Johnny Depp stars in a real-life courtroom drama where he is suing a British tabloid, The Sun, for libel.
Depp arrived in London on Tuesday to face The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, in court, over an article which called him a "wife beater," and referred to "overwhelming evidence" that he attacked his former wife, Amber Heard, during their relationship.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor vehemently denies NGN's claims.
According to NGN's opening arguments, it was revealed that the "Aquaman" actress had raised new allegations that have not been made public.
The actress reportedly asked for the allegation to be heard in private because of its "horrific nature."
According to the publisher's lawyers, it is an allegation that has never been raised before "nor made anywhere in the last four years since this story has been blasted across publication after publication since the breakdown of their relationship in 2016."
NGN's lawyers even went on to call Heard's allegations against Depp a "catalog of brutality."
"They include prolonged acts of violence, such as repeated punching and slapping, being grabbed by the throat, being dragged across the floor by her hair," they continued, "Having her lip punched so hard it splattered blood on the wall, a broken or busted nose and so on."
The 57-year-old and his model-actress wife met on the set of "The Rum Diary" in 2011 and married in February 2015. The two divorced in 2017 and is currently accusing one another of abuse.
In a written outline of Depp's case, his attorney, David Sherborne, said that The Sun's articles were full of "defamatory allegations of the utmost seriousness" against the actor who was accused of committing serious assaults on Heard, which "inflicted such serious injuries that she feared for her life."
"The articles amount to a full-scale attack on the claimant as a 'wife beater,' guilty of the most horrendous physical abuse."
However, it's not just Johnny Depp in court, as Amber Heard also arrived on Tuesday, and the two will be seeing each other face-to-face.
The former couple is expected to provide evidence at the three-week trial, with one of the first trials held in person since the country started lifting its coronavirus lockdown.
The legal proceedings were spread all over several courtrooms to allow social distancing.
The trial is said to amount to millions with costs in lawyers' fees and court facilities.
Johnny Depp's former partners, Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis, are said to be witnesses and are expected to give their evidence.
In the pre-trial witness statement, Paradis described Depp as "kind" and "non-violent."
Ryder, on the other hand, said she couldn't "wrap my head" around Heard's accusations that Johnny Depp was abusive.
According to Emily Cox, an expert in defamation cases, she told The Guardian that this is a critical case for the actor as his whole career is at risk and his reputation and standing among his fans.
"The stakes for Depp are high: Hollywood has ignored and sanctioned some despicable behavior by celebrities in the past, but a new wind is blowing through Tinseltown and society as a whole. It is likely to be crucial for Depp that he clears his name."