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Campaigner accuses newspaper of using MeToo to depict Johnny Depp as a 'wife beater'

'I have heard Amber has hit Johnny... I do not condone violence,' actress tells court

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Actor Johnny Depp greets fans as he arrives at the High Court in London, Britain July 17, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

Actor Johnny Depp greets fans as he arrives at the High Court in London, Britain July 17, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

Actor Johnny Depp greets fans as he arrives at the High Court in London, Britain July 17, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

AN ACTRESS and MeToo campaigner has told a court that Johnny Depp was known in Hollywood to be the victim of his wife's violence.

Katherine Kendall accused 'The Sun' newspaper of exploiting the campaign against sexual abuse in an attempt to depict Mr Depp as a "wife beater".

She accused the paper of ignoring her when she said she had heard repeated suggestions that Amber Heard was violent towards her husband.

The activist for the MeToo movement, which sprang out of revelations about the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein, told the High Court that 'The Sun' misquoted her in an article and ignored her insistence that she had no evidence Mr Depp had been violent towards Ms Heard.

The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star is suing 'The Sun' publisher NGN and Dan Wootton, its executive editor, over an article from April 2018 with the headline: 'Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new 'Fantastic Beasts' film?' The article quoted Ms Kendall.

Ms Kendall, who had publicly accused Weinstein of harassing her in the 1990s said the article wrongly presented her as "endorsing" a comparison between the disgraced film mogul and Mr Depp.

She told the High Court in London yesterday: "Although it was true that I was a victim of Harvey Weinstein, the rest was a lie. I was not 'going public', on behalf of MeToo or myself, to criticise JK Rowling's decision to cast Mr Depp, nor did I accuse Mr Depp of hurting Amber Heard, about which I have no first-hand knowledge."

Appearing via video link from Los Angeles, Ms Kendall said that after reading the article she complained to the newspaper, stating: "I felt like I was misquoted, or that my words were taken out of context. I never meant to be in an article that called Johnny Depp a 'wife beater'. I told you that I didn't know that to be true at all. I have heard several times that she in fact was abusive to him."

Ms Kendall, who starred in 'Beverly Hills 90210' and the film 'Swingers', added: "I told you I have heard Amber had hit him, which is why, as you know, I don't condone 'any' violence."

Earlier Ms Heard's former interior designer, Laura Divenere, said she felt pressured into saying "unfavourable" things about her by Mr Depp's US lawyer, Adam Waldman, in relation to separate libel proceedings in the US.

A friend of Mr Depp told how there was no sign of injury or bruising on Ms Heard's face the day after she claimed the star attacked at her at their LA penthouse in May 2016.

Isaac Baruch, an artist whose work was supported financially by Mr Depp, was told by Ms Heard that she was changing the locks of their apartments because Mr Depp had hit her in the face and thrown a phone at her.

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He claimed it was Mr Depp who was the victim in their relationship, saying: "I've witnessed Mr Depp leave the Eastern residence at least four times to take refuge in his home in Hollywood because of Ms Heard's temper and physical abuse towards him."

Mr Baruch said that in 2013 Mr Depp told him: "She [Heard] argues and then she'll just start punching me and wants to fight, I'll try to stop her, but she just keeps going. I don't know what I'm gonna do, because I'm not gonna hit her... I love her."

The court was told that Ms Heard gave Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire, a key to Mr Depp's penthouse so he could visit her when the actor was away. After her divorce in 2017, Ms Heard dated him for a year. The hearing continues.

Despite accusations of an ugly litany of physical and verbal abuse against his wife, fans of Mr Depp have been resolute in their support for the Hollywood star.

Each day, a band of loyal "DeppHeads" travel to the High Court hoping for a glimpse of their idol and a chance to tell him they refuse to believe Ms Heard's claims he was repeatedly violent towards her.

Indeed the fans - often young women, often dressed in black in imitation of Mr Depp's southern gothic rock-and-roll look - speak fondly of his attitude to them as women.

Melody Brooks (22), a graduate in Japanese and history from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, said: "It's not in his nature whatsoever to behave in the way she's claiming he did. He doesn't have a past of that sort of thing.

"The way he is towards women in general is very respectful. I've met him in London at a première and he was lovely; very respectful towards me and my friends." (© Daily Telegraph, London)


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