Johnny Depp 'called security to take him away from Amber Heard'
July. 16, 2020
Johnny Depp's bodyguard has claimed it was "very common" for the actor to call his security team "to take him away from" his then wife Amber Heard.
Sean Bett alleged Ms Heard was verbally and physically abusive towards Mr Depp.
Mr Depp, 57, is suing the publisher of the Sun over an article that referred to him as a "wife beater" - but the newspaper maintains it was accurate.
He denies 14 domestic violence allegations which News Group Newspapers is relying on for its defence.
Meanwhile, actresses Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis - who are former partners of Mr Depp - will no longer be called to give evidence.
They had been due to appear via video link this week. On Thursday the actor's barrister David Sherborne told the court Mr Depp's legal team had decided there is no need to hear from them, given that the defendant's case is that the actor was not violent to other partners but was to Ms Heard.
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Mr Bett, who is Mr Depp's head of security, is a former deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and has worked for the Hollywood star for nine years.
Image copyright PA Media Image caption Sean Bett said he sometimes drove Ms Heard home from Mr Depp's property
In a written statement, Mr Bett said he saw the couple "very regularly" during their relationship, and "never saw any cuts, bruises or other injuries on Ms Heard".
"On the contrary, throughout the course of Mr Depp and Ms Heard's relationship, Ms Heard was verbally and physically abusive towards Mr Depp," he claimed.
"On many occasions, I witnessed her shout at Mr Depp. I was also told by Mr Depp on multiple occasions that Ms Heard had physically abused him.
"A very common occurrence throughout the relationship would be that Mr Depp would have me, and other members of his security team, take him away from Ms Heard, due to her behaviour. He would then stay somewhere else.
"This happened on so many occasions that it is not possible for me to remember them all in detail. However, I would describe it as a recurring cycle that Ms Heard would abuse Mr Depp, who would then remove himself from the situation."
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Mr Depp arriving at the High Court on Thursday
Mr Bett also alleged: "Ms Heard often behaved in this way when she had been drinking. I learnt quickly to recognise the signs, so that we were able to leave the situation before it escalated further."
Mr Bett gave his account of an incident in May 2016 when Mr Depp is alleged to have thrown a phone at Ms Heard and smashed objects at their LA penthouse, which he denies.
The actress previously claimed Mr Depp had come to the penthouse "drunk and high", became enraged and then threw the phone "like someone throwing a baseball", which hit her in the eye.
Mr Bett said he and another security guard entered the apartment and "saw Mr Depp standing approximately 20ft away from Ms Heard, who was standing by the couch".
"As soon as Ms Heard noticed that we had entered the room, she looked very surprised; her demeanour then changed and she pointed at Mr Depp and screamed to us words to the effect of, 'If he hits me one more time, I am calling the police'."
Mr Bett went on to say: "I have quite good eyesight. I was able to see that Ms Heard was wearing little or no make-up, her skin was quite pale and she had no red marks or evidence of any bruises or abrasions to her face or body.
"I could see Mr Depp was visibly upset at having been accused of hitting Ms Heard. However, he never came closer than 20ft to her during the time I was able to observe them.
"I did not notice any smashed glass or broken bottles in the apartment at the time."
'Tired of arguing'
Sasha Wass QC, representing Sun publisher News Group Newspapers, asked Mr Bett if he was certain that he saw "no injuries to Ms Heard".
Mr Bett replied: "Correct. If you are 20ft away, in my opinion it can be difficult to see a tear on one's face (but) it's clear if there is an injury of any type, you would be able to see."
Ms Wass suggested to Mr Bett that he was "lying" and that "she had visible reddening to her cheek".
Mr Bett replied: "I'm not a liar, I'm telling the truth."
Mr Bett also told the court he sometimes drove Ms Heard home from Mr Depp's property.
"During these times she would be crying, saying how much she loved Mr Depp and she's tired of the arguing, and I would tell her, 'well this has to stop between you two'," he says.
Mr Depp's barrister, Mr Sherborne, asked Mr Bett whether, during the drives home, Ms Heard ever said that Mr Depp had hit her or had been violent.
Mr Bett replied: "No."
The case centres on an article published on the Sun's website in April 2018. It was headlined: "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?".
The article related to allegations made by Ms Heard, who was married to the film star from 2015 to 2017. The hearing is expected to last for three weeks.
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