Johnny Depp ordered to disclose Amber Heard audio recordings in libel trial

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has been ordered to disclose audio recordings of conversations between him and his ex-wife Amber Heard in his libel trial against British tabloid The Sun.

The Pirates of The Caribbean star is suing The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and the newspaper's executive editor Dan Wootton over an article which referred to him as a "wife-beater" following his 2016 split from Heard, allegedly branding him a domestic abuser.

According to the Press Association, on Friday, British High Court judge Andrew Nicol ruled that Depp has four days to hand over audio recordings of conversations he had with the Aquaman star during their relationship.

Lawyers for the 56-year-old told the court last week that the audio includes Heard seemingly discussing having been violent towards Depp, rather than him being physically abusive towards her.

Representing Depp, David Sherborne said the evidence demonstrates that "she was not a victim of domestic abuse," but was instead "the aggressor".

The judge also ordered Depp to disclose further evidence, including documents from the couple's divorce proceedings, and to detail his attempts to obtain his medical records.

However, the judge refused NGN's application for text messages sent by Depp to his friend, the British actor Paul Bettany, to be disclosed as evidence. In the texts, the star allegedly talked of drowning and burning his ex-wife, who he divorced in 2017.

The Lone Ranger actor alleges The Sun's articles claimed he was guilty of domestic violence, causing him to be handed a restraining order, damaged his ability to work, and impacted on his divorce settlement.

The trial is due to begin on 23 March.


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