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'Amber Heard was not bullied by Johnny Depp - he was the victim,' bodyguard tells libel trial

Forks, cans of Coke 'were 'pelted at star'

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Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

PA

Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Amber Heard would regularly pelt Johnny Depp with objects, including a fork, a cigarette lighter and a can of Coke, the High Court in London has been told.

The Hollywood actor's security guard claimed that Mr Depp suffered bullying at the hands of his then wife.

Malcolm Connolly, a former prison officer at Pentonville jail in the UK who has been Mr Depp's security guard for 16 years, said he had never witnessed Mr Depp hit Ms Heard or seen any of the injuries she claims he inflicted on her.

His evidence came during the libel case brought by Mr Depp against 'The Sun' newspaper, its publisher NGN and Dan Wootton, its executive editor, over an online story from April 2018 which described him as a "wife-beater". The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star denies 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence being relied on by NGN in its defence.

Describing the aftermath of an incident in which Mr Depp claims Ms Heard severed his finger with a vodka bottle in Australia, in March 2015, Mr Connolly said she appeared at the door of their house "screaming and crying".

He told the court: "She was absolutely hysterical. I was worried she might start throwing objects at Johnny or myself, as I'd seen before.

"For example, I had seen her lob a fork in Johnny's general direction once; another time I recall, she threw a lighter at him, another time, a can of Coke. I knew that we needed to get out of there as soon as possible.

"I was much more concerned about Johnny. He was obviously in emotional distress and panicking. He wasn't that drunk or out of it though and was easily standing on his own and having a conversation."

The security guard said Mr Depp's team knew the true cause of his injury would "create extremely bad publicity" and that Jerry Judge, the head of security, suggested they should say at the hospital that the actor had injured his finger while slicing onions.

"I thought it was fairly obvious that this was not true given the severity of the injury and suggested we say he jammed it into a car door," said Mr Connolly.

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Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

PA

Actor Johnny Depp arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

"However we went with the onion cover story. The specialist didn't believe us for one second."

Mr Depp's lawyers say 'The Sun' article bore the meaning that there was "overwhelming evidence" he assaulted Ms Heard (34) on a number of occasions and left her "in fear for her life".

Mr Connolly, however, said he saw no evidence that Ms Heard was being physically abused by her husband.

He said he had been trained to recognise signs of abuse and intimidation and knew how to read the demeanour of victims of bullying as part of his former position as a prison officer in a UK prison.

In response to being asked why there had been the need to construct different accounts of the finger-severing incident - including that Mr Depp had slammed it in a door or cut it off while slicing onions - Mr Connolly said they were "to protect" the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' production the actor was involved in at the time, as well as Ms Heard.

He added he had "seen it in prison" that "the usual victim pattern is to protect the abuser for some reason, you know the psychological bullying... they fit the same criteria, they never come forward with the information."

Asked by David Sherborne, Mr Depp's barrister, whether he had ever seen the actor physically attack Ms Heard, Mr Connolly replied: "No, and I wouldn't tolerate any man striking a woman, not even if he's my boss."

Hollywood stylist Savannah McMillan told the court that Ms Heard had "no visible" injuries the day after the actress alleges Mr Depp was violent towards her during a row at their Los Angeles penthouse. Ms McMillen said she spent "much of the afternoon and early evening" with Ms Heard on December 16, 2015 as she prepared to appear on James Corden's 'The Late Late Show', and could "see clearly" she had no marks, cuts or bruises.

Tara Roberts, the estate manager on the private island in the Bahamas where Mr Depp went to detox in December 2014, claimed she had seen Ms Heard calling him "washed up" and "fat" during their stay.

After the court was shown a video of Mr Depp slamming a kitchen cabinet door, kicking furniture and shouting at Ms Heard while pouring himself a pint glass of wine, Ms Roberts said she had never seen him behave that way.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent