The contours of the high-stakes authorized battle between Johnny Depp and his former spouse, Amber Heard, grew to become clearer on Wednesday, as Depp’s older sister sought to refute Heard’s claims that her brother was a violent, unaccountable, childlike drug addict.
Christi Dembrowski, who can be Depp’s private supervisor, mentioned she didn’t share Heard’s considerations – additionally superior by a physician who was treating Depp’s habit to ache treatment – that the actor was depending on medicine and that he despaired of ever kicking his behavior.
Earlier, she had testified that her brother had sworn to by no means perpetrate home violence after he was a sufferer of it himself. However below questioning from Heard’s legal professionals on Wednesday, Dembrowski conceded she had been involved concerning the ache treatment he was taking.
Dembrowski additionally struggled on cross-examination when proven texts she had written to Heard quickly after the couple returned from Australia, the place, Depp has claimed, Heard severed his finger with a vodka bottle.
“I like him a lot however he wants assist,” Dembrowski wrote. In a second textual content, she suggested Heard to inform her husband: “I’m scared and I can’t deal.”
Heard’s attorneys claimed that Depp was routinely late for work, together with on one event being seven hours late on shoot-day on Disney’s Pirates 5 in Australia. Dembrowski, in the meantime, testified that he was pushed to finish a sure variety of motion pictures a yr to maintain his ex-agent’s earnings up, hinting that Depp and his capacity to earn thousands and thousands was half of a bigger star ecosystem depending on him.
Dembrowski, 61, had earlier testified that Heard had referred to her husband as “an outdated, fats man” and was outraged when he, not her, was supplied enterprise with the French luxurious home Dior. “They’re about class and magnificence and also you don’t have fashion,” Heard is alleged to have informed her husband.
The court docket in Fairfax, Virginia, additionally heard from Isaac Baruch, the previous supervisor of Depp’s Viper Room membership in Los Angeles, whom Depp arrange in a penthouse residence so he might paint. Depp was doing this as a good friend, Baruch mentioned, “as he has performed for a lot of different buddies”. He testified that he had witnessed Depp and Heard argue twice, however by no means violently.
Baruch, a scene-stealer in Hollywood phrases with a forthright Brooklynese method, mentioned Heard was by no means something however pleasant to him. “I fell in love together with her, identical to Johnny fell in love together with her. She was completely gracious, respectful, she had nice enamel, and handled me with nice respect, and humor – whole locker-room, demented humor.”
Baruch’s testimony was introduced for example Depp’s competition that his half within the marriage to Heard was peaceable and that his spouse was the abusive get together.
Two years after they broke up, she wrote a 2018 opinion article within the Washington Publish that claimed she’d turn out to be “a public determine representing home abuse” – a libel in opposition to him, Depp claims, upon which the lawsuit is predicated.
In an announcement on Tuesday, Depp’s spokesperson mentioned Heard’s account of abuse “follows a sample of her elaborate, misguided claims which have continued to vary and evolve over time for the aim of Hollywood shock worth”.
In 2016, Heard withdrew a petition for a restraining order in opposition to Depp and dismissed the home violence case in opposition to him. “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at occasions unstable, however all the time sure by love,” they mentioned in a joint assertion following their divorce settlement. “Neither get together has made false accusations for monetary beneficial properties. There was by no means an intent of bodily or emotional hurt. Amber needs one of the best for Johnny sooner or later.”
Efforts by Dembrowski and Baruch to color Depp as a light, if troubled, man, are designed to counter devastating claims issued by Heard legal professionals who contend that Depp’s profession deteriorated as the results of his ingesting and abuse of medication – and that her Washington Publish piece was not what had made him an unreliable commodity to the film enterprise.
The court docket has been introduced with Heard’s claims, a part of a $100m counter-suit, that Depp bodily and sexually abused his then spouse throughout drug- and alcohol-fueled binges that turned him right into a “monster”.
Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, one among Heard’s legal professionals, informed the jury they might be proven graphic images. “They present bruises, they present lower lips, they present hair pulled out,” Bredehoft mentioned. “They present two black eyes when he headbutted her.”
“He has an infinite quantity of rage,” Bredehoft added. “It’s throughout these rages that Mr Depp engaged in verbal, emotional, bodily and sexual abuse of Amber.”
Heard’s lawyer’s have mentioned the actor and L’Oréal mannequin would all the time carry a make-up equipment round together with her to cover bruises. Underneath cross-examination on Wednesday, her legal professionals made little headway with Baruch on whether or not he had ever witnessed Heard making use of basis, concealer or some other sort of make-up.
Baruch did, nonetheless, testify that he had seen the Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, within the couple’s residence. Musk is scheduled to be referred to as by Heard’s defence staff, who’ve already informed the jury that “Johnny Depp is obsessive about Elon Musk”.