Amber Heard’s sister has claimed that Johnny Depp asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement after he allegedly hit her during a violent attack on the Aquaman actress.
Whitney Henriquez testified in court in Fairfax, Virginia, on Wednesday about an incident where her former brother-in-law allegedly struck her in the back, hurled a Red Bull can at a friend, grabbed Ms Heard by the hair and hit her before trashing Ms Heard’s closet.
The incident, which became known as “the staircase incident”, allegedly took place in March 2015 inside the downtown Los Angeles penthouse in the Eastern Columbia Building where Ms Heard and Mr Depp lived together.
Ms Henriquez testified that she was staying in one of the apartments at the Eastern Columbia Building when her sister woke her up and told her that Mr Depp was cheating on her.
She said that she left Ms Heard in the apartment and went to speak to Mr Depp herself who was with his nurse Debbie Lloyd and bodyguard Travis McGivern at the time in one of the other apartments.
She claimed that Mr Depp was “clearly drunk” and told her that Ms Heard had found text messages between him and a woman named “Rochelle”.
He allegedly blamed Ms Heard for cheating on her, telling Ms Henriquez that “Amber made me do it”.
At that point, Ms Herniquez testified that her sister appeared on a mezzanine area and the couple started shouting at each other.
She said that she and Ms Lloyd went to her sister and were at the top of the mezzanine level when Mr Depp hurled a can and then ran towards them.
“Johnny then hurls a Red Bull can and it hits Debbie in the back. She didn’t even react, she didn’t even seem to notice,” Ms Henriquez told the court.
“I’m standing up there at the top of the stairs with my back to the stairs and that’s when Johnny runs up the stairs.
“I’m facing Amber. He comes up behind me and he strikes me in the back.”
Ms Henriquez said that her sister shouted at Mr Depp “Don’t hit my f***ing sister” and then “smacks him, lands one”.
After Ms Heard struck her husband, Ms Henriquez testified that Mr Depp grabbed his wife by the hair and “repeatedly” hit her in the face.
“Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and was whacking her repeatedly in the face with the other,” she testified.
Another friend pulled them apart and took Mr Depp to another room, while she took her sister into a room, she told the court.
Ms Henriquez testified that she could hear Mr Depp “screaming like an animal”.
She said that she stayed with her sister in a room all night and when they left the room the next day she found Ms Heard’s closet had been “completely destroyed”.
Following the incident, she claimed she found a non-disclosure agreement left on her counter for her to sign.
She said that she did not sign the NDA.
Last week, Ms Heard also recounted the staircase incident and testified that she had “instantly” thought “of Kate Moss and stairs” during the fight.
During Mr Depp’s UK libel trial against The Sun – which he lost – Ms Heard claimed that Mr Depp pushed model Kate Moss down a staircase while they dated in the 1990s.
Mr Depp is suing his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not named in the article, which is titled “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change”.
However Mr Depp claims that it falsely implies that he is a domestic abuser – something that he strongly denies – and that it has left him struggling to land roles in Hollywood. He is suing for $50m.
Ms Heard is countersuing for $100m, accusing Mr Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.
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