Johnny Depp’s libel trial against The Sun publisher National News Group has taken a turn for the scatological. Depp is suing the company over a 2018 headline that called him a “wife-beater” after his ex-wife, Amber Heard, filed for both a restraining order and a divorce over allegations of domestic violence. (Depp has denied all allegations of abuse.)
On Wednesday the court heard arguments over Heard’s testimony that Depp attempted to spell her name in urine after a violent fight—and Depp’s allegation that Heard took a “whopper poop” on the couple’s bed.
NGN’s defense rests on 14 horrifying abuse allegations, which Heard claims in her written testimony occurred between 2013 and 2016. Heard claims that Depp has been struggling with substance-use issues, and that he repeatedly physically and verbally abused her while high.
On Wednesday, the Daily Mail reports, NGN’s attorney Sasha Wass questioned witnesses about Depp’s alleged attempt to spell Heard’s name with his own urine after a blow-up fight that wrecked their rented home in Australia in 2015—the same fight that ended with Depp’s finger severed.
Heard has alleged that during the fight, Depp slapped and shoved her, leaving cuts and bruises. Estate manager Ben King testified that he saw cuts on Heard’s arms after the fight. (“They were enough for me to say ‘maybe you should put your sleeve down,’” he said, per Daily Mail.)
King also testified that he oversaw the clean-up of the home—a process that took more than 12 hours. He said he was “quite sure” that there was no urine in the home, Daily Mail reports. “I did not see any signs of urine, and I did not smell it, as I would have done had someone urinated around the house,” King said.
Depp, meanwhile, has denied that he would have been able to do such a thing with his finger severed. (Depp claims the finger was severed when Heard hurled a vodka bottle at him; Heard said he did it to himself during an attack that made her fear for her life.)
The court also heard arguments over whether Depp was angry or amused when feces were found in the couple’s bed after a fight. According to the Daily Mail, he wrote in a text message to a friend, “My wife left a whooper poo on my bed” and dubbed Heard “Amber Turd.”
Depp claims that Heard or one of her friends left the feces in the bed; Heard claims it was one of their dogs, Pistol and Boo.
Kevin Murphy, an estate manager who worked for Depp for several years, testified that he was “sullen” about the incident, per The Daily Mail. “At that stage, I believe he suggested getting the feces DNA tested to see where they had come from,” Murphy said.
When Wass suggested that Depp’s texts make it seem as though he was amused, Daily Mail reports that Murphy countered, “I believe he is being sarcastic, I would not agree with that, no.”
Murphy also echoed the suggestion that Depp and several of his supporting witnesses have put forward: That Heard’s allegations are part of an elaborate, years-long premeditated “hoax.”
Heard’s former assistant, Kate James, testified that Heard “twisted” a story James had shared with her about a sexual assault for her own purposes.
James said she had told Heard that she was threatened with a machete and raped in Brazil decades ago—and that she was shocked to see that Heard had “twisted it into her own story” in her witness testimony, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I am a sexual-violence survivor and that’s very, very serious,” James said, “to take that stance if you are not one.”
Murphy also testified that Heard asked him to commit perjury when she was charged with bringing the couple’s dogs to Australia illegally back in 2016. He claimed she threatened his job. “She wanted me to say essentially that it was my fault in one way or another that the paperwork wasn’t completed, so that I could take the blame for her,” he said per THR.
“I want your help on this,” Heard allegedly told Murphy. “I wouldn’t want you to have a problem with your job.”
James, too, testified that both she and Murphy had urged the couple against bringing the dogs to Australia. Wass suggested that she had collaborated with Depp to come up with false testimony about Heard, which James said is “simply not true.”
Heard will provide her own evidence in the case later this week, The Hollywood Reporter notes.
Responding to the ongoing trial in a statement to Vanity Fair, a representative for Heard wrote, “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.”