Stephen Deuters alleged actor’s ex-wife subjected him to ‘years of abuse’ in Sun libel trial
PA Media – The Guardian
Johnny Depp’s personal assistant Stephen Deuters claimed actor’s former wife was the ‘abuser’ in the relationship. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
Amber Heard was “sociopathic”, a “Machiavellian overlord” and the “abuser” in the relationship between her and Johnny Depp, the actor’s former personal assistant has claimed in the high court.
Stephen Deuters was giving evidence on the fifth day of Depp’s libel action against the Sun over an article that labelled him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked Heard, 34, during their relationship, which he denies.
In his written witness statement Deuters alleged that Heard subjected Depp, 57, to “years of abuse”, and said he was “extremely surprised and outraged” when it became public that she had filed for a temporary restraining order against the Hollywood star.
Giving evidence in court on Monday Deuters was asked by Sasha Wass QC, representing News Group Newspapers, publisher of the Sun, how he felt when Depp and Heard finally split up. He agreed that he would have been “relieved”.
The barrister then read out a text from Deuters to a friend of Depp’s, the actor Paul Bettany, on 26 May 2016, which read: “That moment when everything comes home to roost and all the shit compounds itself into one monstrous steaming pile of catastrophe.
“Just trying to keep him upright at the moment. But at least the bitch is gone. Yes, I do mean Amber – not the Mom.
“Poor Betty Sue [Depp‘s mother] has been on her way out for the last six months – it was a relief to all, most of all herself.”
The next message by Deuters, apparently describing Heard, read: “Sociopathic show pony. Machiavellian overlord.
“Talentless cunt. Good riddance to bad shit. Yes, I do mean Amber not the Mom, even though she was a devil herself.”
Wass said Deuters had previously said he would not have used such a word to describe a woman, to which he replied: “I certainly regret that.”
Wass accused Deuters of being part of “a public relations initiative to discredit Ms Heard in the public eye”.
Depp’s barrister, David Sherborne, later asked Deuters how he would describe the relationship between Depp and Heard.
Deuters replied: “Not great. I think they were two people that were in love with each other that shouldn’t have been together.”
Sherborne asked: “Did you see Mr Depp hit Ms Heard at any time?
“Did you see him act violently towards Ms Heard at any time?”
Deuters replied “no” to both questions.
Sherborne then asked: “If you had seen him do so, would you have just sat back and let it happen?”
Deuters said: “Absolutely not.”
The trial continues.