Johnny Depp might be finished on the witness stand in his libel trial against The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers, but the proceedings are not over yet. On Tuesday, Depp’s former bodyguard, Malcolm Connolly, as well as his Bahamas estate manager, Tara Roberts, both provided testimony that supported Depp’s allegation that it was his ex-wife Amber Heard, not him, who was the abuser in the relationship—while The Sun attorney Sasha Wass questioned whether both Connolly and Roberts were lying on the stand to protect a major source of income.
Depp is suing NGN for libel over a story that ran in The Sun in 2018 with a headline that called him a “wife-beater.” Depp has consistently and vehemently denied abusing Heard. A large chunk of the proceedings focused, once again, on who was responsible for severing a part of Depp’s finger during an argument—Depp with a phone, or Heard with a vodka bottle.
In a series of text messages sent to his doctor, David Kipper, following the argument that wound up severing his finger, the Daily Mail reports, Depp wrote, “I just cannot live like this... She is as full of s**t as a Christmas goose. I’m done. NO MORE...!!! The constant insults, the demeaning, belittling, most heartbreaking spew that is only released from a malicious, evil and vindictive c**t!!!!! But, you know what... ?? FAR MORE hurtful than her venomous and degrading, endless 'educational' ranting...??? Is her hideously and purposely hurtful tirades and her goddam shocking treatment of the man she was meant to love, above all...”
“Here’s the real deal, mate,” Depp continued. “Her obsession with herself..?? Is far more important...She is SO F***IN' AMBITIOUS!!! She’s so desperate for success and fame...That’s probably why I was acquired, mate...!! Although, she has hammered me with what a sad old man, has been I am...”
“Cowan [Dr. Connell Cowan, another doctor] has done me the most cruel of favors,” Depp concluded. “I’m so very sad... I cut the top of my middle finger off... What should I do!?? Except, of course, go to a hospital...I’m so embarrassed for jumping into anything with her...”
Despite Depp writing in his text message that it was he who severed his own finger, the actor now claims that Heard caused the injury when she hurled a vodka bottle at him. Connolly, who worked for Depp and his family for 16 years, supported this allegation in his testimony—during which he also denied that he felt at all pressured to lie for Depp.
Connolly said Depp had told him Heard “cut my fucking finger off. She’s smashed my hand with a vodka bottle,” Daily Mail reports. Connolly denied that Depp was disheveled and covered in dirt and paint when he arrived, and said that he could see no injuries on Heard.
Connolly also provided testimony regarding the couple’s honeymoon train trip through Southeast Asia.
In a diary entry from the trip, Heard recounted a “terrible” fight, writing, “We finally fell asleep with one another smashed together in desperate, childlike anger, fear and love,” Daily Mail reports.
“Johnny...at one point found himself with his shirt wrapped around my neck,” Heard continued. “Amazing to think about [the] precision, co-ordination that required considering the close circumstances...I don’t even know how I wound up with this huge, rather annoying knot on the back of my head. F***, I hate that...Where are my lines, do I have any left?”
Connolly said he never saw any injuries on Heard during the trip and testified that if she had any visible injuries he would have seen them. He also conceded that since he was staying three or four rooms down from the couple, he also would not have heard a fight taking place between the couple.
Roberts’ testimony largely followed the same pattern as Connolly's. She denied that Depp is her sole source of income and said, “I never saw Johnny, who is an unusually kind man, be violent or aggressive with Amber or anyone else,” per the Daily Mail.
During the couple’s stay in the Bahamas for Christmas in 2015, Roberts said she saw Depp with a gash on the bridge of his nose, and that she saw no injuries on Heard. Wass showed the court a photo of Heard with bruising on her face, which Roberts said she did not see at the time. Heard was wearing no make-up at the time, Roberts said, and if she’d had bruising on her face, she insisted, “I would have seen it.”
Responding to the ongoing trial, a representative for Heard told Vanity Fair last week, “Amber never asked for these proceedings to take place. Amber obtained a domestic-violence restraining order against Depp back in 2016 and has tried to move on with her life. It is Johnny Depp who brought these proceedings against a British newspaper and has dragged her to the U.K. courts to give evidence on some of the most distressing moments of her life.”