Johnny Depp wanted Amber Heard “barefoot and pregnant – and at home”, her acting coach told the high court in London as she outlined her growing suspicions that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor was hitting his wife.
Kristina Sexton, Heard’s friend and then acting coach, said she had not seen Depp “hit, kick or throw anything” at Heard, but she was aware of the “volatility” of their relationship and had “overheard some serious fights” while waiting to start her coaching sessions.
Heard told her Depp wanted her “barefoot and pregnant – and at home”, she said, and that Depp did not like the work his wife was auditioning for, especially any role “that was overtly sexual”, which he called “whore parts”, she claimed.
Heard became a “nervous wreck” at auditions because she feared Depp’s reaction, Sexton said.
At one audition in April 2016, Heard was anxious about reapplying her make-up, she added. “It made me think that she was covering up a black eye or some sort of bruise – and I asked her directly: ‘Did he hit you?’”
Heard said she did not want to talk about it, Sexton said. She had asked if Heard “felt safe” and if there was “anything I could do”.
She added: “But after I pressed her about it, she then admitted he had hit her. She admitted to me: ‘Yeah, he pushes and shoves me, he’s done some things.’”
Depp, 57, is suing the Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article that called him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he had attacked Heard. Depp denies ever hitting Heard, 34, who has submitted details of 14 occasions during their relationship when she claims he assaulted her.
Eleanor Laws QC, for Depp, put it to Sexton that Heard did not tell her any allegations about physical violence until after she had announced it to the world in May 2016. Sexton replied she knew about the emotional issues before, but heard about the physical incidents a few days before they became public.
Laws added: “I am going to suggest to you that you have been extremely keen to support Miss Heard to stay in her favour.” Sexton replied: “Absolutely not. I haven’t worked with her for years.”
Another close friend of Heard’s told the high court she had witnessed the aftermath of Depp’s alleged physical attacks on his wife.
Raquel Pennington claimed she had seen Heard’s forearms “scratched and bloody, from her wrists to her elbows”, after the couple returned from Australia. In Los Angeles, she claimed she saw Heard’s head “bloody where a chunk of her hair had been ripped out” and that she had a swollen nose and a bleeding lip.
Pennington said she called a private nurse, and took photographs on her phone. The next day, Heard appeared on the James Corden TV show, with her stylist and makeup assistants “in damage control mode”, she said in her witness statement.
Laws asked: “At no stage did you ever see Mr Depp hit or beat Amber Heard, did you?” She replied: “I didn’t see him beat or hit her.”
Laws put it to her: “You have lied and lied again on behalf of your friend, Miss Heard, in relation to the injuries you have seen or claimed to see.” Pennington replied: “Absolutely not.”
Of the photographs she took, Laws asked her: “You were cataloguing things for her that didn’t happen. That’s right, isn’t it?”
“That’s not right,” said Pennington.
Earlier, Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, denied she was beaten up by her after video footage was emailed overnight to Depp’s legal team by a confidential source of her allegedly showing injuries to friends on a 2006 reality TV show.
Henriquez is seen in rushes with one woman remarking: “I can’t believe Amber beat your ass,” and another commenting: “She really did woop your butt.” Another appeared to inspect Henriquez’s cheek and arm, with Henriquez saying she was not going to talk about it.
Heard has claimed she was never violent towards Depp, and only hit him once in defence of her sister during a fight on the staircase of their Los Angeles penthouse.
David Sherborne, for Depp, claimed the video showed Henriquez had lied to the court when she denied Heard had ever hit her or that she was “frightened” of her sister.
Henriquez told the high court the video only referenced “a verbal argument” between her and her sister, not a “physical fight”.
Denying she had lied to the court to support her sister’s case of alleged domestic violence, Henriquez said: “I’m here because she was the victim of domestic violence, and for no other reason. I’m here to tell the truth.”
Sherborne, said the video had been emailed on Thursday night, hours after Henriquez, told the court her sister had never attacked her.
He said the reliability of Henriquez was “critical”, as the “stairs incident” – in which Heard’s sister claimed to have witnessed Depp punching and hitting Heard – was the only occasion “on which any other human being” is supposed to have witnessed Depp being violent towards Heard.
Sasha Wass QC, for News Group Newspapers, said the film was “an undated piece of film footage in circumstances which appear to be some sort of reality TV programme, which is flippant, certainly not serious”.
She said: “This is a light-hearted exchange, there is no evidence of any injuries and it will take the matter… no further.”
The case continues.