Johnny Depp accused of slapping Amber Heard for laughing at his tattoo

Johnny Depp is accused of slapping Amber Heard for laughing at his infamous ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo – that he changed after he split from Winona Ryder – on second day of libel trial

  • Johnny Depp has denied slapping Amber Heard three times after she joked about his ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo on day two of his libel case
  • Depp got the tattoo reading ‘Winona Forever’ in tribute to then girlfriend Winona Ryder before changing it after they split in 1993
  • Depp is suing The Sun after it labelled him a ‘wife beater’, which he denies

Johnny Depp has denied slapping Amber Heard for laughing about his infamous ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo on the second day of his libel case in London.

The 57-year-old actor was cross examined on the stand by The Sun’s lawyer who alleged that he slapped Heard, 34, in 2013 after she laughed at the tattoo during a period where he was drinking heavily. 

Depp, who is suing The Sun after it labelled him a ‘wife beater’, originally got the tattoo reading ‘Winona Forever’ in tribute to his then girlfriend Winona Ryder, and changed it after they broke up in 1993.

The three-week trial promises to be full of revelations about him and his celebrity friends as he fights allegations he attacked Heard during their five-year relationship.

Today, Depp was asked by barrister Sasha Wass QC if he had taken cocaine at the time of the alleged slapping in March 2013. 

Depp said it was ‘difficult to recollect’ but it was ‘possible’.

Ms Wass put it to Depp that the actor first hit Heard in early 2013 – one of 14 separate allegations of domestic violence, all denied by Depp, relied on by The Sun in their defence.


Barrister Sasha Wass QC asked Johnny Depp about a tattoo he had done on his arm during his relationship with actress Winona Ryder, which read ‘Winona Forever’ and which he had changed to ‘Wino Forever’ after they split

This photo shows Heard with what is claimed to be a bruise on her arm after an alleged incident in March 2013

The barrister asked Depp about a tattoo he had done on his arm during his relationship with actress Winona Ryder, which read ‘Winona Forever’ and which he had changed to ‘Wino Forever’ after they split.

Ms Wass asked if he thought it was a joke at the time, to which he replied: ‘Yes, it seemed fitting.’

She then probed the actor further about the alleged incident in March 2013, which Depp agreed was at a time when he had ‘fallen off the wagon’ following about 160 days of sobriety.

The barrister put it to Depp that he had slapped Heard three times after she laughed at the ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo during a period where he was drinking heavily.

Ms Wass said: ‘You have had a tattoo on one of your arms when you were having a relationship with Winona Ryder and after you separated from Winona Ryder and after you separated from Ms Ryder you took the last syllable of her name and it read ‘Wino Forever’. That presumably was a joke at the time.’

She asked: ‘You don’t really like to have your nose rubbed in it that you’ve failed do you?’

Depp said: ‘I suppose the image of having my nose rubbed in something is I would say not a very nice way of dealing with someone who, especially if you think someone has a drink problem, rubbing their nose in it is in my opinion the wrong way to go. That’s what people have done to dogs for years.’ 

Ms Wass continued: ‘It was when Ms Heard laughed at the tattoo that read Wino Forever because at that stage you were in fact acting like a Wino, like an alcoholic, and you were acting very sensitive about it. Do you agree?’

‘I would say I was initially very disappointed in myself that after 160 days having broken my sobriety,’ Depp replied.

Depp, who is suing The Sun after it labelled him a ‘wife beater’, originally got the tattoo reading ‘Winona Forever’ in tribute to his then girlfriend Winona Ryder (pictured together), and changed it after they broke up in 1993

She said: ‘Do you accept that Ms Heard was making a joke out of your tattoo, ‘Wino Forever’?’

Depp replied: ‘I don’t recall any conversation.’ 

Ms Wass continued: ‘I suggest that that provoked disappointment, firstly, in you, and then anger in you, but you don’t remember.’ Depp replied: ‘I don’t recall any argument about any of my tattoos.’

Ms Wass said: ‘You then, Mr Depp, slapped Ms Heard across the face.’

The actor responded: ‘That is not correct, it’s untrue. It didn’t happen.’

Ms Wass said: ‘You slapped her more than once, because after you slapped her the first time, she didn’t react, she just eyeballed you, she just stared at you, and that made you more angry and you slapped her again.’ 

Depp answered: ‘That is patently untrue.’

Ms Wass then put it to the actor that he slapped his former wife three times in total during the incident, to which he replied: ‘I’m sorry but that is not true, you are mistaken.’

Johnny Depp has denied slapping Amber Heard three times after she joked about his infamous ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo on the second day of his libel case in London 


Depp, 57, and Heard, 34, both arrived this morning at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, where scores of photographers were waiting outside the entrance, wearing face coverings 

The barrister said Depp told Heard ‘for the first time about the person you have been calling ‘the monster’, your alter ego, the person who took over when you were under the influence of drink and drugs’. 

Depp replied: ‘No, ma’am.’

Ms Wass also told the court that Heard had told Depp ‘that she knew all about addiction because her father and, indeed, also her mother had also been drug users’. 

Depp said that was true and that he became ‘very close’ with Heard’s father and mother. But the actor denied that Heard had said ‘she could help him’ with his drug use.

The actor was read extracts from an exchange of text messages between him and Heard on March 12, 2013, in which he wrote: ‘Just thought you should know, there exists a book entitled Disco Bloodbath. That is all.’

The court heard Heard replied: ‘We need that book… is it about last Friday night by any chance?’ Depp then said: ‘How can you make me smile about such a hideous moment?’

The message ended: ‘I f****** love you, you c***.’

In a written statement about the incident, Depp said: ‘I understand from my solicitors that the defendants also allege that on 8 March 2013, Ms Heard and I were in her home in Los Angeles.

‘They state that I was getting drunk and high on drugs and was angry that Ms Heard had hung up a painting given to her by someone she had formerly dated.

‘Allegedly my team and Ms Heard asked her sister to come over to try to intervene with me, which she did.

‘After Ms Heard’s sister left, they state that I hit Ms Heard so hard that blood from her lip ended on the wall.

‘They state that I subsequently sent Ms Heard a text message referring to that evening as a ‘disco bloodbath’ and a ‘hideous moment’ and that the morning after this incident I tried to set fire to the painting.

‘I cannot remember if I was with Ms Heard at her home on March 8, 2013.

‘I know that at some point around this time I did ask Ms Heard to remove a painting that she had received from her former wife from the bedroom, as a courtesy to me.

‘I do not recall the exact date I asked Ms Heard to do this. I do not remember Ms Heard’s sister being asked to come over either by Ms Heard or by any member of my team when this happened.

‘I certainly did not hit Ms Heard at all, then or ever, and her accusation that I hit her so hard that blood from her lip ended up on the wall is precisely the kind of picturesque but absurd lie she often tells.

‘Insofar as I exchanged texts with Ms Heard on March 12th, 2013 (and I do not remember whether I did or not), my intention in apologising would have been, as always, to placate Ms Heard.

‘The words ‘disco blood bath’ and a ‘hideous moment’ would not have referred to any physical abuse. I also did not try to set fire to the painting in question at any point in time.’

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