Johnny Depp’s legal team played a video in court Friday that they allege demonstrates that Amber Heard had been violent toward her sister, Whitney Henriquez. The footage was submitted at London’s Royal Courts of Justice as evidence on the 14th day of Depp’s libel action against the publisher of The Sun newspaper.
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers and journalist Dan Wootton for an article on The Sun’s website that described him as a “wife beater.” Depp denies that he was ever violent toward Heard, to whom he was married from 2015 to 2017.
The tape, played for the first time in court Friday, is believed to have been taken from a reality TV show recording from 2006 or 2007. The recording was handed to Depp’s team by an anonymous source overnight, and they believe it came from an unbroadcast segment of the show.
In the video, Henriquez — a.k.a. Whitney Heard — is seen with a group of friends sitting around a pool. One friend asks her: “Did you get in a fight or something?” Henriquez replies, “I got into an altercation.”
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Her friend then says, “I can’t believe Amber beat your ass, I know you could beat her ass.”
She adds: “Whitney, truth or dare, did you really start the fight with your sister or did she start it? For real, for real, for real.”
The friend appears to inspect her face and arm while saying: “She really did whoop your butt.” Henriquez says repeatedly, “We’re not going to talk about it.”
The video of Amber Heard's sister Whitney, as a friend says "Amber beat your ass".
Whitney says it was part of an inflated story in a bad reality TV show, insisting she and her sister just had a verbal argument. pic.twitter.com/oEZqcJDX6T
— Tristan Kirk (@kirkkorner) July 24, 2020
Depp attorney David Sherborne said, “We see quite clearly from that video not only did Ms. Amber Heard physically assault her sister, but it’s quite clear also that the injuries that were suffered by Ms. Whitney Heard are being examined by the individual we see in the tape.”
“There’s no denial of the fact Ms. Amber Heard beat up Ms. Whitney Heard and that there are injuries.”
“You will see Whitney Heard allowing these injuries to be seen.”
“It’s quite clearly stated that all of those present knew Amber Heard had beaten up Whitney Heard. She doesn’t deny it, she simply says she doesn’t want to talk about it.”
When Henriquez was cross-examined about the clip, she told the court, “First of all that was a really bad reality show. We were referring to a verbal argument my sister and I got into.”
Depp’s attorney asked her if she had told her friend of a physical fight with her sister before the cameras started rolling. She answered: “I did not discuss anything other than a verbal argument with my friends off camera.”
“I was not talking about a physical fight, that person is inferring, trying to make a storyline, albeit a bad one, interesting.”
She added, “She was trying to create a narrative and story that wasn’t there. She was trying to make a very, very boring conversation more interesting.”
Henriquez said her friend had not made any reference to “marks on my face,” and added: “I had no interest in bringing a fight with my sister, a verbal argument with my sister, a personal matter at the time, on camera. I had no interest in that.”
Sherborne said, “We were contacted to explain that Ms. Amber Heard had a history of violence and attacking people and this video, which was attached, of her sister Whitney, was taken shortly after Amber Heard had attacked her, and Ms. Whitney was filmed with people commenting on the bruises on her face and body.”
Sasha Wass, the Sun’s attorney, said the video was “meaningless.”
“This is an undated piece of film footage in circumstances which appear to be some sort of reality TV program, which is flippant, certainly not serious.”
“This is a light-hearted exchange, there is no evidence of any injuries and it will take the matter … no further.”
Sherborne said, “All we know so far are the circumstances in which it is filmed. It is right that it was filmed as part of, as we understand it, a television program, but the footage your lordship [the judge] sees was not footage to be broadcast. It is not scripted … it is the rushes. There is nothing, in my submission, light-hearted at all. It is quite clearly stated two of those present know that Ms. Amber Heard had beaten up Ms. Whitney Heard.”
“She doesn’t deny it, she simply says that she doesn’t want to talk about it.”
The evidence in the trial ended Friday. Closing speeches will follow on Monday and Tuesday, with the judgment coming at some point after that.