Content warning: this story contains graphic images that some readers may find disturbing.
Johnny Depp‘s security guard, Sean Bett, took the stand Monday in the ongoing trial of dueling defamation lawsuits between the actor and his ex-wife, Amber Heard, in which he described seeing several arguments between the two, which “progressed” over the years.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation, centering around a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote describing herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp isn’t mentioned by name in the article, he claims the piece implied him as the abuser in question. Depp denies the allegation and says it damaged his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, or $100 million.
When asked if Bett ever saw any physical injuries on Heard, he said he didn’t. But when it came to Depp, he said he did see some injuries, including scratches and bruises.
Depp’s injuries that Bett said he saw included what he described as a swollen upper left cheekbone with redness to it, a laceration on the left side of his nose, a scratch mark near his right ear, and another scratch mark on the lower right portion of his chin. All those examples coincided with photos submitted for evidence in the trial by Depp’s lawyers.
“They are showing pictures of #JohnnyDepp from December of 2015 showing what looks like a black eye/injuries to Depp’s face,” wrote Cathy Russon, executive producer for Law & Crime Network, in a Twitter post.
A couple of other photos shown during Bett’s testimony, which was livestreamed on the Law & Crime Network’s YouTube channel, show those same injuries and others in more detail, including what appears to be a scratch on the nose and a bruise on the cheek.
Bett testified that he was the one who took the photos, on two separate occasions, in March and December of 2015.
Bett went on to claim Heard never told him she was being abused by Depp, nor did she ever ask for help. He also said he did not see any evidence that Heard was being abused by Depp.
Bett did say he recalled “several” arguments between Heard and Depp, to the point where she even confided in Bett. Once, when the pair had an argument, Bett said Depp instructed him to “take her downtown to the penthouse so she can cool off.”
“As we were driving downtown, she was crying. This was at the point when the arguing was taking place quite frequently. And I was telling her, you know, I said, Amber, this can’t continue. You guys are either going to kill each other or you’re going to be in jail.
“And with tears and everything, she says, ‘but I love him. And I’m not going to lose him.’ I says, ‘but you guys can’t keep doing this.'”
At another point, Bett said he also saw Heard throw a plastic bottle or cup that bounced in Depp’s direction.
Earlier Monday, Depp’s personal doctor also testified that he never heard Depp complain about Heard being physically abusive to him. And he also never witnessed Depp physically abuse anyone, in his six years of treating the actor.
Last week, the couple’s former marriage counselor said the pair engaged in “mutual abuse.” The therapist, Laurel Anderson, also testified she saw bruises on Heard’s face at one point.
The trial unfolding in Fairfax, Virginia, is expected to last more than a month. Set to testify are both Heard and Depp, the latter of whom may take the stand as early as Tuesday. Other famous names on the witness list set to testify, either in person or via video link, include tech mogul Elon Musk and actors James Franco and Paul Bettany.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, or if you believe someone you know is being abused, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline. The hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE or spoken with online via the hotline’s website. Mobile phone owners can also text “START” to the number 88788.