Amber Heard’s sister was “terrified” of her “extremely violent” sibling and feared she would kill her husband Johnny Depp, according to a statement from a former friend who emerged during the multimillion-dollar libel lawsuit.
Jennifer Howell, a former friend and boss of Ms Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez, filed an affidavit with Mr Depp’s legal team in July 2020, calling into question Ms Henriquez’s testimony at the trial. pirates star’s british defamation trial with The sun†
Ms Howell alleged that Ms Henriquez confided to her that she was afraid of her famous sister who had abused her “both psychologically and physically”.
Ms Henriquez also reportedly told her “several times that she didn’t know why” [Mr Depp] stayed in the relationship [with Ms Heard] nor why he tolerated Amber’s abuse.”
In the statement, Ms. Howell also gave a drastically different account of the same March 2015 incident that Ms. Henriquez testified about in court in Fairfax, Virginia on Wednesday.
On the witness stand at the defamation trial, Ms. Heard’s sister claimed that Johnny Depp beat her during a violent attack on the Aquarius actress.
The incident, which came to be known as “the stair incident,” reportedly took place in the downtown Los Angeles penthouse where Ms. Heard and Mr. Depp lived together.
Ms Henriquez testified that her former brother-in-law punched her in the back, threw a Red Bull can at a friend, grabbed Ms Heard by the hair and beat her before destroying Ms Heard’s closet.
“Johnny throws a red bull look and it hits Debbie in the back. She didn’t even respond, she didn’t even seem to notice,” Ms Henriquez told the court.
“I’m standing there at the top of the stairs with my back to the stairs and at that moment Johnny runs up the stairs.
‘I’m facing Amber. He comes up behind me and punches me in the back.”
Ms Henriquez said her sister yelled at Mr Depp, “Don’t hit my damn sister” and then “slap him and put one down.”
After Ms. Heard beat her husband, Ms. Henriquez testified that Mr. Depp grabbed his wife by the hair and punched her “repeatedly” in the face.
After the incident, she claimed she found a nondisclosure agreement on her counter that she had to sign.
She said she had not signed the NDA.
In Ms Howell’s statement, she disputes Ms Henriquez’s courtroom testimony – which she had previously told the court in the UK case.
Instead, Mrs. Howell said that Mrs. Henriquez had told her that she had tried to stop Mrs. Heard from attacking Mr. Depp that evening.
She also claimed that it was Mrs. Heard who nearly pushed her down the stairs.
According to Ms. Howell, Ms Henriquez worked for her at the time at the non-profit organization The Art of Elysium and that after the incident she came to stay with her in her spare bedroom because she did not feel she could return to the building where her sister and brother-in-law lived. .
She said Ms Henriquez was “a mess” when she got to her house and told her she was “trying to keep her sister Amber from hitting Johnny on the stairs and attacking”.
“Whitney said that when she tried to intervene to stop Amber from going after Johnny, Amber almost pushed Whitney down the stairs,” she wrote in the statement.
“She told me she was afraid Amber would kill Johnny.”
She wrote that her father had reminded her that “Whitney moved in with me because she was terrified of her sister”.
While Ms. Henriquez was staying with her, she said that Mr. Depp came to visit her and they called each other “sister” and “brother”.
Ms. Howell also described another time she said that Ms Henriquez told her that Ms Heard had thrown a glass of red wine at her in an elevator.
When Mr Depp lost the tip of a finger during a violent incident between the former couple in Australia, Ms Howell claimed that Ms Hernandez exclaimed at the office: “oh my god, she’s done it now. She’s cut off his damn finger” .
Ms Henriquez was questioned Wednesday about her relationship with Ms Howell during a cross-examination by Mr Depp’s lawyers.
She told the court she had moved in with Ms Howell because Mr Depp accused her of leaking stories to the press.
She said they had been “friends” and admitted to confiding “about some things” to her.
When asked if she called her “your chosen sister” — a phrase Ms Howell said she mentioned in the statement — Ms Henriquez didn’t answer.
Ms Howell also wrote in the statement that Ms Heard’s mother, Paige, also told her that the reason Mr Depp and Ms Heard broke up was because her daughter was “violent and emotional.”
Depp is suing his ex-wife for libel over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “public figure who represents domestic violence”.
The pirates of the caribbean actor is not mentioned in the article, which is titled “I spoke against sexual assault – and faced the wrath of our culture. That must change”.
However, Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something he vehemently denies – and that as a result, he struggles to land roles in Hollywood. He demands $50 million.
Ms. Heard is suing for $100 million, accusing Mr. Depp of organizing a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.”