Johnny Depp has said his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard was “a crime scene waiting to happen” during the third day of his high-profile libel case against The Sun newspaper.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star told the High Court he had made the comment to Ms Heard “several times”.
On a day when he faced further intense questioning over his tempestuous relationship with Ms Heard, Mr Depp also said he believed the couple would have “a better chance of working” if he “resigned” himself to “doing the things that would please Ms Heard”.
The Hollywood actor was also accused of “reinventing” his account of how his finger became severed during a visit to Australia in March 2015.
Mr Depp claims Ms Heard injured the finger when she threw a vodka bottle at him, which she denies.
The 57-year-old is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an April 2018 article which labelled him a “wife beater”.
On Thursday, Mr Depp was questioned over the Australia trip, when it is alleged he assaulted Ms Heard and “completely destroyed” a house in a drink and drug-fuelled rage.
The trip is one of 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence, all denied by Mr Depp, relied on by NGN in their defence against the actor’s libel claim.
Sasha Wass QC, lead counsel for NGN, told the court that Mr Depp’s former private security guard, Jerry Judge, had told Ms Heard that if he and Mr Depp’s other employees had not stepped in, “either you or he would be dead”.
The barrister said: “It appears Mr Judge is saying that if they hadn’t come along when they did, either you would be dead or Ms Heard would be dead.
“That would be an odd thing to say if it was Ms Heard who was the only violent party – do you agree or not?”
Mr Depp replied: “There are several times when I have spoken to Ms Heard and said, ‘listen, we are a crime scene waiting to happen’.”
Earlier, Ms Wass had said Ms Heard alleges there was a “three-day ordeal of assaults” in Australia, “during which you were under the influence of drugs including MDMA and you were violent”.
Mr Depp said: “I vehemently deny it and would go so far as to say it is pedestrian fiction.”
During her cross-examination, Ms Wass put it to Mr Depp that he subjected Ms Heard to a litany of abuse during the Australia trip, including slapping her, grabbing her by the throat, and throwing her “against a ping pong table which collapsed” – all of which the actor denied.
Mr Depp told the court that Ms Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, severing his finger, and that after this he began “what I feel was probably some species of a breakdown, a nervous breakdown or something”.
Ms Wass put it to the star that he had not said that Ms Heard was responsible for the injury when he messaged his private physician, Dr David Kipper, nor in a text to his friend actor Paul Bettany, which said: “Just had the tip of me finger nicked off as it happens.”
She said: “You didn’t tell the hospital, you didn’t tell Dr Kipper, you didn’t tell your sister and you didn’t tell Mr Bettany.”
Mr Depp said he had told Dr Kipper, to which Ms Wass said: “You told Dr Kipper after Ms Heard got a domestic violence restraining order.”
She added: “You have reinvented the account of how this happened,” to which Mr Depp replied: “No, ma’am”.
The court heard a text message from Mr Depp to Dr Kipper said of Ms Heard: “Her obsession with herself is far more important, she is so f****** ambitious, she’s so desperate for fame, that’s probably why I was acquired.”
The court was also told the star had used his severed finger, dipped in paint, to scrawl graffiti in the house.
Ms Wass said Ms Heard “came downstairs in the morning … and the house was completely destroyed”.
The barrister also said: “You had written on a mirror. You had written in paint but you had used your finger, your injured finger, in place of a paintbrush so you had dipped your injured finger in the paint and then used your finger to do the graffiti.”
Mr Depp said: “At first, I had used my blood.”
The actor later said that when he realised the top of finger was missing “and pouring blood profusely and the bones was sticking out, I believe that I went into some kind of breakdown”.
Ms Wass told the court Mr Depp “arranged a honeymoon in late summer” 2015 to go on the Eastern and Oriental Express.
The actor said: “I didn’t go back to alcohol or substances at this point as I wanted everything to work out.
“I knew that the relationship would have a better chance of working if I resigned myself to doing the things that would please Ms Heard.”
Ms Wass said the train journey “ended up with violence, it became physical, as I think you have described it”.
Mr Depp said: “It was one incident in our cabin.”
Ms Wass said: “You hit her around the face, tried to choke her and tore off her T-shirt and you eventually calmed down once ‘the monster’ had gone away.”
Mr Depp said: “I say that that’s not at all what happened.”
The actor’s case against NGN and Mr Wootton arises out of the publication of an article on The Sun’s website on April 27 2018 with the headline “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”.
NGN is defending the article as true and says Mr Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” between early 2013 and May 2016, when the couple split.
The pair met in 2011 and began living together in 2012 before marrying in Los Angeles in February 2015.