Johnny Depp has denied he slapped ex-wife Amber Heard after she laughed at one of his tattoos, as he appeared at a hearing at London's High Court.

He accused Ms Heard of "building a dossier" against him after the court heard she wrote an email describing him as a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde character.

Mr Depp, 57, is suing the publisher of the Sun newspaper over an article that referred to him as a "wife beater".

The Sun has defended the accuracy of its story.

It had referred to "overwhelming evidence" that Mr Depp attacked Ms Heard, 34, during their relationship - which he strenuously denies.

Mr Depp is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN) and its executive editor Dan Wootton over the article, published in 2018.

Ms Heard claims that Mr Depp first hit her in early 2013 - one of 14 separate allegations of domestic violence, all denied by Mr Depp, which are being relied on by NGN in their defence.

On the second day of the hearing, NGN's lawyer Sasha Wass QC began by asking Mr Depp about an alleged incident in March 2013 involving one of his tattoos which reads "Wino Forever".

It had originally said "Winona Forever" in reference to his relationship with actress Winona Ryder, but he had changed it when they split in 1993.

Ms Wass said Ms Heard - who was also in court - had made a joke out of the tattoo at a time when he was drinking heavily after about 160 days of sobriety.

Mr Depp replied: "I don't recall any conversation."

Ms Wass said the actor then slapped his ex-wife across the face, a total of three times. He denied this.

The barrister then put it to Mr Depp that he "broke down" after coming to his senses and realising what he had done, to which he said: "I didn't hit Ms Heard."

The High Court also heard details of the email Ms Heard wrote to the actor - but never sent - saying he lived "in a world of enablers".

It it, she said: "It's like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Half of you, I love. Madly. The other half scares me."

She wrote that she knew she was "dealing with the monster" when he had been drinking.

In response, Mr Depp, 57, said the "dossier" was being built up from early on "that appears to be an insurance policy for later".

He agreed he would describe the allegation he was a serial domestic abuser as a "hoax", adding the claims were "patently untrue".

The court heard about another alleged incident that month when Ms Heard claims Mr Depp hit her several times after an argument about a painting by her ex-partner, Tasya van Ree, which was hanging in her Los Angeles home.

Ms Wass read out part of Mr Depp's witness statement in which he said he had asked Ms Heard to remove the painting "as a courtesy" to him.

He said she hadn't taken it down it but denied allegations put to him by Ms Wass that he tried to remove the painting and to set fire to it, saying each time they were "not true".

Mr Depp was asked whether he would describe himself as jealous. He responded: "I am, yes. I can be jealous."

-Source: BBC