UPDATE, 1:48 PM PT: A “wasted” Johnny Depp left a “visibly very upset” Amber Heard with a “swollen face” after an alleged 2016 fight, an acquaintance of the actress told a Virginia courtroom today in the former Pirates of the Caribbean star’s $50 million defamation trial.
“It looked like she had been hit in some way,” Elizabeth Marz said in a November 2019 video deposition played for Judge Penny Azcarete, the jury and on-lookers on Wednesday afternoon. Describing that spring night at Depp and Heard’s DTLA penthouse residences six years ago, the close friend of Heard’s pal Raquel “Rocky” Pennington also stated that the actor’s demeanor and presence “frightened me .”
“If there is a grown ass man coming at you telling you to get your bitch out and swinging a magnum of wine… I ran out,” Marz said in the video of a seemingly out of control Depp. Reinforcing early testimony by Pennington and her fiancée, Marz also stated that Depp “seemed to be intoxicated” on that 2016 night. He was “sloppy, and all over the place ..combative, angry,” she went on to say.
Coming a day after Heard ended her own testimony following a fiery cross examination from Depp lawyer Camille Vasquez, the stream of defense witnesses later on Tuesday and today moved very quickly into the weeds of the celebrity couple’s clearly toxic relationship. Most importantly, with First Amendment issues of Depp’s lawsuit against Heard over a late 2018 Washington Post op-ed on being a survivor of domestic abuse by the judicial waist side right now, the defense’s emphasis is on a point-by-point collaboration of the Aquaman star’s claims of physical, psychological, verbal and sexual abuse against the fired Fantastic Beasts actor.
With the April 11 starting trial set to go the rest of this week and next week to closing arguments on May 27, Heard’s team are in the driver seat for the most part from here on. To that end, the upcoming witness list will be female heavy to solidify Heard’s viewpoint in the jury’s eyes, we hear. Also, while rumors of Depp being called back to the stand by the defense are, the actor’s credibility will certainly be in the spotlight.
Correspondingly, even more so that the actor’s unsuccessfully UK libel action against The Sun tabloid back in 2020, the standard of proving actual defection is very high on this side of the Atlantic. A challenge before any jury, regardless of if you are a movie star or not in what has proved to be an extremely explicit trial so far
Sitting snugly between his main lawyers Ben Chew and Vasquez today, the sunglasses wearing Depp seemed fixated on the monitor and table in front of him. Heard, on the other hand, was looking up at the screens in the courtroom playing Marz’s more than two year old testimony.
After Marz’s video, video testimony of makeup artist and former Heard friend Melanie Inglessis was shown in the Fairfax County Courthouse. In the February 2, 2021 video, Inglessis detailed to Heard attorney Elaine Bredehoft how she fixed up the actress’ allegedly batter face for a December 16, 2015 appearance on James Cordon’s CBS late night show. “We covered the bruises with a heavier concealer,” the makeup artist explained as to why Heard looked relatively unscathed on the show. “A really red lipstick to cover up the injury on the lip,” Inglessis continued of the cut lip Heard has claimed she suffered.
Earlier on Wednesday, Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez testified live about her close relationship with her sibling and Depp during their relationship and up to their 2016 divorce. “Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and was whacking her repeatedly in the face with the other, as I was standing there,” she stated of a March 2015 incident in Los Angeles.
Discussing the good, the bad and the allegedly ugly that she witnessed, Henriquez said that part of the reason her sister didn’t bolt despite the claims of rampant abuse was that the duo’s relationship was “nuanced.”
“They fought, they loved each other,” she said.
Currently, expected to be the last witness of the day, the jury is watching a December 18, 2019 video deposition from Kristy Sexton. The Australian-based acting coach worked extensively with Heard over several years. “Johnny became much darker as time went on,” she said of the difference between the actor when she first met him and as the years passed. “He wasn’t very happy.”
Sexton said that over time Depp became very critical and insulting about the types of roles Heard was taking on. She describe the final months of the couple’s relationship as “very tension-filled” and Heard started missing appointments or turning up crying with greater frequency as “the relationship progressed and the fighting got heavier.”
PREVIOUSLY, 9:47 AM PT: A friend of Amber Heard testified on Wednesday about seeing the extent of the actress’ injuries following arguments with Johnny Depp.
“I was scared for Amber,” said Raquel “Rocky” Pennington. “I was so sad for Johnny, because he is my friend too, and I really wanted them to be able to get it together.”
Pennington’s testimony came via a video deposition from January. A great deal of her testimony centered on seeing Heard in the aftermath of an argument she had with Depp in December, 2015, at their downtown Los Angeles penthouse.
Johnny Depp: A Career In Photos From ‘Platoon’ to ‘Pirates’ And Beyond
The jury was shown photos of Heard, which Pennington said were taken that night. Fighting back tears at moments, Pennington described how one picture showed Heard with two black eyes and a swollen bottom lip.
Pennington also described the injuries in questioning by Depp’s attorneys.
Heard’s head was “raw and red,” she said, and there was “a bloody patch with her hair missing.” Asked if Heard’s face could have been red from crying, Pennington said, “It could have been.”
But jurors also were shown other photos from that evening, including a photo of a clump of hair on the carpeted floor. Pennington testified that it was her understanding that the hair was Heard’s. She also said that she took some of the photos, but did not alter the images.
Pennington said that they called for assistance from a private nurse at the penthouse, who instructed her to not let Heard got to sleep that night and to monitor her speech.
In video testimony that ran on Tuesday, Pennington said that she and Heard no longer are close. She said that they no longer speak but they are “not enemies.”
Pennington also testified about going to the Depp-Heard penthouse on the night of May 21, 2016 as the couple was having an argument.
That incident is one of the key moments in the timeline of their marriage. Heard claims that Depp struck her with a phone. She filed for divorce several days later, and then obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband.
But Depp denies that he struck her, and his legal team has questioned the veracity of Heard’s claims and photos of her injuries after that argument. Pennington, who lived in a next-door penthouse, said that when she entered Depp “was yelling. I don’t remember exactly what he was saying, but she was calling for help. That had never happened before. [She was] saying ‘Help. Help me.'”
Pennington said that she put “my hands on his chest” and recalled saying, “Stop. Just stop. Calm down.”
She said that she then put her body over Heard’s as she was on the couch, but Depp “was yelling at her to get up.” At one point, Pennington said, she saw a big orange ceramic ashtray. nearby. “I was thinking if he gets any closer I am going to just hit him with the ashtray,” she said.
Depp stopped when two of his security guards came and one told him, “Boss, come on, let’s go.”
But Depp then smashed stuff on a kitchen island before he left, Pennington said. She denied that she staged any of the scene afterward.
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