Actress Amber Heard told a court yesterday that former husband Johnny Depp threatened to kill her many times during years of abuse.
Heard (34) stood by her accusations of physical and verbal abuse, which Depp last week accused her of making up.
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publishers of Britain's 'The Sun' newspaper, over a 2018 article that labelled him a wife-beater and questioned his casting in the 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them' franchise.
The 57-year-old actor - who played Jack Sparrow in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' series - told the High Court in London last week Heard's allegations were untrue. He also accused her of domestic violence against him.
Heard yesterday told the court she loved Depp but was terrified of "the monster", a violent alter ego he became when under the influence of drink or drugs, which she described as the "third party in the relationship".
In a written statement, she said some incidents were so severe that she was afraid he would kill her, deliberately or by losing control.
"He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship," her statement said.
Heard said the actor would obsess about her appearance and would call her "a slut", "fame-hungry" and "an attention whore" if she wore certain outfits.
Throughout her evidence, Depp's lawyer Eleanor Laws accused her of lying, saying her account did not tally with the version of events the court had heard from Depp's friends, staff and others, or with medical notes.
"I don't want to call anybody a liar," Heard said when asked why the accounts were different. "I contradict them, they contradict me."
Asked whether one argument was caused by a clash over whether Heard would sign a pre-nuptial agreement, the actress said she was "not interested in Johnny's money, never have been".
She said Depp told her he would rip up any pre-nuptial agreement - none was ever signed - and told her "the only way out is death".
In later evidence, the court focused on an incident in May 2016, when Depp is accused of throwing a phone which struck Heard on the face.
"It looked like he was throwing it as hard as he could," she said, saying it felt like her eye had "popped out".
She said Depp then began to smash up their Los Angeles penthouse, swinging a wine bottle like a club.
Police officers called to the scene have told the court they did not see any damage, and that Heard did not have any visible injuries to her face.
Lawyers accused the actress of cobbling together her story with two friends, and using make-up or lighting to fake injuries to her eye and cheek in photographs.
"Absolutely not," Heard said. Questioned as to why the injury could not be seen in one picture in the days afterwards, she replied: "Why would I pick one day and not the other?"
She said if she was out she would wear make-up but two- or three-day-old bruises were the hardest to conceal.
Heard, who began dating Depp in 2011 and married him four years later, denied she had anger issues or was prone to violence, rejecting accusations from the actor's staff who have told the court that she had started their fights.
The court was played an audio recording in which she was heard saying to Depp that she did not punch him but was "hitting" him.
Asked why she had not simply said in the recording that she was defending herself, she replied: "I would have got another black eye."
She said she would only have thrown things in her ex-husband's direction towards the end of their relationship when she needed to escape from him. "When I felt my life was threatened, I tried to defend myself," she said.
Heard is due to give evidence over four days and the trial is set to conclude next week, although no ruling is expected immediately.