An embarrassing photo of Johnny Depp fast asleep with ice cream spilling all over his jeans has been shown has been released in court, with the actor admitting it was taken by his ex-wife in a bid to show him how "pathetic" he'd become.

The star was wrapping up his testimony for the case, in which he is suing the publisher and executive editor of Britain's The Sun newspaper over a 2018 story branding him a "wife beater".

Depp, 57, was seen sitting cross-legged, with his head hanging back and his mouth wide open, in the photo taken by Amber Heard, 34, and released in London's High Court on Monday.

A photo taken by Amber Heard in 2014 appears to show Johnny Depp asleep with ice cream melting all over his lap.
A photo taken by Amber Heard in 2014 appears to show Johnny Depp asleep with ice cream melting all over his lap.

Explaining the circumstances, Depp claimed he'd been working long days before the picture was taken on a flight from Boston.

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"There was one photograph that Miss Heard showed me from Boston," he said.

"I was preparing to go to the Bahamas to detox from the opiates and I had been working 17 hours a day prior to that.

"She asked me to hold her tub of ice cream. I have my right hand in my pocket and I'm holding the ice cream in the other.

"I was obviously on the nod and very tired, falling asleep, and the ice cream then spilt all over my leg and then she took that … and showed me the next day and said, 'Look at what you've become … look at you, it's pathetic.'"

However, Heard claimed that during that flight, Depp had been drinking heavily and had thrown objects at her, pushed a chair at her, and slapped and kicked her before passing out in the bathroom.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp pictured leaving court. Photos / AP
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp pictured leaving court. Photos / AP

Depp's former personal assistant also took the stand in his defence, describing Heard as a "sociopathic show pony" and "Machiavellian overlord" in text messages read out in court, and accused her of being the real abuser in the relationship.

Stephen Deuters – who is now European president of Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil – claimed in his written witness statement that he had never seen any injuries on Heard.

He also alleged that Heard subjected Depp to "years" of physical and emotional abuse, and claimed he was "extremely surprised and outraged" when the news broke that she had filed for a temporary restraining order against him.

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Deuters also claimed that Depp had burst into tears after being told he had kicked Heard during a fight over James Franco during the infamous plane ride.

The couple split in 2016. Photo / Getty Images
The couple split in 2016. Photo / Getty Images

"He was appalled. When I told him he kicked you, he cried," Depp's then-personal assistant, Stephen Deuters, texted Heard after the alleged attack.

"It was disgusting. And he knows it."

However, Deuters insisted the incident hadn't played out how Heard had alleged.

He claimed Depp had been "very low, quite introverted" and "just drawing or painting" on the flight, that he never heard him screaming abuse, and that instead of a hard kick, he only saw Depp raise his foot toward his then-wife's "back or bottom" and denied he'd seen "an assault".

Earlier in the trial, another series of photos – also taken by Heard – were made public, showing a fully clothed Depp appearing to be passed out on the floor next to his bed.

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Another of the images featured a table littered with alcohol and drugs, along with two glasses of whiskey and a skull and crossbones-decorated pill box marked: "Property of JD."

A picture of Depp appearing to be passed out on the floor was supplied to the court by Heard.
A picture of Depp appearing to be passed out on the floor was supplied to the court by Heard.

During Monday's proceedings, Depp told the court how he lost $US650 million during the height of his Pirates Of The Caribbean fame and was left with a $US100 million tax bill after his business managers stole from him.

Describing the events leading up to an alleged violent incident at Heard's 30th birthday party in 2016 – in which she accused him of throwing a bottle of champagne at her and pulling her hair – Depp claimed he had just received the bad news.

"I was in the early stages of learning from my recently acquired new business manager that the former business managers had taken quite a lot of my money. They stole my money," the actor told the court.

"It was put to me this way, because I had no idea about money or amounts of money. Since Pirates (of the Caribbean) 2 and 3, I had – and this is ludicrous to have to state, it's quite embarrassing – apparently I had made $650 million, and when I sacked them, for the right reasons, I had not only lost $650 million, but I was $100 million in the hole because they (the previous business managers) had not paid the government my taxes for 17 years."

Depp has denied ever physically assaulting Heard.

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