Troubled childhoods: Judge outlines Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s backgrounds

Johnny Depp (Victoria Jones/PA)
Johnny Depp (Victoria Jones/PA)
12:30pm, Mon 02 Nov 2020
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In his long-awaited ruling on Monday, High Court judge Mr Justice Nicol outlined the relationship between actor Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Mr Depp, 57, first met Ms Heard, 34, in 2009 while on the set of The Rum Diary, a film adaptation of a novel by author Hunter S Thompson, the High Court judgment of the actor’s successful libel case said.

Ms Heard was 23 when she successfully applied for a role in the film, which he had casting approval of, and was in a relationship with another woman at the time, artist Tasya van Ree.

Johnny Depp court case (PA Wire)

Meanwhile, Mr Depp, who was then aged 46, was in a relationship with Vanessa Paradis, the mother of his two children.

The judge said that, in their subsequent correspondence with each other, Ms Heard would sometimes refer to the Pirates Of The Caribbean star as “Steve”, while he would call her “Slim”.

The names were a reference to the film To Have And Have Not, in which the character played by Humphrey Bogart was about twice the age of the one played by actress Lauren Bacall.

Mr Depp had been described as having a “troubled childhood”, with his home life being neither “stable or safe”, Justice Nicol said in his judgment.

“He (Mr Depp) had been beaten as a child for trivial matters.

“He said that had turned him against violence of any sort, but he was prepared for violence if he thought something was unjust or someone had been physically attacked,” the judge said.

The actor “accepted” he had a history of using or “over-using” alcohol and drugs including cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and cannabis, the judgment said.

Ms Heard also gave an account of a troubled home life, stating both her parents had been alcoholics.

When the couple later moved in together, they lived in one of the penthouses owned by Mr Depp in a building called Eastern Columbia in central Los Angeles, in the US.

Johnny Depp court case (PA Wire)

They married in February 2015, but separated just over a year later in May 2016.

Mr Depp owned five penthouses in the Eastern Columbia building and allowed 34-year-old Ms Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, to live in one of the others for various periods of time.

Ms Heard’s friend Raquel “Rocky” Pennington also lived in another property owned by the actor.

The judge said Mr Depp did not charge them for rent.

Following their separation, Ms Heard received a seven million US dollars (£5.5 million) divorce settlement.

Mr Depp sued publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton over a 2018 article in which he was described as a “wife beater”.

In a ruling on Monday, Mr Justice Nicol dismissed his claim, saying NGN had proved what was in the article to be “substantially true”.

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