Words by ITV News Correspondent Juliet Bremner
Amber Heard’s sister has been accused of lying in her evidence in a dramatic move by Johnny Depp’s lawyers in the libel trial as they produced a new video. David Sherborne, for Mr Depp, said the video had been sent to his team anonymously and claimed it showed Whitney Henriquez, Ms Heard’s sister, with bruises on her face and body after she was allegedly attacked by her older sister. Mr Sherborne told the court this was evidence of “proof that Whitney Henriquez was lying” after she told the court in her evidence on Thursday that Amber Heard was never violent to Johnny Depp apart from on one occasion when she acted in self defence, stepping in to defend her.
Judge Andrew Nicol has ruled that he will first hear from a witness in Australia before making a decision on whether the court should see the new video.
The court was shown the video, claimed to be filmed between 2006-2007:
The court was shown a video which it’s claimed was filmed between 2006-2007 that was filmed as part of a television programme in which Whitney Henriquez appears to show injuries allegedly inflicted by her sister Amber. The video shows Whitney with a group of other women around a pool when she is asked if Amber “started the fight” and she says she doesn’t want to talk about it but lets the women inspect her arm and chin.
Juliet Bremner reports from outside court:
The women talking to her says, “I can’t believe Amber beat your ass.” Mrs Henriquez replies, “we’re not talking about it”.
In court Whitney Henriquez explained that it was “a really bad reality show” and that she and her sister Amber had “a verbal argument” the night before. She claimed she did not want to discuss a private matter between her and her sister on camera. She denied there was any evidence of physical injuries. She also claimed that she wanted to shut the argument down and insisted “you are trying to make something out of nothing".
But Eleanor Laws QC, representing Mr Depp, reminded her that yesterday she told the court she had never seen her sister being violent with the exception of one occasion when Amber had stepped in to protect her from Johnny Depp. A friend of Ms Heard, Rocky Pennington, described the injuries Ms Heard suffered after Mr Depp allegedly headbutted her, but accepted she never personally witnessed him “hit or beat” her friend.
She lived in the one of the penthouses in Los Angeles owned by Mr Depp between 2014 and 2016 and was on several occasions called by Amber after she claimed to have been assaulted by Mr Depp.
Rocky Pennington took photographs of Ms Heard’s injuries in December 2015 and she demonstrated to the court via video link from Los Angeles where Ms Heard had a swollen forehead, where her hair had been pulled out and a split lip. It was suggested that Amber Heard did not have these injuries and that the clump of hair Ms Pennington had photographed on the bedroom floor had no roots on it and therefore could not have been pulled out of Ms Heard’s scalp. The witness disagreed. Ms Pennington was also at the penthouse on the night in May 2016 when there was an explosive argument that finally signalled the end of their marriage.
She accepted she did not see the start of the fight but claimed she intervened when Amber called for her help, stepping in to prevent Mr Depp striking her again.
She told the court she had taken photographs of the apartment with broken glass on the floor and counter tops and damage to fixtures.
Asked why police officers who arrived there had been unable to see any sign of the damage. Ms Pennington said: “There was damage when I arrived, I believe they would have seen damage.” It was alleged that she and Amber Heard had spent “several days” taking photos and collaborating so she could divorce Mr Depp.
Eleanor Laws QC said, “They were being taken for Ms Heard to negotiate a settlement with Mr Depp weren’t they? Ms Pennington replied, “That’s not what I would say.”