“I was scared for Amber,” Raquel Pennington said in a video deposition played for the jury today in the ongoing defamation suit between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. Pennington, who is Heard’s former best friend, is one of the witnesses called by Heard’s team this week. Another, podcaster and producer iO Tillett Wright, also testified. Both he and Pennington testified to hearing or seeing violent interactions between Heard and Depp during the course of their tumultuous relationship that ended in May 2016.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation over her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, in which she identified herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard has countersued and introduced testimony to attempt to show she was abused by Depp. The trial is now in its fifth week.
Raquel Pennington testifies
During her video deposition, Pennington became emotional when she was asked to describe photos documenting Heard’s injuries from alleged assaults by Depp. Pennington teared up as she described Heard with “a bruise on her eye, swelling on her nose,” per NBC News. Pennington also testified that Heard “often had to cover bruises and injuries to her face with makeup.” According to the New York Post, Pennington recalled Heard showing the injuries to her makeup artist and having to cover bruises before a December 2015 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden.
Pennington denied allegations from Depp’s legal team that she and Heard staged damage to the couple’s Los Angeles penthouse in May 2016. Instead, she described an intoxicated Depp swinging a wine bottle and damaging the couple’s home. During her testimony, Pennington admitted that she never witnessed Depp hit Heard, but described seeing a “bloody patch” on Heard’s head with missing hair, and “deep cuts on the backs of her forearms,” allegedly from altercations with Depp.
“I was scared for Amber, and I was sad for Johnny, because he was my friend too,” Pennington said, according to NBC News. “I was worried for her physical safety. I was worried that when he turned he might accidentally do something that was worse than he ever intended.”
Josh Drew testifies
Josh Drew is the former husband of Pennington and lived in the same building in Los Angeles as Depp and Heard. He testified to having an encounter with Depp in May 2015, during which Depp was “screaming, cursing, spitting” in his face and yelling “gibberish.” Drew recounted that after that encounter, he found Pennington and Heard nearby, and they told him about an alleged physical confrontation with Depp. “Amber was like catatonic, like a thousand-yard stare and she was like done,” Drew said, per NBC News. “Like a ghost.”
Drew also testified that Depp showed up hours late for Heard’s 30th birthday party. “He came very obviously intoxicated and put on a show for everybody,” Drew said in a video deposition played for the jury.
Kristina Sexton testifies
Heard’s former acting coach Kristina Sexton testified about her experience staying with Heard and Depp on a vacation at a luxury trailer park where she heard a screaming fight between the then-couple. The next day she checked on Heard. “I saw a completely torn apart trailer,” Sexton said, per NBC News. “Johnny was apologizing for what he had done, and he was instructing his bodyguards to just pay it off. ‘Let’s take care of it.'”
Sexton also testified about the nature of the couple’s “very tension-filled” relationship, noting that over time Depp became “much darker” and much more critical of Heard. “I had to block out time cushions around [her classes],” Sexton testified, per the New York Post. “Because she would be sobbing when we started and we couldn’t work.”
Elizabeth Marz testifies
In a video deposition, Heard’s acquaintance Elizabeth Marz testified to witnessing an alleged fight between a “wasted” Depp and Heard in 2016. Marz said she saw a “visibly very upset” Heard with a “swollen face,” Deadline reports. “It looked like she had been hit in some way,” Marz said in the deposition. She added that she was “frightened” by Depp’s presence at the time.
Melanie Inglessis testifies
Heard’s friend and makeup artist Melanie Inglessis testified via video, as well. In the deposition, Inglessis documented covering up Heard’s allegedly bruised face and split lip before the 2015 appearance on James Corden’s show. “We covered the bruises with a heavier concealer,” the makeup artist explained, per Deadline, adding that she used “a really red lipstick to cover up the injury on the lip.”
The court has adjourned for the day, but Heard’s team will continue its defense tomorrow.
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