Johnny Depp 'dabbled in drugs with Avengers star Paul Bettany', court hears

Johnny Depp has alleged he ‘dabbled in drugs’ with Paul Bettany.

Depp’s libel trial against The Sun and News Group Newspapers began today, in relation to an April 2018 column from The Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton which referred to Depp as a ‘wife beater’.

Depp strenuously denies allegations he abused his ex-wife Amber Heard. 

The 57-year-old actor was the first witness to be called at the High Court in London, with Sasha Wass QC questioning Depp about his drug use. 

When asked if it was true that he ‘found drugs and alcohol’ early in his life, the Pirates Of The Caribbean star explained how he began taking drugs ‘at a very young age, when it was not a particularly stable or secure or safe home life, and there was quite a lot of unpleasantness in the house’.

He added: ’My mother used to ask me to go and get her “nerve pills” and I think I was around the age of 11 that it dawned on me that “nerve pills” were calming her nerves, so I brought her her nerve pills and I took one and that began [his drug use].’

Mr Depp continued that it was ‘the only way that I found to numb the pain’.

Ms Wass asked him if he had previously taken cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, magic mushrooms and cannabis, to which Mr Depp said he had taken all of them at some point, but said he had never taken ketamine.

Ms Wass asked Mr Depp about his associations with famous figures such as writer Hunter S Thompson, musicians Keith Richards and Marilyn Manson and fellow actor Paul Bettany, with Depp saying: ‘I believe Mr Thompson has a very famous quote that says “I do not condone the use of drugs or alcohol to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me”.’

He described Mr Richards as his ‘favourite guitarist’ and said the Rolling Stones star, Mr Thompson and Manson have all been ‘wonderful friends’, while saying he had taken drugs with Mr Manson ‘twice maybe, many years ago’ and not during his relationship with Ms Heard.

Ms Wass replied: ‘Mr Depp, you are lying about that.’

Ms Wass then referred to actor Paul Bettany as one of Mr Depp’s ‘drug buddies’, to which the actor replied: ‘Is that a question?’

The barrister said: ‘It is a question. Was Paul Bettany one of your drug buddies?’

Mr Depp responded: ‘Paul Bettany is an actor that I’ve worked with several times, he is a friend and we have… yes, we have dabbled in drugs together.’

He then listed cocaine, alcohol, Xanax and Adderall as some of the drugs they had taken together.

Ms Wass asked Mr Depp: ‘You would supply Paul Bettany with whatever medication of controlled drugs he asked for, is that right?’, with Mr Depp replying: ‘If he was feeling anxious or he was feeling unpleasant, I would give him what he asked for.’

Ms Wass asked: ‘You would give him cocaine?’, with Depp replying: ‘Yes, ma’am.’

Avengers: Endgame star Bettany, 49, in the past turned to cocaine and alcohol to deal with the death of his eight-year-old brother when he was 16 years old.

The actor, who is now married to Jennifer Connelly, previously said he felt responsible after Matthew fractured his skull when he fell on the concrete from a roof in a park in 1987.

He said: ‘I had this need to punish myself. I mixed with some pretty terrible, dreadful people when I was busking with a guitar on places like Westminster Bridge in London. I hit rock bottom. I struggled for so many years to get through it.’

Bettany and Depp have starred together in a number of films, including 2010’s The Tourist, 2014’s Transcendence and 2015’s Mortdecai.

In court, Ms Wass suggested that Mr Depp’s fame and wealth had given him ‘a lot of freedom’, with the actor saying that ‘the other side of that coin you are, in a way, forced to live a life of a fugitive’.

He said ‘anonymity doesn’t exist anymore anywhere’ and added: ‘I wouldn’t define that as freedom, I must say.’

Ms Wass asked how many people Mr Depp and employed and, when he could not initially replied, asked: ‘It is that many?’; he then said he employed around 15 people.

Ms Wass said: ‘You surround yourself with people, I suggest, who never really say no to you.’

Mr Depp denied that, but Ms Wass continued: ‘They are people who will do what you ask, they will do anything you ask – including, some of them, supplying drugs to you, controlled drugs.’

He replied: ‘There are people who work for me, that work with me, who, yes, in the past have been asked to provide whatever I felt was necessary at the time.’

Ms Wass said: ‘We see you now, very charming and polite and very softly-spoken, but there is another side of you, isn’t there, that is less charming.’

Mr Depp said: ‘I’m afraid that would not be for me to judge’, adding: ‘Your statement is quite blanket and it would apply to every single human being.’

Ms Wass suggested that there was a ‘nasty’ side to Mr Depp’s character and suggested Mr Depp ‘regularly engaged in destructive and violent behaviour’, which he denied.

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