Whitney Heard Henriquez, Heard’s younger sister, testified in court on Wednesday as part of the ongoing defamation case between Heard and ex-husband Depp.
Henriquez said she occasionally lived with Heard and Depp during their relationship and that she considered Depp a brother.
Henriquez testified that she had used cocaine with Depp, including just before an incident where she saw Depp throw a Red Bull can at his nurse, Debbie Lloyd, which Lloyd denied in her testimony. Henriquez said that Depp ran up a flight of stairs towards her during an altercation.
“He comes up behind me, punches me in the back. I hear Amber yell: Don’t hit my damn sister. She punches him and lands one,” Henriquez said. “By this time, Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and repeatedly slapped Amber in the face with the other.”
Depp accuses Heard of defaming him in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post. In the piece, published about two years after their divorce, Heard described himself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.” Although Depp is not mentioned in the article, he claims it has cost him lucrative acting roles.
Heard has filed a $100 million counterclaim.
Heard has accused Depp of physically and sexually abusing her during their relationship. Depp denied ever hitting Heard during his testimony.
Depp’s legal team has accused Heard of being the abuser in the relationship.
Henriquez, who was questioned by Rebecca Lecaroz, Depp’s attorney, said she sometimes acted as a marriage counselor and sometimes sided with Depp in arguments. Lecaroz asked Henriquez why she supported her sister when she wanted to stay in the relationship with Depp.
“You wanted Mrs. Heard to stay with Mr. Depp even after you saw him hit her, right?” asked Lecaroz.
“That’s really an oversimplification of something that’s far from simple. Again, Amber was very much in love, just like Johnny. She tells me she wants something to happen, it wasn’t my place,” Henriquez testified.
Jurors also heard testimony from multiple witnesses on Wednesday, including a makeup artist and an acting coach who worked with Heard, who said they saw Heard with injuries during her relationship with Depp.
Multiple witnesses said they saw Heard with facial injuries after an altercation in May 2016 that ultimately preceded Heard being given a restraining order against Depp and the couple divorcing.
Their testimony contradicts that of two Los Angeles police officers, who testified earlier in the trial that they had not seen any injuries to Heard’s face or disorder in the former couple’s home.
The trial continues on Thursday.