Amber Heard's sister and couple's former friends back up her defence in Johnny Depp trial

They all testified that they were previous friends of couple and that Johnny Depp called himself 'a monster'

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Amber Heard’s former best friend was called to the stand on Wednesday as a witness for her defence in the multimillion-dollar libel suit brought on her former husband, Johnny Depp.

In a deposition recorded in January, Raquel “Rocky” Pennington testified that she saw several types of injuries on Heard’s face and body, and that she feared for her friend’s life.

“I was worried for her physical safety. I was worried that when he turned, he might accidentally do something that was worse than he ever intended,” Ms Pennington said.

Melanie Inglessis testified that she was responsible for covering cuts and bruises on Heard’s face before an appearance on 'The Late Late Show with James Corden' in December 2015. EPA

When Ms Heard returned from Australia, Ms Pennington said that she saw “deep, long cuts on the backs of her forearms”.

Another friend, iO Tillett Wright, on Tuesday provided corroborating evidence to several of the alleged assaults.

“Then she showed me her feet – they were smaller cuts than the ones on her arms,” Ms Pennington said.

In earlier testimony, Heard said that while Depp was filming Pirates of the in Australia, he physically and sexually assaulted her in their rented home in which she sustain multiple injuries including cuts to her arms and feet.

Depp testified that he never struck Heard and that he suffered physical abuse at her hands.

He is suing Heard for libel in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court over a 2018 opinion piece she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

Depp's lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.

Ms Pennington, who briefly lived in one of the Eastern Standard penthouses along with Depp and Heard, said she was the first person to see her after a final fight between the couple in May 2016, which hastened her divorce filing and domestic violence restraining order.

Ms Pennington testified that during a fight, she protected Heard with her own body on the floor and that Depp used a wine bottle to smash glasses, pictures and other items throughout the home.

On Thanksgiving, Pennington testified, a group of friends and family gathered at the Eastern Standard penthouses for dinner.

It was attended by Depp and Heard, his son Jack, his friend Marilyn Manson, Heard’s father, Heard’s make-up artist Melanie Inglessis and Josh Hurd, who was engaged to Ms Pennington at the time, she said.

According to the recorded deposition by Ms Inglessis, Depp and Manson left the table for “a very long time”, which upset Heard and caused another argument between the couple.

“It was a very intimate and weird dinner,” she recalled.

Ms Inglessis also testified that she was responsible for covering cuts and bruises on Heard’s face before an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden in December 2015.

In her sworn testimony, she said that when she met Heard, it “looked like someone had head-butted her”.

“I did make-up, just a little heavier," Ms Inglessis said. "We covered the discoloration and the bruises with slightly heavier concealer.”

“We had no other option that night … than to use a really red lipstick that night to cover up the injuries on her lip.”

She said that she also noticed a patch of hair that was missing from the top of Heard's head.

Heard's sister, Whitney Henriquez, was also called to stand where she testified that she often saw contentious and loving moments between Heard and Depp.

“When he was sober, he was wonderful,” said Ms Henriquez. “When he wasn't sober, they were terrible.”

Ms Henriquez also testified that she saw Depp inebriated on many occasions and once found herself in the crossfire of an altercation.

She told jurors that Depp once blamed Heard for forcing him into the extramarital encounter and charged up a staircase to confront her.

When she tried to stop him from reaching her sister, Ms Henriquez said she was struck in the back, and Heard became enraged and “landed one” on Depp, with Henriquez stuck between the two.

Amber Heard's sister, Whitney Henriquez, looks towards the table where Johnny Depp is seated. She said that she once called him 'brother'. AFP

“We all thought that we would see Johnny on the other end of this, because again, when he was sober, things were wonderful … we all thought that he was just going to get better,” she said.

Less than two years ago, Depp lost a libel case against The Sun after the British tabloid referred to him a “wife beater”.

A London High Court judge ruled that he had repeatedly assaulted Heard.

Closing arguments are scheduled for May 27.

Updated: May 19, 2022, 3:52 AM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL