“These allegations are totally false,” states Heard’s attorney.
The documents - which were filed as part of a libel case Depp is pursuing in the UK, after a newspaper accused him of being an abuser and slammed his casting in the Fantastic Beasts franchise – claim that, after Depp arrived two hours late to Heard’s 30th birthday party, the actress began “criticising” him.
According to People, the papers then allege that Depp – whom, they stress, was “not drunk or high on drugs” – went to bed and began reading. It was at this point that “Ms Heard, who had been drinking,” apparently became aggressive and violent… punching him twice in the face”.
Depp allegedly “defended himself by grabbing Ms Heard’s arms to stop her punching again and told her to stop”, and then “pushed her away on to the bed and told her he was leaving and that she should not follow him”.
Heard’s attorney has since responded to Depp’s claims, saying: “These allegations are totally false. One needs only read the recent Rolling Stone article about Mr. Depp to understand his state of mind.
“Mr. Depp is currently being sued in multiple venues, including for assaulting a location manager on the set of City of Lies. On many occasions, eyewitnesses observed the extent of the abuse Mr. Depp inflicted on Ms. Heard.”
The Rolling Stone article referred to by Heard’s lawyer is, of course, the recent profile on Depp, which presented him as frequently inebriated and crippled by financial issues.
While the article never explicitly stated the fact, it heavily implied that some of Depp’s debts related to his divorce from Heard, who accused the actor of abuse in May 2016.
“During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” the actress stated in court documents obtained by ET Online.
“I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.”
Heard said she was physically abused by Depp on “two separate instances,” including one night when Depp allegedly gave her a black eye. She was granted a temporary restraining order.
Depp denied the allegations against him and, during the court battle, his representatives told the press: “Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life.
“Hopefully the dissolution of this short marriage will be resolved quickly.”
Depp and Heard settled the case out of court, and, in a joint statement, said their relationship had been “volatile”, saying: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.”
It also said there was no “intent” to cause physical harm.
Heard later donated the financial settlement she received to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Union, where she had worked as a volunteer for many years. It was a move which would seem to go against previous claims from Depp’s lawyers, filed in court papers, that she was trying to “secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse”.
“Money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and hopefully help those less able to defend themselves,” said Heard.