Johnny Depp subjected his wife to a three-day ordeal of physical and verbal abuse while high on drink and drugs during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean, a court has been told.

The Hollywood superstar allegedly smashed Amber Heard's head against a fridge twice, slapped her and threatened to stub a cigarette out on his own face, during a sustained period of violence in March 2015.

The actor's drug and drink-fuelled rage allegedly culminated in him smashing up the rented house he was sharing with Heard, destroying furniture, smashing a window and painting graffiti on walls and mirrors.

It is claimed his rage was such that he cut his finger off while destroying the house and wrote some of the graffiti in his own blood.

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The claims - which Depp denies - were made during a libel case being brought by Depp against NGN, the publisher of the Sun newspaper and its executive editor Dan Wootton at the High Court in London.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star accuses the paper of causing serious harm to his reputation by describing him, in an online story from April 2018, as "wife beater" who was violently abusive towards his wife.

As part of its defence NGN accuses Depp of subjecting Heard to a catalogue of violence during their two-year marriage, culminating in the incident in Australia.

Heard had flown to Australia to be with her husband while he was filming the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, after herself working on a film in London with the actor Billy Bob Thornton.

NGN's barrister Sasha Wass QC told the court that on her arrival Heard was upset to discover that Depp - who was supposed to be on the wagon, but was angry at the way filming was going - had in fact been drinking and taking drugs, including cocaine and MDNA pills.

At one point shortly after her arrival Wass says Depp swallowed a handful of the pills to show Heard he could do "whatever you damn well pleased".

Amber Heard arriving at court. Photo / AP
Amber Heard arriving at court. Photo / AP

Addressing Depp, 57, she said: "You turned your anger into violence against her. You smashed her into the side of the fridge door and slapped her across the face. And on the Friday you had a cigarette in your right hand, as you do most of the time, and you threatened to put it out on your face."

Depp replied: "No ma'am."

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Wass added: "You were completely out of your head on drink and drugs?"

Depp said: "No ma'am, it didn't happen."

As the row continued Heard, now 34, barricaded herself in the couple's bedroom, pushing furniture against the bedroom door, while Depp allegedly stayed up drinking Jack Daniels whiskey and taking cocaine.

When Heard came down the next morning and tried to take the bottle of whiskey from him he allegedly grabbed her by the throat and held her against the fridge, telling her it would be easy for him to break her neck, before grabbing her by her hair, slapping her face and spitting on her.

To these accusations Depp replied: "Fabricated. Not true. Not true."

NGN claims that in his rage Depp went on to throw Heard against a ping pong table, forced her against the fridge and smashed her head against it, while screaming that she was to blame for his behaviour while also accusing her of having an affair with Thornton.

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Wass said that Depp shouted: "You f****** do this to me every time. You f****** did this."

On the last morning, a Sunday, Heard came downstairs to find that Depp had again stayed up all night and that the house was now a scene of "complete carnage".

Wass said: "She came down and music was still blaring very loudly and the house was completely destroyed; TV shattered, window broken, paint everywhere, and it was clear at that stage you had damaged your finger."

The court heard shocking details about Johnny Depp's alleged violence against Amber Heard. Photo / AP
The court heard shocking details about Johnny Depp's alleged violence against Amber Heard. Photo / AP

The court was shown photographs of two mirrors which Depp had scrawled on in a mixture of blood and black paint, writing: "Starring Billy Bob, easy Amber'' and other slogans. Heard was said to have later written in pink lipstick on a mirror: "Call Carly Simon she said it better babe" in reference to the song You're so vain, by the singer.

When Heard came downstairs Depp is said to have held up his bloodied hand and shouted: "Look what you made me do. This good enough for you? This is what a f****** idiot I am for loving you."

Depp claims that in fact Heard severed his finger to the bone when she threw a bottle of vodka at him during their row.

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He said: "When I realised the top of my finger was missing and my bone sticking through I went into a kind of breakdown."

Shortly after Depp's team of assistants arrived on the scene, at which point the record button was pressed on a mobile phone and not switched off for another five hours, capturing much of the conversations that followed.

A transcript of the recording shows Depp's assistant Jerry Judge estimating that $75,000 worth of damage had been done to the house and saying that his employer "had drunk everything in the past week".

But Depp claimed that Judge was simply repeating what Heard had told him was her version of events, including that he had taken large amounts of Ecstasy pills.

Referring to what he claims is the longstanding "hoax" being perpetrated by his former wife about his behaviour, he said: "It's a wonderful addition to her dossier that she's been building for a number of years now.

"Part of the hoax was to dismiss me as a savage, a maniac, a monster, etc, etc."

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Depp says the only time he began drinking again in Australia was at the end of their row, when he needed to numb himself "after hours of her hate filled rants".

He added that he had told the production company he was responsible for the damage to his finger in order to protect Heard.

The detox trip to the Bahamas

Depp is accused of attacking his wife even while she was trying to nurse him through his attempts to get off drink and drugs.

The star is accused of pushing and hitting her while she cared for him day and night as he tried to go through detox on his private island in the Bahamas, in August 2014.

Responding to the accusation made in court on Wednesday Depp accused Heard of cruelty because she stuck to his doctor's instructions to administer his medication at clearly specified times, rather than when he wanted them.

The third day of Depp's libel case against libel claim against The Sun newspaper has begun. Photo / AP
The third day of Depp's libel case against libel claim against The Sun newspaper has begun. Photo / AP

During his attempt to withdraw from the painkiller Roxicodone, or 'Roxxies', while on his Bahamian getaway - an experience he described as "agonising" - Depp is alleged to have slapped the 34-year-old actress and kicked her to the ground between his own spasms and shakes.

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Texts exchanged between Heard and Debbie Lloyd, an onsite nurse standing by throughout Depp's drugs withdrawal, showed her telling medics to come and help when Depp allegedly pushed her.

Depp claimed that he was "in no physical condition" to have assaulted his ex-wife and said that she had deliberately "withheld medicine" from him.

During this period Depp was seen by his private doctor David Kipper, who in medical notes read to the court gave a damning assessment of the actor's attitude to drink and drugs.

The medical notes said that Depp "romanticises the entire drug culture and has no accountability for his behaviour".

The doctor also wrote that Depp paid "lip service" to people like the actor's friend Sir Elton John "more for their celebrity than their struggle with sobriety".

Kipper added: "There is also an issue of patience. He is driven almost reflexively by his id. He has no patience for not getting his needs met.

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"He has no understanding of delayed gratification and is quite childlike in his reaction when he doesn't get immediate satisfaction."

Depp told the court: "We had all just met, Dr Kipper and myself and Heard and Nurse Lloyd, so they were not versed in our lives, our life together, as yet."

The trip is one of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence, all denied by Depp, relied on by NGN in their defence against the actor's libel claim.

Depp accuses Heard of telling "porky pies"

Depp has accused Heard of telling "porky pies" about him to a psychiatrist and suggested there was a "benefit to her [Heard's] motivation" to tell the medical professional that he was "threatened" by her career and that a film she made with actor James Franco led to a "binge" that put him in hospital.

Wass said Dr Cowan wrote in medical notes: "JD (Johnny Depp) is very threatened by career, particularly any kind of romantic scenes she has to do.

"Her movie with JF [James Franco] precipitated a binge that put JD in the hospital.

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"Everyone around J seems to be intimidated by his power and money. No one stands up to him."

Asked if there was a reason why Heard would have said this, unless it was true, Depp said: "I believe it had a benefit to her motivation."

He later added: "I think she was telling porky pies [lies] with her psychiatrist."

Wass also read out medical notes from two other occasions - including one dated September 22 which recorded that Depp punched the wall during an argument with Amber Heard and was found "sitting in the kitchen with scraped and bloodied knuckles".

The barrister said: "It seems to be how you are expressing your anger yet again."

Depp replied: "I would rather express my anger by hitting an inanimate object than... the person I love."

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The hearing continues.