Minutes after their wedding ceremony, Johnny Depp joked that he could now punch Amber Heard and get away with it, according to the final witness in a sensational London libel trial.
“The first thing Johnny said to me after the ceremony, as we walked to the reception, was ‘Now I can punch her in the face and no one can do anything about it,’” testified the witness, author iO Tillett Wright — Depp’s best man at the 2015 wedding.
Testifying Friday at Depp’s libel trial against the UK’s Sun newspaper — which the actor has sued for calling him a “wife-beater” in a 2018 article — Wright recalled walking with the bridegroom from the ceremony to the reception, the Evening Standard reported.
The festivities were held on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s private Caribbean island.
“He probably intended it as a joke,” said Wright, who was also a close confidant of Heard.
“But it is only a joke if it’s not real — and by then I knew he was hitting her.”
Wright testified that he’d known for the previous year that Depp was violent toward Heard.
“I knew Amber and Johnny’s relationship was volatile and involved a lot of verbal abuse and emotional lashing out,” Wright said.
“But it wasn’t until late 2013 or early 2014 that I understood that he was physically violent towards her.”
Throughout their courtship and marriage — and until the couple split a mere one year after the wedding — the “Aquaman” star generally didn’t speak about being abused by Depp, Wright testified.
“Amber has since told me she had been keeping Johnny’s physical abuse of her from everyone to protect him because she hoped if they could fix the addiction issues, it would stop,” Wright testified.
“She has said it was also partly out of pride and to protect them both from criticism from us. She was embarrassed about it and knew if she told us, we would tell her to leave him and she wasn’t ready for that,” he told the court.
“She also had no connection to the concept of herself as a victim, so she rejected that as a part of her identity.”
Throughout the sensational trial, his-and-her witnesses have fought for control over the narrative of whether Depp struck his wife, who the actor says is a lying “sociopath.”
The trial continues with closing arguments Monday and Tuesday.
Earlier Friday, Heard’s acting coach testified that the actress once confided that Depp would rather “destroy” her than let her leave their marriage.
A third witness, Heard pal Raquel “Rocky” Pennington, testified that the actress was left with deep cuts on her wrists after a March 2015 fight with Depp in Australia.
Depp’s lawyers, meanwhile, claimed in court that Heard once physically attacked her own sister, a row they said was captured on newly emerged video.
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