Amber Heard said her ex-husband, Hollywood star Johnny Depp, threatened to kill her on numerous occasions, according to a witness statement given at a UK libel trial.

Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun newspaper, over a 2018 article which referred to him as a "wife beater" and questioned whether J K Rowling should have agreed to him being cast in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise.

When he gave evidence at the beginning of the hearing Depp, 57, denied ever being violent towards Heard, 34, and claimed she was the aggressor.

Heard said: "He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship."

She said Depp would call her “fame-hungry”, an “attention whore” and a “slut” if she wore certain revealing outfits.

Referring to Depp’s drug use, Heard said: "Even though my dad - who is an alcoholic - could never get clean and sober…I thought I could fix Johnny. I thought he could get better and that he would, and I wanted that so badly right to the end. After violent  episodes, his team would try to convince me to stay with him or to come back, often telling me he was sorry and would get clean for me."

On Monday, 20 July, Heard was cross examined by Depp's lawyer, Eleanor Laws QC and denied his claims.

She said: "I was never violent towards him. When I felt my life was threatened, I tried to defend myself.''

Heard claimed Depp attacked her in a Tokyo hotel room in January 2015 after they had an argument over a prenuptial agreement.

She said: "There was an argument in a hotel room in Tokyo that resulted in Johnny kneeling on my back and hitting me on the back of the head."

In a sworn statement to the court, released as she entered the witness box, Heard said she suffered extreme violence at the hands of the star.

Heard, who describes herself as an actor, model and activist, said: "Johnny has said he was never violent or abusive towards me during our relationship. That is not true. He was both physically and verbally abusive. The physical abuse and the worst of the verbal abuse would usually happen when he was drunk or high on drugs, which was often. Much of the time he had difficultly recalling what he had done once he had slept it off."