A court-submitted declaration from a woman describing herself as the friend of Amber Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, claims Henriquez told her Heard hit her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, and that she was worried Heard would “kill” him.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million for defamation, for allegedly false domestic abuse accusations she made against him that he said hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing Depp, also for defamation, for $100 million.
The highly-publicized trial has been live-streamed on the Law & Crime Network YouTube channel, and other outlets, from a courtroom in Fairfax, Virginia since mid-April.
Henriquez was previously mentioned by Heard in testimony. Heard claimed the only time she landed a punch on Depp was when he was allegedly about to take a swing at Henriquez, at the top of a staircase, so Heard stepped in to defend her sister.
However, a statement submitted to the court by Jennifer Howell, who described herself as Henriquez’s “chosen sister,” with Henriquez likewise allegedly giving herself that moniker for Howell, gave an account that seemed to contradict the staircase incident in question, based on what Howell said was Herniquez’s version of the story at the time.
Henriquez’s friendship with Howell was brought up to the actor’s sister during cross-examination of her testimony Wednesday, by Depp’s team.
Citing Henriquez’s testimony in a prior 2020 libel court case in London, Howell said aspects of the testimony were contrary to what she knew and was told to be true. For instance, Henriquez testified that she had to sleep on the floor of her employer’s home after the staircase fight.
“I am that employer,” Howell wrote in the statement. “Whitney came to live in the guest room of my apartment […] not on my floor,” Howell said. She continued to state that Henriquez’s account in the London trial of the staircase incident involving Depp supposedly hitting Henriquez and Heard was also contrary to what Henriquez told her in person, after it happened.
“Whitney told me she tried to stop her sister Amber from hitting [and] attacking Johnny on the stairs. Whitney said when she tried to intervene to stop Amber from going after Johnny, Amber nearly pushed Whitney down the stairs. She told me she was worried Amber ‘was going to kill Johnny.’ She told me she had endured that kind of abuse her entire life, first from her father, and then from Amber, who she said was extremely violent.”
Henriquez previously testified that she saw Heard with bruises, cut lips, and marks and scratches on her back in 2013, while Heard was in a relationship with Depp. Some of Heard’s friends also testified that they saw injuries on her face while she was in a relationship with Depp.
While Heard maintains she was abused by Depp, Depp claims just the opposite: he was abused by her and not the other way around.
Depp’s lawsuit against Heard centers around an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, in which she describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp isn’t named in the article, Heard made prior allegations of abuse against Depp in 2016, which he claims is referenced in the piece.
Heard also has other witnesses lined up to testify, including actor Ellen Barkin, and Depp himself. This will be the second time Depp has taken the stand after he previously testified on behalf of himself and was cross-examined by Heard’s team.