Depp/Heard trial: officer’s bodycam footage shows police responding to 911 call alleging domestic violence

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard & Johnny Depp Getty Images Remix By Keane Eacobellis

New bodycam footage of police officers responding to a 911 call of alleged domestic violence at Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s penthouse in May 2016 was released Wednesday amid a trial of dueling defamation lawsuits.

The legal battle between the Hollywood stars and ex-spouses is currently unfolding in Fairfax, Virginia, and is being live-streamed on the Law & Crime YouTube Channel

Pirates of the Caribbean actor Depp is suing Aquaman star Heard for $50 million for defamation for what he alleges are false claims of domestic abuse against him that have hurt his career. Heard is counter-suing, also for defamation, for $100 million. 

The bodycam footage in question appears to show a rather anticlimactic confrontation at the penthouse, which allegedly occurred after a previous 911 call was made the same day, in May 2016.

The 2-minute long clip appears to show people in the penthouse saying officers previously checked in on the situation. After police checked the home and the person in the residence signaled the situation was  “all good,” the officers left.  

The two 911 calls were apparently not made by Heard but by one of her friends and another unnamed individual.

Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tyler Hadden, one of the cops who performed one of the in-person inspections following a 911 call of alleged domestic abuse, also testified in a pre-recorded deposition he determined it was a verbal argument on the night of May 21, 2016, based on the lack of any information that would point to something otherwise.

The penthouse’s front desk employee, Alejandro Romero, also testified in a pre-recorded deposition he had never seen any injuries on Heard’s face during face-to-face interactions with her.

Romero claimed that at one point, Heard and a friend told him she thought someone was trying to break into their home. But the employee stated he thought it was nothing more than “a dog trying to get into the unit,” based on scratches he saw four inches above the door. The moment drew laughter from Depp while the video was played for the jury.

Both Officer Hadden and Officer Melissa Saenz, the latter of whom is a 12-year veteran of the LAPD, testified that neither one of them saw any injuries on Heard following a 911 call alleging domestic abuse. Saenz also said there was no property damage, nothing out of the ordinary, and no signs of struggle, concluding that they “didn’t identify a crime.”  

The trial thus far has painted a sad portrait of a relationship that went on the rocks. While Heard maintains Depp abused her, Depp claims just the opposite: she abused him, and not the other way around. 

The couple’s former marriage counselor earlier testified she believed the pair engaged in “mutual abuse”; she also stated she had seen bruises on Heard’s face at one point. A forensic psychologist hired by Depp’s team also testified she diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder based on about 12 hours of a face-to-face assessment with her.

The 2018 Washington Post op-ed written by Heard, and Depp’s allegations that it damaged his career, are at the center of his lawsuit against his ex-wife. Depp is not named in the article, but he says he is implied to be the abuser in the piece — an allegation he denies. In previous testimony, Depp confirmed Heard made domestic abuse allegations against him as far back as 2016.

Heard herself is expected to take the stand and testify at some point during the trial. Other famous names on the witness list slated to testify, either in person or via video link, include tech mogul Elon Musk and actors James Franco and Paul Bettany.