Johnny Depp has provided a new account of his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard.
Tuesday, July 7, was the first day of the actor's libel trial against British tabloid News Group Newspaper (NGN), which in 2018 published an article in The Sun that described him as a "wife beater."
Depp has denied Heard's allegations of abuse - which informed The Sun's article - and he is also suing her for libel pertaining to a different article she wrote in The Washington Post in 2018. In a statement released to People, Heard's lawyer today reiterated her allegations against Depp, saying, "The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard."
Day 1: Johnny Depp's libel trial against NGN and The Sun
But on Day 1 of the NGN trial, Depp testified about Heard's alleged manipulation and "calculated" approach to pursuing a relationship with him. His account included the accusation that she married him to "progress her own career," according to court documents obtained by People.
Speaking at High Court in London, Depp said that Heard "presented herself as a carbon copy of me" in order to win him over, People's transcript reads.
"She bombed me with what appeared to be love. It was not until much later that I understood that she had an agenda, namely to get married to me in order to progress her own career and/or to benefit financially, and she knew how to bring it about," Depp reportedly added.
Johnny Depp defends himself against abuse allegations in libel case
Depp and Heard had been married for 15 months before a high-profile 2017 divorce case that involved accusations of abuse against both parties. They settled the case out of court and signed NDAs that prevent them from publicly addressing the relationship.
In a statement reported by Deadline, Depp's first-day defense at the libel trial added: "She was the abuser, not him."
"[Heard] is a highly complex and aggressive individual who suffered extreme mood swings, would provoke endless circular arguments, and fly into violent rages," the statement continued.
Ahead of the libel case, Depp had also acquired pretrial statements from former partners Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, who defended the 57-year-old actor.
In May, both Paradis and Ryder said that Depp was "never violent" toward them during their respective relationships. Heard's spokesperson responded to this defense by saying, "we are glad they did not have the same experience as Ms. Heard. However, one woman’s experience does not determine the experience of another woman."
Depp and Heard were both photographed wearing facial coverings upon their arrival at High Court in London on Tuesday. The remainder of the trial is expected to take place over the next three weeks.