Johnny Depp violated a UK court order by failing to disclose damning text messages that appeared to show him ordering drugs, a judge has ruled.
The Hollywood actor’s legal team was ordered to hand over all the documents submitted in his US libel case against ex-wife Amber Heard as part of a separate UK lawsuit, this time against The Sun newspaper.
But Depp failed to disclose a series of text messages with an assistant showing that he tried to buy “MDMA and other narcotics” while he was in Australia with Heard in 2015, London’s High Court ruled.
“Need more whitey stuff ASAP brotherman … and the e-business!!! Please I’m in a bad bad shape,” he wrote in one message that was included in court documents, according to The Guardian.
In another, he told the assistant, “We should have more happy pills!!!?? Can you???”
Depp then texted, “Say NOTHING to NOBODY!!!!” according to the report.
The Sun argued the messages were crucial in casting doubt on the actor’s insistence he did not take drugs prior to an argument with Heard, during which she says he attacked her. The texts with his then assistant, Nathan Holmes, in early 2015 were just before he is accused of the attack.
Judge Andrew Nicol on Monday ruled that Depp had violated the court’s order and “failed to comply fully with (his) obligation” by withholding “the Australian drug texts”.
However, he declined to strike out the case immediately and deferred his decision on the lawsuit’s fate.
Depp’s lawyer, David Sherborne, said it would be “wholly disproportionate” to scuttle the case over the 2018 article in which The Sun referred to Depp as a “wife beater,” claims he strenuously denies.
“The central matter in dispute in these proceedings is whether or not the claimant committed multiple acts of serious unprovoked physical violence during his relationship with Amber Heard, causing her significant injuries and to be put in fear for her life,” Mr Sherborne said.
“It is now time for the defendants to have to prove what they published.”
Mr Sherborne also argued that Heard’s claims were undermined by the fact that she had had affairs with Space X founder Elon Musk and actor James Franco while she was involved with Depp.
“Given that her case is that she was controlled and abused by the claimant and that she could not possibly have left him, that does not sit at all with the fact that she was having multiple affairs,” the lawyer said.
Depp and Heard are both expected to give evidence in person at the London trial, which was postponed from March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The couple met on the set of the 2011 comedy The Rum Diary and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. They divorced in 2017.
Each accuses the other of being abusive, and Depp is also suing Heard for libel in the United States.
This article originally appeared on The New York Post and was reproduced with permission