Amber Heard’s sister says she witnessed physical fights with Johnny Depp

Amber Heard’s sister says she witnessed physical fights with Johnny Depp

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Whitney Henriquez, the younger sister of Amber Heard, told jurors in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Wednesday that she witnessed a physical altercation between Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp, refuting earlier testimony by Depp that he never hit his ex-wife.

The 58-year-old actor is suing Heard, 36, for $50 million for defamation after he published an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a public figure representing domestic violence, two years after asking divorce and a restraining order. Depp denied all allegations of abuse and said Heard was physically abusive towards him. Heard sued Depp for $100 million after his attorney called his allegations a hoax.

Henriquez, 34, echoed what other witnesses said about Depp and Heard’s relationship: It started out very loving and kind, and began to deteriorate about a year later. Henriquez said Depp’s behavior changed when he started drinking and using drugs. She told the jury that Heard’s personality also began to change as the relationship progressed, likening it to a “slow-motion gunshot.” Henriquez said Heard eventually became less gregarious, stopped sleeping and looked emaciated.

Henriquez said she and Depp were once close – and used to drink and do cocaine together sometimes – but eventually the actor began to assert more control over Heard, trying to dictate his career choices and to distance him from his network of friends. “It was hard to watch,” Henriquez said.

Part of the testimony focused on the night of March 23, 2015, when Henriquez said Heard came into her bedroom (she lived next door to the couple in an apartment paid for by Depp) and said Depp was cheating on her. Henriquez went to their penthouse and found Debbie Lloyd, Depp’s personal nurse, and Travis McGivern, one of his security guards. Henriquez said Depp first denied an affair, then said he was cheating on Heard, but it was Heard’s fault.

Henriquez said the couple started shouting “awful things” at each other. At one point, she, Heard, and Lloyd were on a mezzanine that overlooked the lower level of the penthouse. She said Depp threw a can of Red Bull at the back of Lloyd, who did not react, and Depp ran up the stairs and punched Henriquez in the back. Heard yelled, “Don’t hit my fucking sister,” Henriquez recalled, and Heard then punched Depp, prompting McGivern to run up the stairs.

“By this time, Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and repeatedly punched her in the face with the other while I was there,” Henriquez said, adding that the security guard separated them while she brought Heard home. at his penthouse. Henriquez said that as she left, she could hear Depp calling them vulgar names and that he was “screaming like an animal.” She said she could hear things breaking, and when she returned to their penthouse the next day, there was broken glass and the place had been “destroyed”.

Elaine Bredehoft, one of Heard’s attorneys, addressed the actress’ countersuit and asked Henriquez how Heard was affected by statements by Depp’s attorney calling her abuse allegations a hoax. “These statements devastated her,” Henriquez said. “They devastated her because they weren’t true.”

In cross-examination, Rebecca Lecaroz, one of Depp’s attorneys, asked Henriquez why she thought it would be a good idea to take cocaine with Depp if she suspected he was hitting her sister, and at one point given had even joked with Depp on text message about hitting Heard. Henriquez called the text an “unfortunate joke” and said she was unaware of the situation at the time. She also confirmed her relationship with Heard was rocky at times and she eventually moved out of the shared penthouse after Depp accused her of selling stories about the couple to the media.

Lecaroz brought up the “staircase incident” and asked Henriquez why she tried to reconcile the couple months later. “I was just trying to help what I thought they both wanted,” Henriquez said. She said she still “loved” Depp as a brother-in-law at that time, and thought he and Heard still wanted to be together.

“You wanted Ms. Heard to stay with Mr. Depp even after you saw him hit her, didn’t you?” asked Lecaroz.

“It really is oversimplifying something that is far from simple,” Henriquez said, adding that if Heard wanted to stay with Depp, she was going to try to support her sister and didn’t feel like it was. it’s up to her to say otherwise.

Earlier in the day, the jury heard testimony from Raquel Pennington, Heard’s former best friend, although she said they have since separated and are no longer friends. Pennington, who also lived in Depp’s penthouses, appeared several times throughout the trial, as she was present the night of May 21, 2016, when police were called to the apartment building. That week, Heard filed for divorce and a restraining order.

During Heard’s testimony, she alleged that Depp was intoxicated and threw a phone at her face (he denies this); Pennington said she remembered hearing screams outside the apartment. When she walked in, she saw Depp yelling at Heard, who asked Pennington for help, so Pennington walked over and stood between them and put his hands up and said to Depp, “No. ” Eventually his security intervened and Pennington brought Heard to his penthouse. Josh Drew, Pennington’s ex-husband who also testified and was in the penthouse that night, said Heard seemed “catatonic” but when police arrived she asked Drew to speak to them because ‘She always wanted to protect Depp and didn’t want to file a report.

Pennington showed several photos of Heard after the incident on May 21, 2016, and confirmed that they matched how she remembered Heard’s appearance that night and the next: that her cheek was red and swollen. , with redness and a bruise around the eye. Pennington and Drew said Heard’s photos were not altered in any way. Depp’s attorneys claimed she edited the photos of her injuries.

Elizabeth Marz, Heard’s acquaintance who was in the penthouse that evening, said she was ‘frightened’ by Depp’s behavior that evening, and said she ran and hid after that he “charged” it while holding a bottle of wine.

Heard’s lawyers also called on Melanie Inglessis, Heard’s makeup artist, who testified that she hid the actress’ bruises and cut her lip with makeup for an appearance on ‘The Late Late Show With James Corden’ in December. 2015 – a day after Heard said Depp was in charge – butted her. Inglessis confirmed to Depp’s attorney that she had not witnessed any physical abuse by Depp and that she only knew what Heard and his friends had told her.

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