Heard’s sister and friend support his assault allegations against Depp

Editor’s Note: Some testimonials contain graphic language and descriptions of sexual and physical assaults.

Amber Heard’s sister testified Wednesday that she found herself in the middle of fights — literally and figuratively — between her sister and Johnny Depp during their difficult relationship.

Whitney Heard Henriquez is the first witness to testify in the five-week civil trial to say she personally saw Depp punch Heard. Depp has testified he never hit Heard.

Henriquez said the fight took place in March 2015 – a month after Depp and Heard got married – when Heard found evidence that Depp had previously had an extramarital affair.

Depp heard the trial
Raquel Pennington testifies in a previously recorded video deposition in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque / AP

Henriquez recounted that an inebriated Depp blamed Heard for forcing him into the extramarital encounter.

At one point, she said, she was caught between Depp and Heard as he walked up a flight of stairs to confront Heard. Henriquez said she was punched in the back, and Heard became furious and “landed one” on Depp, with Henriquez wedged in between.

One of Depp’s bodyguards intervened and broke up the fight, but “by then Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and was repeatedly punching her in the face with the other” , Henriquez said.

It was the only time, Henriquez said, that she personally witnessed a physical assault. But she said she saw the aftermath of other fights, including bruises on Heard.

She said she got the nickname “marriage counselor” for her frequent efforts to mediate arguments between Heard and Depp.

“Obviously not very well,” she said of her mediation efforts.

But she admitted on cross-examination that she had at times sided with Depp in their disputes and said she had worked to keep the couple together even after seeing her sister being physically assaulted.

“If my sister said she still wanted to be with Johnny and if I could help her in any way, I was going to support her. I was going to be there for her,” she said.

Henriquez admitted that she once even joked in a text message that Depp should punch Heard, but she said she didn’t really understand what her sister was going through at the time.

Henriquez also told a story about Depp’s behavior at Heard’s 30th birthday party in April 2016, one of the last fights between the couple. She said people took turns sharing their favorite memories of Heard. Depp, who arrived late and drunk at the party, decided to tell a story about the first time he met Heard while she was auditioning for a movie and “she sat on the couch and his perfect (posterior) left the perfect imprint on the couch.”

“We were all a little embarrassed,” Henriquez said.

Depp is suing Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though he never mentioned his name.

Also on Wednesday, a friend of Heard’s testified that she saw the bruises and cuts left from multiple incidents of abuse inflicted by Depp.

In a taped deposition played for jurors, Raquel Pennington said she never personally saw Depp hit Heard. But she said she saw the injuries and took photos of Heard’s face in December 2015 after a fight in which Heard says Depp headbutted her and possibly broke her nose.

The photo shows a swollen nose, a cut lip and two moderately black eyes on Heard’s face.

She also took a picture of strands of hair that she said had been pulled from Heard’s scalp.

Heard “often had to cover the bruises and wounds on his face” with makeup, said Pennington, one of several witnesses whose testimony had already been recorded.

Pennington said she doesn’t really consider herself a current friend of Heard’s and the two broke up last year.

The December 2015 fight is one of many disputed incidents. While jurors saw photos taken by Pennington documenting the injuries, they also saw video of Heard’s appearance on a late-night talk show the following day in which those injuries are not visible.

Heard said the wounds were simply covered in makeup.

Pennington’s testimony came after Heard completed his time on the witness stand on Tuesday, including two grueling days of cross-examination during which Depp’s attorneys questioned Heard about the veracity of his physical abuse allegations and sexual.

Pennington’s testimony provides corroborating evidence of several of the alleged assaults. In addition to the December 2015 incident, Pennington said he saw cuts on Heard’s feet when he returned from a trip to Australia in March 2015. Heard testified that Depp sexually assaulted Heard with a bottle of alcohol on that trip and that she cut her feet on broken glass in the attack.

And Pennington, who for a time lived in a penthouse suite with Depp and Heard, said she was the first person to see Heard during a final fight between the couple in May 2016 that precipitated the divorce from the couple. couple.

Pennington said she stepped between the two and Depp knocked her hands off. She said she then covered Heard with her own body on the floor as Depp yelled at Heard to get up. She said she later saw Depp brandish a bottle of wine to smash and knock things off walls and counters.

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