Johnny Depp's lawyer, David Sherborne, told the High Court of London during Tuesday's hearing against The Sun that Amber Heard invented the abuse claims, and that she was the abuser.
The actor filed a lawsuit against The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton for calling him a "wife-beater" in an article. Depp has repeatedly denied that he was physically violent towards Heard during their marriage, and his lawyer stressed this during his opening remarks, according to The Guardian.
In his statement, Sherborne argued that the "Aquaman" actress, who was also present during the hearing, "invented these stories of serious violence" and that she was the "abuser" not the other way around. He contradicted allegations that Depp "seriously physically assaulted his former wife, the actress, Amber Heard. Not just once but on at least 14 different occasions it is now said, causing her such serious injuries and being so violent that it led Ms. Heard to fear for her very life."
Sherborne pointed out that Heard "instigated" the abuse claims in order to get a restraining order against Depp in 2016. She did so very publicly at an L.A. courthouse "trailed by photographers and sporting what appeared to be obvious bruises to her face which were no doubt designed to be a visual demonstration of her primary incident of alleged violence."
He backed his allegations with "a substantial body of evidence" that clearly demonstrated that Heard "manufactured" and "lied" about the abuse with the help of her friends.
"The alleged incidents have expanded and become embellished, and even changed character, quite dramatically over the years since then. Ms. Heard has invented these stories of serious violence. He is not and never has been a wife-beater," Sherborne said adding that "the contemporaneous evidence fully supports that, as the court will hear."
Leaked audio recordings of the exes' conversations confirmed that Heard started physical fights with Depp and painted her as the "abuser" in the relationship.
"The claimant's position is clear - Ms. Heard's allegations are complete lies. The claimant was not violent towards Ms. Heard, it was she who was violent to him," Sherborne reiterated.
Depp's case against The Sun is not for money but for "vindication." Sherborne said that if he was guilty of Heard's abuse claims, then he would not have put himself through the trial process.