Johnny Depp may not have realised "the extent of his violence" towards Amber Heard because he's a "hopeless addict", lawyers for News Group Newspapers (NGN) argued in London's High Court on Monday.
The Hollywood actor is suing the publishing group over a 2018 news story published in The Sun which labelled him a wife-beater. Following a three-week court case, which has spawned daily headlines from the dramatic claims made by both Depp and Heard, NGN's lawyers made their closing argument on Monday, with solicitor Sasha Wass insisting that "overwhelming" evidence points to Depp committing domestic abuse against his former spouse.
"The relevance of the substance abuse by Mr Depp is two-fold," Wass explained. "Firstly, it demonstrates that the claimant was subject to irrational mood swings and abnormal behavioural patterns, which would not have been present when Mr Depp was clean and sober, and Mr Depp has a name for this metamorphosed entity, namely 'The Monster'.
"The other aspect which is important in terms of substance abuse is Mr Depp's recollection of his own disgraceful conduct, which is so severely impaired by drug misuse that he may not even have been aware of the extent of his violence and terrifying behaviour which, on more than one of these pleaded incidents, put Ms Heard in fear of her life."
She added: "(Depp is) a hopeless addict who repeatedly lost his self-control and all ability to restrain his anger."
Wass continued to tell the court that Depp's lawyers' allegations that "he is a victim of an elaborate hoax that has been perpetrated against him by Ms Heard and her friends... is risible."
Depp's lawyers will present their final submissions in court on Tuesday.
Judge Mr Justice Andrew Nicol isn't expected to deliver his ruling for several weeks.
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