Today, Johnny Depp was in court in London as part of his lawsuit against The Sun, accusing its executive editor of libel for an article calling Depp a "wife beater."
Paul Bettany and Johnny Depp co-starred in several films -- including the 2010 movie The Tourist, 2014's Transcendence, and 2015's Mortdecai -- and seem to be good friends. Back in 2016, Bettany defended his friend on social media:
According to Page Six, several text messages alleged to be sent from Johnny Depp to Paul Bettany in 2013-2014 were read aloud in court today as part of the pre-trial review for The Sun libel case. Depp was in the room as the texts were read. They included, as Page Six wrote from the court records, "Let’s burn Amber" and "Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will f–k her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is dead." Those texts were reportedly sent by Depp to Bettany on November 6, 2013. In May 2014, Depp reportedly texted this to Bettany:
I’m gonna properly stop the booze thing, darling… Drank all night before I picked Amber up to fly to LA, this past Sunday…Ugly, mate. No food for days…powders…half a bottle of whiskey, a thousand red bull and vodkas, pills, 2 bottles of Champers on plane and what do you get..??? An angry, aggro Injun in a f–kin’ blackout, screaming obscenities and insulting any f–k who got near…I’m done. I am admittedly too f–ked in the head to spray my rage at the one I love…For little reason, as well I’m too old to be that guy But, pills are fine!!!
The Sun's attorney, Adam Wolanski, said in court that the May 2014 texts from Johnny Depp to Paul Bettany appeared to refer to the flight "altercation" Amber Heard alleged happened that month.
As part of the $50 million defamation lawsuit Johnny Depp filed against Amber Heard, she alleged that during that flight, Depp drank heavily, kicked her in the back, threw his boot at her and screamed obscenities until he went into a plane bathroom and passed out. Depp supposedly apologized later in a text message.
However, Johnny Depp's lawyers have said he never abused Amber Heard, calling her allegations against him "part of an elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity for Ms. Heard and advance her career."
Johnny Depp filed his defamation suit against Amber Heard after an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post. While he was not named in the piece, he felt it defamed him and led to him losing his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Just recently, an audio conversation between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard was allegedly leaked by his team to the Daily Mail. In the conversations, a voice said to be Amber Heard's admits hitting Depp after a fight, and they both talk about needing to end the physical violence in their marriage.
After the audio was leaked, petitions to have Johnny Depp reinstated in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise -- and to have Amber Heard removed from the Aquaman sequel -- skyrocketed with new signatures. Amber Heard has also disabled the comments on her Instagram. (As far as we know, she's still part of Aquaman 2.)
Meanwhile, before heading to London for the start of this libel suit against The Sun, Johnny Depp was in Berlin for the premiere of his new movie Minamata. He should be filming Fantastic Beasts 3 fairly soon. The Sun U.K. trial will start on March 23 and last two weeks, according to the New York Times. The separate defamation lawsuit in the U.S. has a current trial date of August 3, per Deadline.
When he's not being dragged into this Johnny Depp/Amber Heard drama via old texts from his co-star, Paul Bettany is a star of Marvel's WandaVision series coming later this year to Disney+, as well as the Alan Ball comedy Uncle Frank, which was acquired by Amazon at the Sundance Film Festival.