Paul Bettany says having his text messages become part of the court record during Johnny Depp’s libel claim against UK newspaper The Sun was unusual and unpleasant.
In 2020, Depp filed a lawsuit against the publication after a column referred to him as a “wife beater.” In the trial, a sequence of messages between Bettany and Depp – who have collaborated on three films – were read aloud, in which the two joked about “drowning” Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard to show she wasn’t a witch.
“I think that’s a really difficult subject to talk about and I think that I just pour fuel on the fire,” the “WandaVision” actor said in a recent interview with the Independent.
Bettany described it as a “strange moment,” recalling how bizarre it felt to have attorneys “pouring through your texts for the last ten years.”
‘Can you imagine what it would be like, honestly, to have a bunch of lawyers go through every one of your emails and texts for 10 years? All I can tell you is that it was an unpleasant feeling’ the 50-year-old said.
In a 2013 message, a filthy allusion to Heard’s “beaver” was made, as was talk of her murder by “burning” or “drowning.”
Bettany wrote, “I’m not sure we should burn Amber. She is delightful company and pleasing on the eye. We could of course do the English course of action and perform a drowning test. Thoughts? You have a swimming pool.”
“Let’s drown her before we burn her!” Depp answered. “I will fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”
“My thoughts entirely. Let’s be certain before we pronounce her a witch,” Bettany answered.
After being questioned if Bettany was one of his ‘drug pals,’ Depp stated he ‘dabbled in drugs’ with him.
‘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 said, naming cocaine, alcohol, Xanax, and Adderall as some of the substances they have consumed together.
Bettany has already spoken out in support of Depp in the wake of the claims. “Known Johnny Depp for years and through several relationships,” the 50-year-old posted on Twitter in 2016. “He’s the sweetest, kindest, gentlest man that I’ve ever known. Just saying.”
Depp lost the libel action, and in the next third installment of JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts film trilogy, he will be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. Bettany has received praise for his portrayal of the Duke of Argyll in A Very British Scandal and Marvel spin-off WandaVision.