The best man at Johnny Depp's wedding to Amber Heard alleges he heard him make a "sick joke" after the ceremony.

"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,'" author iO Tillett Wright claimed during Depp's libel trial.

Wright recalled Depp making the disturbing "joke" while walking from the ceremony to the reception.

Minutes after their wedding ceremony, Johnny Depp allegedly joked that he could now punch Amber Heard and get away with it. Photo / Getty Images
Minutes after their wedding ceremony, Johnny Depp allegedly joked that he could now punch Amber Heard and get away with it. Photo / Getty Images

"It is only a joke if it's not real — and by then I knew he was hitting her," alleged Wright.

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Wright testified he'd known for an entire 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."

Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard arrive at London's High Court for legal showdown. Video / AP

He also claimed Heard "generally didn't speak about being abused by Depp".

"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."

Heard and Depp were together from 2011 to 2016 after meeting on the set of The Rum Diary. Their divorce was finalised in 2017.

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Depp has vehemently denied any physical abuse and claims Heard was abusive towards him. She alleges he threatened to kill her and abused her through punching, slapping and kicking her as well as controlling her finances and behaviour.

Depp has branded Heard's allegations "complete lies".