and a narcolepsy drug called Provigil, prescribed to her by her doctor. He knew when that happened as she became “speedy” and “agitated.”

On 16 December 2015, Heard allegedly told Murphy Depp assaulted her. When he saw Heard after, he “became suspicious” as “there were no marks, bruises, cuts, redness or swelling to Ms. Heard’s face, nor was there any area on her head where her hair appeared to have been pulled out,” he said.

The court moved to discuss the events after Heard’s 30th birthday party, leading to a huge argument between Depp and Heard. Depp’s housekeeper Hilda Vargas found “human feces” on the bed the next day and sent Murphy an image. 

The court is shown a series of texts from Depp to Murphy that accused Heard of having left the feces on the bed. One reads: “My wife left a whopper poop on my bed. Amber Turd.” Murphy claimed that Heard told him the feces was “just a harmless prank.”

Murphy asserts that the evidence shown to him of Heard’s alleged abuse — including tufts of Heard’s hair and the broken bed — “made him believe it was fraud.”

James: Heard sent ‘Incoherent and abusive texts’

The final witness of the day was James, who was Heard’s personal assistant from March 2012 to February 2015. James worked for Heard during the shooting of “The Adderall Diaries,” a film that caused a rift between Depp and Heard as Depp grew suspicious of an affair between his former wife and actor James Franco.

Heard instructed James not to share “the one-liner from the schedule… with anyone from Johnny’s team,” referencing a romantic scene scheduled with Franco.

James stopped working for Heard in 2015. A few days before Depp and Heard divorced in 2016, Depp sent James a text message that read: “Thank you, sweetheart… I’m disgusted that I ever touched that f***in’ scum. Back on Tuesday!!!! And then… Court. Will hit you when I get back. Come over for a spot of purple, and we’ll fix her flabby ass nice and good. Loveth. J”

James said the text was “out of the blue” and she forgot it as she often changes her phone. 

According to James, Heard drank “vast quantities of wine,” so much so that she sent James “incoherent and abusive texts between 2am and 4am on a daily basis.”

In a shocking end to the events of today’s trial, James, a survivor of sexual violence, accused Heard of “stealing her sexual violence.”

On June 25, 2020, after receiving documents to prepare for the libel trial, James said “much to my utter shock and dismay, I discovered that Ms. Heard had in fact stolen my sexual violence conversation with her and twisted it into her own story to benefit herself.” 

Heard used James’ conversations about the time someone raped James as part of her defense for the trial.

“This of course caused me extreme distress and outrage that she would dare to attempt to use the most harrowing experience of my life as her own narrative.”

Candy Chan

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...