Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s bodyguard has revealed what really happened during the former couple’s ill-fated trip to Australia, claiming the Hollywood heavyweight was never aggressive towards his ex-wife.
Rick Wood was head of security at the Gold Coast mansion where the couple stayed in 2015 while the actor was filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Their stay in Australia has been rehashed during court proceedings in London, where Depp is suing The Sun newspaper over a 2018 story labelling him a ‘wife beater’ during his five-year relationship with Heard.
Sordid details about how his marriage to Heard descended into misery in Australia have been laid bare during evidence in the blockbuster libel case.
But Mr Wood claims he never thought 57-year-old Depp was capable of the abuse he has been accused of.
Rick Wood was the head security guard at the Queensland mansion where the couple stayed in 2015 while the actor was filming a Pirates of the Caribbean movie
A photo of Depp’s finger in the aftermath of an incident which he claims was caused by Heard throwing a glass vodka bottle at him – but which she claims occurred when Depp cut off his own fingertip in a ‘fit of rage’
‘He’s great. He’s awesome, he’s laid back… Great guy,’ the security guard told 9News.
‘I couldn’t see it in him. In my industry, you know who’s a wife beater and who’s not.’
In fact, Mr Wood said Depp displayed great patience with his wife, who he described as a ‘button pusher’.
‘I hate to say it, but she stirs the pot,’ Mr Wood revealed.
He recalled Heard pretending to pack her bags and insisting that she would leave the property when the couple got into arguments.
‘She made up this big drama that she was leaving… Taxis would turn up and we’d have to turn them away,’ Mr Wood said.
‘And then we’d pick up the suitcases and they were empty. Nothing in them at all. It was all for drama.’
Depp would stay calm during these encounters, Mr Wood said, and would eventually coax Heard back into the home.
Mr Wood said he never saw Depp taking drugs or drinking copious amounts of alcohol during his time in Australia.
Depp is taken to hospital after his finger was allegedly severed when Heard threw a glass vodka bottle at him during an incident in Queensland in March 2015. The star actor also claims his wife put out a lit cigarette on his cheek after an argument over a post-nuptial deal
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive at Brisbane Airport in 2015 for what would turn out to be a volatile trip that saw them accused of smuggling their dogs Pistol and Boo into the country. Their journey to Australia came just weeks after they were secretly married on a private island in the Bahamas
Heard was spotted leaving a California court in 2016 with facial bruising (above) after she was granted a temporary restraining order against Depp just days after claiming he attacked her
Instead, Mr Wood recalled moments when Depp would stay back late to take photographs with young fans, never once breaking character from his iconic role as Jack Sparrow.
The trip Down Under, which Heard described as a ‘three-day hostage situation’ amid allegations of flying vodka bottles, claims of infidelity and financial threats appears to be a flashpoint in the couple’s descent into marital misery.
When the pair first flew into the Gold Coast in March 2015 they were among the most sought-after celebrities on the planet.
Just weeks earlier they had tied the knot in secret on a private island in the Bahamas.
Eager for privacy away from the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales set, they rented the waterfront mansion of Australian MotoGP legend Mick Doohan.
The 18-hectare resort-style home with an infinity pool, tennis court, elevators, dirt bikes and go karts has become a must-see for visiting VIPs.
Most recently it was home to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson during their lockdown after they both contracted COVID-19.
Depp was one of the world’s biggest stars when he and Heard arrived on the Gold Coast in 2015 to film the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He is pictured on set signing autographs for thrilled fans
Amber Heard leaving the High Court in London after a hearing. She was wearing a red polka dot face covering due to Covid restrictions
In a domestic abuse case from 2016, Heard claimed that Depp cut his own finger, mixed his blood with ink and wrote on a mirror accusing her of having an affair with ‘Billy Bob Thornton’
While the pair had long been rumoured to have a volatile relationship, it was not until a picture emerged of Depp lying on a stretcher inside a Queensland hospital almost two years later that the scale of the incidents on their whirlwind trip became clear.
The actor was rumoured to have broken his right wrist go-karting on a private track at Doohan’s property while movie buffs speculated the injury was sustained on set.
The incident caused filming of the $250million Jerry Bruckheimer epic, in which Johnny reprises his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow, to be delayed.
In giving evidence to the High Court in London, Depp described the period of time in Australia in March 2015 when he says Heard severed his finger – an injury which she says came about after he smashed a telephone into a wall.
He claims Heard heard him talking to his lawyers about a potential post-nuptial agreement.
After he poured himself a glass of vodka she picked up the bottle and threw it at him, before hurling another one, he told the court.
‘Amber severed my finger with the second of two thrown vodka bottles at me in the early afternoon of Sunday March 8. Amber claims this was on the second day of a “three-day hostage situation”,’ he testified.
‘Amber claims that during these three days, I subjected her to a variety of what sounds like torture and other abuse. These sick claims are completely untrue.’
Mr Wood said he never heard any whispers of the alleged incident during his tenure protecting the couple.
Depp said Heard did not sustain any injuries at all that weekend, while he sustained ‘grievous’ injuries including the severed finger ‘and a cigarette stubbed out on my cheek’.
He said that at some point after Heard threw the bottle that cut off his finger tip, she put a lit cigarette out on his cheek.
Court documents state that Depp tried to avoid Heard by taking the spiral staircase down into the bar.
‘(But) she followed him, screaming at him abusively,’ the court heard.
‘The severity of these injuries brought about the personal realisation of the severity of the abuse that Ms Heard had inflicted upon me for so long. I couldn’t believe that we had come to this. I wondered what more she could do to me.’
However, Depp’s version of events inside Doohan’s mansion differ greatly to Heard’s.
Heard alleged in a domestic abuse case against her ex-husband in 2016 that Depp had cut his own fingertip off while ‘drunk and high on ecstasy’.
Depp filed a defamation case against Heard in 2018, calling her accounts of abuse ‘fabricated’ and ‘categorically’ false. They are seen together in February 2016
Johnny Depp leaving the High Court after a dramatic day of giving evidence in a libel case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard
Heard’s lawyers submitted this photo to Los Angeles Superior County Court in 2016 and claimed Depp had caused the injuries. Speaking at the High Court, Depp denied ever being violent towards Heard and said any claims he hit her were ‘lies’
Depp had been speaking with Heard on the phone while she was filming The Danish Girl in London when they began to fight and he threw the phone at some glass, causing the injury.
The court papers in the 2016 case claimed that Depp then took his bloody finger and dipped it in blue paint before using the mixture of the two liquids to write ‘STARRING Billy Bob’ and ‘Easy Amber’ on the wall.
‘Billy Bob’ is Billy Bob Thornton, claims Heard, who had starred in the 2008 film The Informers with the actress before the pair also starred in London Fields.
Whichever way the extraordinary row unfolded, it did not stop the couple returning to Queensland together just a few weeks later.
This time they were joined by a pair of companions – Pistol and Boo, their pet dogs.
Depp and Heard snuck the Yorkshire Terriers into Australia on board a private jet and did not declare them to customs officials.
In fact, authorities were completely unaware the dogs were in the country until their local groomers posted a photo to Facebook.
This outraged then-deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who threatened to destroy the dogs if they were not taken out of the country.
During their visits to Australia in 2015, the couple stayed in this sprawling mansion owned by former MotoGP champion Mick Doohan
Depp seen in an image drawn by a court artist as he was giving evidence from a witness box at the High Court in London
The incidents that allegedly occurred during Depp and Heard’s time in Australia are set to form a major part of The Sun’s defence against the Hollywood star.
Depp told the court on the first day of his blockbuster libel case that the allegations were ‘sick and completely untrue’.
But the most sensational revelation from Depp was that he decided to divorce Heard after faeces were left in their bed.
In a written statement, the actor said Heard or ‘possibly one of her friends’ was responsible for the incident, but claimed she dismissed it as ‘just a harmless prank’, and he said it was the final straw in their deteriorating marriage.
Today, he took to the stand to deny ever hitting Heard, as a series of newspaper stories alleged, and said it was ‘inconceivable’ that he would ever hit a woman, citing his Southern upbringing and saying he considers chivalry ‘very important’.
He said: ‘It is a strong and central part of my moral code that I would never strike a woman, under any circumstances, at any time. I find it simply inconceivable and it would never happen.’
While denying attacking Heard he also launched a blistering verbal attack on her, accusing her of being a ‘calculating, narcissistic sociopath’ who married him to further her career.
Depp (left) and Heard (right) arrive at the High Court in London. Depp, 57, is suing The Sun newspaper for labeling him a ‘wife beater’ in a 2018 article
Amber Heard walked arm in arm with her sister, Whitney, (left) and Australian lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, (right) who also represents Julian Assange, as she arrived at the High Court for the start of a three-week libel trial. In the white coat is her US attorney, Elaine Bredehoft