Johnny Depp said he described himself as a “monster” in a bid to placate Amber Heard, as he repeated his denial that he had been violent towards her.
The Pirates Of The Caribbean star said he told his ex-wife “what she liked to hear”, comparing his approach to her as “like speaking to a child”.
During cross-examination on the third day of his libel claim at London’s High Court he was asked about a January 2015 trip to Tokyo with Ms Heard and his two children.
He rejected an assertion that he was using cocaine, MDMA and cannabis at the time and said he had not been violent with Ms Heard.
Barrister Sasha Wass QC, lead counsel for News Group Newspapers (NGN), alleged Mr Depp had wrestled Ms Heard to the floor in their hotel room, to which he responded: “That is incorrect.
“It is not true and certainly not when my children were in adjoining rooms.”
Ms Wass then said that after the incident, when the actor had calmed down, he told Ms Heard it was “the monster” and the monster had now gone.
Mr Depp said: “Yes, that is what she liked to hear, it was placation.”
He continued: “When you are with someone who cannot be wrong, you must devise a way to communicate with them that does not spur some monstrous argument or hideous attack or verbal abuse… it is like speaking to a child.”
He then confirmed to the judge he would use the word “monster” to placate Ms Heard.
The word “monster” has cropped up on other occasions since the court hearing began on Tuesday.
In a witness statement regarding that first allegation of abuse Mr Depp said he did not recall calling himself a “monster” on that occasion, but added: “I know that Ms Heard sometimes referred to me as a ‘monster’ and, as we continued into our relationship, she started making me believe that I was one.
“This was, however, never a reference to any violence.”
On the first day of the hearing Mr Depp told the court that “the monster” was something his ex-wife “became obsessed with”.
Ms Wass suggested it was Mr Depp’s name for “your alter ego, the bad side of your character, the person who used to lose control, used to smash up hotel rooms, used to assault camera crew men or paparazzi, that bad boy image… when you lose control and become violent thug, that’s ‘the monster’, isn’t it?”
Mr Depp replied: “No. ‘The monster’ in situations with Ms Heard was when the argument would escalate.”
In another reference on the first day of the hearing the court heard Mr Depp had used the word in an email to Sir Elton John, saying “it was ‘a simple fact’ that he ‘would have been swallowed up by the monster were it not for you (Sir Elton)’.
Mr Depp explained that he meant he “would have been consumed by this poison – the monster here is death”.