Johnny Depp and his ex-wife, Amber Heard, are involved in a highly public and ongoing domestic abuse and libel dispute. For the past three years, the actor has been battling the legal battle with tenacity.
In 2020, Depp filed a lawsuit against the magazine after a column referred to him as a “wife beater.” During the trial, a series of texts between Bettany and Depp, who have co-starred in three films together, were read aloud. There was this message in which the two joked about “drowning” Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard to prove she wasn’t a witch.
I think that’s a really difficult subject to talk about and I think that I just pour fuel on the fire. It was very strange. It was a strange moment. What was strange about it was you suddenly have one of the most scabrous newspapers in London and their lawyers pouring through your texts for the last 10 years. Can you imagine what it would be like, honestly, to have a bunch of lawyers go through every one of your emails and texts for 10 years? All I can tell you was that it was an unpleasant feeling.
One of the messages written by Bettany, sent in 2013, read: “I’m not sure we should burn Amber. She is delightful company and pleasing on the eye. We could of course do the English course of action and perform a drowning test. Thoughts? You have a swimming pool?”
In response, Depp wrote: “Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f*ck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”
Bettany replied: “My thoughts entirely. Let’s be certain before we pronounce her a witch.”
Judge Mr. Justice Nicol judged Depp’s remarks to be “basically true” in relation to domestic violence charges made by Amber Heard, and hence Depp lost the libel case. Following the trial, Depp stepped down from the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, and Mads Mikkelsen was cast in his place for the upcoming third instalment.
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