Amber Heard’s sister says star’s marriage to Johnny Depp was like a ‘slow motion gunshot’

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Amber Heard’s sister says star’s marriage to Johnny Depp was like a ‘slow motion gunshot’
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Amber Heard’s sister likened the actress’s marriage to Johnny Depp to a “slow motion gunshot” as she accused the star of violent and controlling behaviour.

Whitney Henriquez said Depp was “bright and beautiful and lovely and kind and generous” when he started dating Heard in 2012, but said his drinking and drugs took their toll on the relationship.

Heard’s younger sister said the Aquaman star was eventually left “emaciated” and struggling to sleep, as she endured bouts of domestic violence and cruel verbal abuse.

“At first Amber was Amber, she was loud, fun, funny, she laughed a lot, was this happy, bright, fun, loving thing surrounded by friends”, she said.

Whitney Henriquez watches a previously recorded video deposition by her sister's acting coach, Kristina Sexton (REUTERS)
Whitney Henriquez watches a previously recorded video deposition by her sister's acting coach, Kristina Sexton (REUTERS)

“A progression took over such a long period of time. It was like watching a slow motion gunshot. She stopped sleeping, not as loud, not as gregarious.”

Ms Henriquez said her sister’s weight dropped alarmingly until she was “100lbs soaking wet”, describing her as “emaciated, not sleeping, she developed a heart condition, her eyes were sunken in”.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million after she accused him of domestic and sexual violence in a Washington Post op-ed in 2018, two years after their marriage had crumbled.

Ms Henriquez said at first the couple, who started dating after meeting on the set of 2011 film The Rum Diary, were “incredibly in love” but when Depp was intoxicated there was “almost always a fight”. “It seemed to oscillate pretty quickly. He’d be sober for a bit then fall off the wagon and it would go back and forth”, she said.

Amber Heard listens, next to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, as her sister is questioned (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Amber Heard listens, next to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, as her sister is questioned (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

She said the Pirates of the Caribbean star, 58, controlled what Heard, 36, wore to events, he was jealous when she performed sex scenes in her films, and eventually he was “vehemently against her working at all”.

“When he was drinking he’d get very angry and say really nasty unkind things, usually about Amber. Horrible, horrible, horrible things,” she said.

Depp denies ever being violent in the marriage, but Heard is countersuing for $100 million in the libel battle over accusations that she made up the abuse claims — pointing to 2020 comments by Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman that it was all a “hoax”.

Mr Henriquez said the comments coincided with the death of their mother, and sparked panic attacks in her sister.

Johnny Depp waves as he leaves the courtroom in Fairfax on Wednesday (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Johnny Depp waves as he leaves the courtroom in Fairfax on Wednesday (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“She was not sleeping. She was super anxious, she couldn’t relax, she couldn’t sit still”, she said. “It launched her back into this space where she was so physically unwell. She cried a lot.”

Heard’s former best friend Rocky Pennington also gave evidence, saying she witnessed the aftermath of a December 2015 incident when Heard says she was headbutted by Depp.

Ms Pennington said Heard alleged she had been dragged by the hair, and she told the court she bled and evidence of a chunk of hair being “ripped out”.

The trial continues.

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