DISCLAIMER: This story contains details about domestic abuse.
A friend of actor Amber Heard testified Wednesday that she saw the bruises and cuts left from multiple alleged incidents of abuse by Heard’s ex-husband, actor Johnny 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 her face” with makeup, Pennington said in the January 2022 deposition.
Pennington said she doesn’t really consider herself a current friend of Heard’s and the two broke up last year.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia over a December 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.
The trial is now in its fifth week.
Depp says he never hit Heard and was abused by Heard.
The December 2015 bout is one of many that have been contested. 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 comes after Heard completed his time on the witness stand, including two grueling days of cross-examination during which Depp’s attorneys questioned Heard about the veracity of his physical and sexual abuse allegations.
Testimony provides corroborating evidence
Pennington’s testimony provides corroborating evidence of several of the alleged assaults.
In addition to the December 2015 incident, Pennington said she saw cuts on Heard’s feet when she returned from a trip to Australia in March 2015. Heard testified that Depp sexually assaulted her with a bottle of alcohol on that trip and said she cut her feet on broken glass from the attack.
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 couple’s divorce. .
Support is available for anyone who has been abused or assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through the Canadian Association for the Elimination of Violence Database. The Canadian Women’s Foundation Help signal is a silent one-handed gesture to use during a video call to indicate that you are at risk of violence in the home. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of those around you, please call 911.