• Johnny Depp's rep said that actor did not deliberately withhold a document
  • NGN alleged that Depp hid evidence that would be "damaging" to his case against the Sun
  • An eyewitness claimed Amber Heard had bruises while Depp was out of the country

Johnny Depp's camp has responded to allegations the actor deliberately hid evidence amid his libel case against The Sun over a 2018 article that referred to him as a “wife-beater.”

David Sherborne, representing Depp, said the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star did not deliberately withhold documents related to his defamation case against the tabloid, its publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor, Dan Wootton. This comes after lawyers for the newspaper brought out the text messages showing Depp asking for “happy pills” and “whitey stuff” that they claimed the actor knowingly hid.

“The defendants claim, wrongly, that Mr. Depp has withheld this document because it is ‘profoundly damaging to his case’; their implied accusation being that he withheld it deliberately. This is untrue,” Sherborne said, Evening Express reported.

Sherborne clarified that this document had already been submitted in the separate libel suit Depp has filed against his ex-wife Amber Heard for her allegations that he was abusive toward her during their marriage. The article Depp is suing The Sun for is also related to Heard's accusations.

The rep then emphasized that the case against The Sun and its publisher is not about Depp asking for drugs but whether they can prove the actor had committed domestic violence. Sherborne also said that the text messages in question exchanged between Depp and his assistant, Nathan Holmes, were "common banter."

Earlier this week, NGN’s lawyer, Adam Wolanski, claimed that Depp’s drug use at the time the incident happened was relevant. He added that withholding the texts, which were sent between late February and early March 2015, was a breach of the previous court order requiring Depp to provide all the documents relevant to the libel case.

“There is a real risk that the claimant has failed to provide proper disclosure to the defendants and that the defendants cannot have a fair trial,” Wolandksi said, as per The New York Times.

The defendant’s lawyer went on to claim that Depp’s drug issues should not be ignored because “it is the defendants’ case that drugs and alcohol had an influence on the claimant’s behavior towards Ms. Heard.”

Wolanski also read out passages of Heard claiming she endured “a three-day ordeal of physical assaults” from Depp, during which time he drank heavily and took MDMA, also known as ecstasy.

Depp said in a witness statement that he has been “open about [his] challenges with alcoholism and addiction throughout my life.” Also, Depp pointed out that his drugs or alcohol use never made him “undertake violence against anyone.”

Judge Andrew Nicol said he would rule on The Sun’s application to have Depp's libel suit thrown out in the coming days.

A three-week trial for Depp's case was initially scheduled for March but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is now set to start on July 7 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder, Depp's former partners, are among the witnesses expected to give evidence.

Meanwhile, Trinity Esparza, the head concierge of the Eastern Columbia building in LA where Depp owned five suites, said she saw Heard with bruises when Depp was out of the country. In her deposition, she said Heard was seeing Elon Musk at the time.

Musk was criticized on Twitter for telling Depp to "bury the hatchet." The SpaceX CEO also denied Depp’s allegation that Heard had an affair with him while she was married to the “Fantastic Beasts” star.

The Tesla CEO insisted that he had not been in Heard’s vicinity while she was married to Depp. But evidence has popped up that they were exchanging messages even before Heard filed for divorce. In one of his alleged texts, he told Heard, “I really like you.”

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp attend The Art of Elysium HEAVEN Gala in Culver City, California, Jan. 9, 2016. Getty Images