JOHNNY Depp's mega-star status is "no excuse" for his "extremely serious" attacks on ex Amber Heard, campaigners dedicated to rescuing victims of domestic violence say.
Charity chiefs have spoken out after a judge ruled the Pirates of the Caribbean actor battered Ms Heard 12 times.
Depp this morning lost his blockbuster libel case against The Sun.
Mr Justice Nicol threw out Depp’s defamation case after finding our story – which had always been staunchly backed by Ms Heard – was accurate.
The ruling is being celebrated by campaigners helping women out of abuse.
Nicki Norman, chief executive of Women's Aid, said: "The allegations of domestic abuse against Johnny Depp were extremely serious.
"Everyone who has experienced domestic abuse deserves to be listened to and believed.
"This also applies to survivors who do not fit the image of the 'perfect victim' – and regardless of the high profile of the alleged abuser.
"There is no excuse for domestic abuse.”
Where to get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Lisa King of organisation Refuge, which helps victims of domestic violence, said: "This is an important ruling and one which we hope sends a very powerful message: every single survivor of domestic abuse should be listened to and should be heard.
"No survivor should ever have her voice silenced.
"A common tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse is to repeatedly tell victims that no one will believe them – and to use power and control to try and silence them.
"What we have seen today is that power, fame and financial resources cannot be used to silence women. That is a welcome message for survivors of domestic abuse around the world.
"We stand in solidarity with Amber Heard, who has shown immense bravery in speaking up and speaking out."
A spokesperson for The Sun said: "The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over twenty years.
"Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the Judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court."
During his verdict this morning, the judge concluded Depp beat Ms Heard 12 out of 14 times – starting in 2013 when he slapped the actress when she made a comment about his tattoo.
Over the course of their stormy marriage, the judge found Depp battered his wife after flying into drug and booze-fuelled rages.
And despite dismissing two allegations from Ms Heard of further incidents, he said he couldn't conclude she'd lied about them.
Depp called Ms Heard's claims of violence a "hoax".
In more than 20 hours of evidence in the witness box, the Alice in Wonderland star made a series of allegations about Ms Heard's character – even claiming she'd defecated in their martial bed.
But in reality, Ms Heard, 34, had faced a traumatic and violent marriage to the star.
In July, the court heard how Depp had sent Ms Heard texts calling her “a fat ugly w***e”.
He also sent messages to Brit actor pal Paul Bettany, plotting to drown and burn her as a witch and “f**k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead”.
Lawyers for Depp had argued the messages should not be taken seriously, “however dark and extravagant the language”.
Power, fame and financial resources cannot be used to silence women.
But the Sun’s barrister, Sasha Wass QC, said Ms Heard had feared for her life during her relationship.
And Depp consumed huge amounts of drugs and drink – meaning he often didn't remember what he'd done, the court heard.
The trial also heard a voice recording of Depp admitting headbutting Ms Heard during a heated argument in December 2015.
Ms Heard says in the recording: "You can headbutt somebody who’s screaming but don’t scream.”
Depp replies : “I headbutted you in the f***ing… forehead.
The 12 times Depp beat ex Amber
THE judge today ruled Depp attacked his ex-wife 12 times in their relationship. These were:
- In early 2013, Depp slapped and knocked Heard to the ground after she made a joke about his "Wino Forever" tattoo
- In March 2013, the actor flew into a rage while high on drugs and hit Amber so hard he made her lip bleed
- In June 2013, Depp attacked Amber in a trailer in Hicksville – throwing glasses at her and ripping her dress
- In May 2014, the actor screams at his wife on a private jet after taking drugs and boozing before kicking her in the back or bum
- In 2014, Depp grabs Amber by the hair, slaps her and pushes her to the ground on a detox trip to the Bahamas.
- In January 2015, the star again attacks Amber while on drugs – this time slapping her and pushing her to the ground. He then forced her tears as he stood over her yelling.
- In March 2015, Depp launches into a brutal three-day attack in Australia – leaving Heard with a broken lip, swollen nose and cuts all over her body. He trashed the house in the violent rampage and pushed Amber to the ground, choking her and spitting in her face as he made the star "fear for her her life"
- In March 2015 in the couple's LA home, Depp grabbed Amber in front of her sister Whitney and repeatedly hit her
- In August 2015 on the couple's honeymoon, Depp pushed Amber against a wall by grabbing her by the throat
- In December 2015, Depp chucked a glass decanter at Amber at their LA home in a drug binge. He also slapped her and dragged her through the apartment by her hair – ripping a chunk out. He then hit her again in the back of the head and headbutted her in the face and screamed 'I will f***ing kill you'. Depp then pushed her face into a mattress and repeatedly punched her in the back of the head
- In April 2016 at Amber's birthday party, Depp assaulted his wife after receiving 'grim news' about his finances.
- In May 2016, Depp chucked a phone at Heard – injuring her eye – before pulling her hair and striking her
The judge dismissed two allegations made by Ms Heard but did not conclude she had been untruthful. These were:
- In December 2014, Heard claimed Depp was "violent towards" her and later branded himself a "f***ing savage"
- In November 2015, she said Depp "threw her around the room" and pushed her over a chair
“That doesn't break a nose.”
During cross-examination Depp said he “accidentally” headbutted his ex-wife.
In addition, the court heard Depp cut off the tip of his finger in a drunken rampage – and used the bloody stump to scrawl over the walls.
Ms Wass said: “It was a state of complete carnage in house.
“You held up your hand and said [to Ms Heard]: ‘Look what you made me do. Is it good enough for you? This what a f***ing idiot I am loving you.’"
Today's verdict leaves Depp's reputation – and possibly career – in tatters.
He could now face forking out millions of pounds in legal costs – including The Sun’s.
Following today's uling, Ms Heard's US lawyer Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said: "For those of us present for the London High Court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise.
"Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US.
"We are committed to obtaining justice for Amber Heard in the US court and defending Ms Heard's right to free speech."
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