Amber Heard’s former neighbour today told the High Court that police said they had “enough” to arrest Johnny Depp for domestic assault following a fight between the former couple at their shared penthouse in Los Angeles in 2016.
The court heard evidence from Heard’s friend and former neighbour Joshua Drew via video link from LA about an incident in May 2016, in which Heard claims the actor flew into a violent rage over what the actress described as “the Poopgate incident”.
Depp accused Heard of defecating in his bed following a separate argument on Heard’s 30th birthday a month prior. Heard called the allegations “ridiculous”, blaming Depp’s dog for the incident.
She added that the allegations caused a row between the pair in which Depp “wound up his arm back like he was a baseball pitcher and threw the phone at my face as hard as he could.” Heard claims Depp then grabbed her and pulled her hair, before throwing bottles around and smashing up the pair’s penthouse.
Drew, who was living in the penthouse next door at the time with his partner Raquel Pennington, told the court that he spoke to police after they were called to the apartment following the alleged incident.
Drew said: “I stayed outside [the] penthouse with the male officer and I asked him flat out what we could do because I think that we knew that [Heard] didn’t intend to file a complaint and we were obviously very worried about her and wanted to protect her”.
He added: “The police officer told me: ‘Her face is red, there’s damage in these apartments, there’s enough here to go and file a complaint and we can go and pick him up’”.
Drew said that he saw a “substantial pool of red wine” in the corridor outside their house, a “dent in the door that resembled the bottom of a wine bottle”, and broken glass and smashed items throughout the penthouse.
Depp denies the claims. Eleanor Laws QC, representing Depp, argued that Drew had conspired with Heard on the night of the incident to “concoct a story” against the Edward Scissorhands actor.
“I’m going to suggest to you that what happened on the night of 21 May is that you, along with your former partner Raquel Pennington, got involved with Amber Heard and then lied for her afterwards,” she told Drew.
Drew told the court: “I certainly do not agree”.
He added that photographs of Heard’s face alleging to show injuries caused by the attack “reflects my memory” of what she looked like on the night of the incident.
Depp is suing the Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton over an article from April 2018 that referred to Depp as a “wifebeater”, and which claimed there was “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked his wife at the time.
NGN is relying on 14 separate accounts of alleged domestic violence against Heard in its defence case. Depp strongly denies the allegations.
The court also heard testimony from Heard’s former makeup artist Melanie Inglessis, who told the High Court she had to cover up injuries on the actress’ face before her appearance on The Late Late Show hosted by James Corden in December 2015.
Inglessis told the court: “She said ‘Johnny and I had a fight’ and the main thing that sticks in my mind that I remember is that she said he tried to suffocate her with a pillow, she felt he tried to kill her that night [and] he dragged her by the hair.”
“She had minimal discolouration on her eyes, on either corner of her eyes by her nose. I recall her left eye being a little more bruised than the right eye. I remember the bridge of her nose being a little red and swollen… and a cut or a scab on her lip.”
Inglessis added that she used red lipstick and concealer to hide Heard’s injuries, and that Heard was “not that keen” to appear on the show.
Heard, who took to the witness box in the High Court for cross-examination today, is giving evidence on behalf of NGN.
Earlier in the day, Heard was grilled by Depp’s legal team over claims that the actor threw a magnum-sized champagne bottle at the actress at her 30th birthday party at their shared penthouse in Los Angeles in April 2016.
Heard told the High Court that Depp had arrived several hours late to the party “drunk and high on drugs”, which she claims caused an argument between the pair.
Heard alleges the Pirates of the Caribbean actor threw a bottle of champagne at her after accusing her of “blaming him for everything”, causing her to fall over and cut herself on bits of broken glass.
In a witness statement, Heard said: “Johnny then grabbed me by the shoulders, pushed me onto the bed, and blocked the bedroom door when I tried to leave. He grabbed me by the hair and pushed me to the ground.”
The actress told the court Depp then grabbed her when she tried to leave and pushed her onto their bedroom floor, then “walked out of the apartment, smashing things — pictures and photographs — as he went,” leaving behind a note that read “Happy f***ing birthday”.
Depp denies the allegations.
Heard yesterday admitted to punching Depp in a separate incident in 2015, claiming she did so to defend her sister Whitney, whom Heard believed Depp was about to push down the stairs of their apartment during a heated row.
“The moment that happened I remembered information I had heard [that] he pushed a former girlfriend — I believe it was Kate Moss — down the stairs,” Heard told the court, adding that it was the first time she had stood up to Depp.
The actor’s case against NGN and the Sun’s executive editor Dan Wootton follows the publication of an article on the Sun’s website in April 2018 that urged author JK Rowling to scrap Depp from the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise over allegations of domestic assault.
Depp has argued that article’s headline, “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”, is defamatory.
NGN is defending the article as true, and has claimed Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” during their seven-year relationship.
The trial continues.