Depp ultimately lost the 2020 libel case against the British tabloid, which had branded him a “wife beater” in an April 2018 article after accusations from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
During the trial, The Sun called upon Bettany’s text messages as evidence. Citing one digital interaction, Depp proposed, “Let’s burn Amber!!!”
Bettany responded, “Having thought it through I don’t think we should burn Amber – she’s delightful company and easy on the eye, plus I’m not sure she’s a witch. We could of course try the English course of action in these predicaments – we do a drowning test. Thoughts?”
“Let’s drown her before we burn her!” Depp replied. “I will f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.”
In an interview with The Times, Bettany addressed the “embarrassing” experience of having his private texts read out in court, saying: “We live in a world without context.”
“I didn’t know Johnny when he was married to Amber. I knew him before. But we hadn’t spoken in years. During the marriage, I didn’t know them. So I wasn’t around for any of that.”
Calling it a “very surreal moment”, the 50-year-old actor said, “I know how this works. Anything that you say is oxygen for a fire. And there’s just no f****** fire. The only real way to deal with this elegantly is to say: I’m not sure there’s anybody who has one of these devices that would feel comfortable having a team of lawyers scour their private text messages.”