Johnny Depp's aide says Amber Heard 'drank two bottles of wine a night'

15 July 2020, 14:46

Amber Heard attending the trial in London
Amber Heard attending the trial in London. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Johnny Depp's former estate manager has claimed Amber Heard would regularly drink "two bottles of wine a night" in the latest evidence in the major High Court libel case against the Sun's publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN).

Ben King, who worked as Johnny Depp's estate manager in Australia, London and Vancouver, Canada for three separate periods between 2014 and 2016, was the first witness to be called in the libel trial on Wednesday.

He told the court that Depp “had been a drinker” when he was first hired in London in 2014, but was told the actor was in recovery and not drinking alcohol at the time.

He said he saw “a relatively large number of cases of wine” at the property Depp was staying at with then-wife Heard in London.

Sasha Wass QC, representing The Sun's publisher News Group Newspapers, asked Mr King about his second witness statement - filed on Monday - and which said that Amber Heard "drank two bottles of wine a night and was taking medication".

Johnny Depp has now finished giving evidence at the trial
Johnny Depp has now finished giving evidence at the trial. Picture: PA

Mr King said he had never witnessed violence between Depp and Heard, but had seen wine on the floor and smashed glasses during the stay in Australia.

Depp, 57, is currently suing the Sun's publishers, News Group Newspapers, after the star was dubbed a ‘wife beater’ in a 2018 article by executive editor Dan Wootton.

Heard, 34, claims she was subjected to repeated bouts of violence fuelled by drink and drugs, but Depp denies all the claims.

Later today, Johnny Depp's ex-fiance Winona Ryder will give evidence.

Johnny Depp arrives at High Court in London

Ms Wass said: "When you arrived at the house were Mr Depp and Ms Heard were staying in London, there was a relatively large number of cases of wine that had been brought to the house and you found that strange."

The barrister also said: "You reached the conclusion that Ms Heard drank two bottles of wine a night."

Mr King replied: "Not every night... it was a regular occurrence, but not every night."

Ms Wass asked how he knew only Amber Heard was drinking the wine, to which Mr King said he would only see one glass in the morning.

Mr King added: "I'm quite sure for the time I was there in the house (that Mr Depp was not drinking)."

During the questioning, Ms Wass also asked if he was: "Counting the bottles of wine."

Mr King said he had kept "a mental tally, just in case I needed to restock".

Today is the seventh day of the trial
Today is the seventh day of the trial. Picture: PA

Ms Wass said to Mr King: "As far as you were concerned, Mr Depp was sober at that time. Did you know whether he was clean from drugs at the time?"

Mr King said: "I don't know."

Ms Wass asked: "Is that something he would have done in front of you in any event?"

Mr King replied: "I didn't know if he was clean from drugs. It was not any of my business."

Ms Wass then read out a text message sent by Mr Depp in 2014 in which he wrote: "I am going to quite gracefully glide into a massage of my broken neck and back.

"I will emerge in one hour a monster. Shall we each swallow an E or perhaps MDMA at around 8pm and go for dinner... at a wee Peruvian spot."

The barrister said: "Your evidence is you saw no sign whatsoever of Mr Depp taking any drugs."
Mr King initially agreed, but after further questioning from Ms Wass he admitted that Mr Depp "seemed to smoke cannabis sometimes around the house".

He said it was "possibly every day" but added: "That wasn't any of my business."