Article by Mark Duell, Martin Robinson & Vivek Chaudhary
24th July 2020
Johnny Depp's lawyers today revealed a 'confidential source' has handed them a video of Amber Heard attacking her own sister - hours after Whitney Henriquez denied under oath that the actress was ever violent towards her.
The bombshell film proves Amber's younger sibling was 'lying' in the witness box at the High Court yesterday because the footage shows 'bruises on her face and body', the megastar actor's barrister David Sherborne said.
Ms Heard was also accused of messaging Whitney during her evidence on Thursday in another extraordinary twist in her ex-husband Johnny Depp's libel trial in London. All witnesses, including Whitney, have all been ordered by judge Mr Justice Nicol not to communicate with anybody while giving evidence.
As the 14th day of the biggest libel case of the 21st century began this morning, Mr Sherborne asked the judge to keep Whitney out of the court as they produced a new video which shows Amber being violent towards her. Whitney had testified yesterday that Amber had never attacked her. The judge said he would decide later today if it will be shown in court.
Mr Sherborne told the court that Ms Henriquez had 'tailored' her evidence 'to meet her sister's evidence'. The barrister added that Mr Depp's legal team had been provided with 'material which we say demonstrates Ms Whitney (Henriquez) was lying yesterday'.
He said: 'After she (Ms Henriquez) gave evidence yesterday, one of our team was contacted by an individual, on the basis of being kept confidential.' He added: '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 (Henriquez) was taken shortly after Amber Heard had attacked her and Ms Whitney (Henriquez) was filmed with people commenting on the bruises on her face and body.'
The megastar actor's legal team have also demanded that Ms Heard is not allowed to use her mobile while the court in more high drama at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning.
The requests came before Ms Henriquez was due in the witness box this morning where she was due to finish her evidence in the biggest libel case of the 21st century. Mr Sherborne said: 'We ask that Amber Herd be refrained from using her phone [while seated in court]. communication may be happening to Miss Whitney Heard as we speak.'
The claim was made at the outset of the 14th day of Mr Depp's libel claim against The Sun over allegations he was violent to his ex-wife. On Thursday, Ms Henriquez denied Ms Heard had ever hit her, or that she was 'frightened' of her sister.
She also gave evidence she saw Mr Depp punch Ms Heard 'really hard in the head ... multiple times' in Los Angeles in March 2015 in the so-called 'stairs incident'.
Ms Henriquez admitted that Ms Heard punched Mr Depp on that occasion, but only did so 'in my defence' because her sister believed the actor was going to push her down the stairs.
Mr Depp, 57, is suing The Sun's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an April 2018 article which labelled him a 'wife beater' over claims he attacked Ms Heard, 34, during their relationship.
Mr Sherborne told Mr Justice Nicol: 'In the context of the attack, what I will call 'the stairs incident', and the evidence we say of the attack by Ms Amber Heard on Mr Depp, Ms Whitney (Henriquez) you will recall protested that it was only in self-defence and it is the one physical attack that Ms Amber Heard admits to.'
He said that, on Thursday, Ms Henriquez was asked 'whether Ms Amber Heard was violent' and said that 'the stairs incident' in Los Angeles in March 2015 was a 'one-off'.
Mr Sherborne continued that Ms Henriquez's evidence about the incident in March 2015 is 'the only occasion on which any other human being is supposed to have witnessed' Mr Depp being violent towards Ms Heard.
He added: 'The reliability of Ms Whitney (Henriquez) is critical.'
Mr Sherborne said Ms Heard's evidence is that 'she was never violent, she (has not) physically attacked Mr Depp ... and the only occasion is said to be when she was acting in self-defence'.
'Evidence that Ms Heard was violent towards her sister is relevant to that issue,' Mr Sherborne said.
He told the court: 'We are entitled to put (allegations of) violence to Ms Whitney (Henriquez) ... we want to play the video tape to her and ask her about the incident in which Ms Amber Heard attacked her.'
Mr Sherborne added: 'Had we received this before the end of yesterday, we would have been entitled to put (the allegation) to her and we would be entitled to rely on it in our closing submissions.'
Ms Henriquez's cross-examination concluded on Thursday afternoon and she was due to be questioned by NGN's barrister Sasha Wass QC on Friday.
Ms Wass said she had not seen the video and was not aware of it until Mr Sherborne told the court about it.
Mr Justice Nicol said he wanted to 'press on' with other witnesses' evidence 'and, if there is an opportunity for Ms Wass to see the video before we get to the issue, that would be desirable'.
Amber Heard returned to London's High Court for her sister to continue giving evidence today after the actress said Johnny Depp threatened to 'slice up my face' with a bottle before trashing their house with raw meat.
Whitney Henriquez will go back on the stand one day after passionately backing her sister Heard and saying Depp repeatedly attacked her - including once when she saw the actor grab her by the hair and hit her in the face.
Ms Henriquez will finish her evidence this morning before Heard's acting coach Kristina Sexton appears by video link from Australia and Heard's friends iO Tillett Wright and Raquel 'Rocky' Pennington give evidence from the US.
Yesterday Ms Heard gave a horrific account of the carnage of her husband's three-day ecstasy and whisky rampage at their rented house on the Gold Coast in Australia, where he was shooting a Pirates of the Caribbean film in March 2015.
She told Mr Justice Nicol: 'He held me up against the fridge by my neck, screaming at me for ruining his life. He said over again I had ruined his f****** life, and that I did this, I did this to him, I made him mad. He held a bottle to my face and said he would slice up my face.'
She said Depp had washed down ten ecstasy tablets with whisky before he ripped off her clothes and grabbed her breasts, choked and slapped her and hurled her over a ping-pong table.
She said the self-confessed alcoholic pelted her with 30 bottles 'like grenades' after she complained about his drinking.
He held her by the neck while smashing a phone 'repeatedly over and over into the wall, screaming at the top of his lungs' until the phone 'disappeared' into shredded bits, she said.
It was this, she suggested, that cut off the tip of Depp's finger – later discovered behind the bar – rather than his claim that it was a vodka bottle she hurled at him.
Amber Heard became so 'nervous' about doing sex scenes in movies she asked her acting coach to watch so she had a 'witness' if Johnny Depp accused her of having an affair, the High Court heard today.
Kristina Sexton claimed that Mr Depp did not want Ms Heard doing 'any role that was overtly sexual' culminating in her being on set during raunchy moments with Liam Hemsworth in 2013 film Paranoia.
In her statement, Ms Sexton also said she saw Ms Heard becoming 'stressed on set about figuring out ways to avoid upsetting Johnny'.
She said the actress wanted her on set during sex scenes with actor Liam Hemsworth for the 2013 film Paranoia 'so that she (Ms Heard) had a witness for Johnny to be able to confirm that nothing went on other than strict work'.
Ms Sexton said that at one point, Ms Heard was on billboards as the face of a Guess campaign, alleging Ms Heard had told her Mr Depp had said she (Ms Heard) 'shouldn't be doing stuff like that anymore because it made her look like a 'cheap whore''.
The acting coach claimed Ms Heard stopped modelling after this, turning down the next Guess campaign 'even though it was a lot of money for her'.
Ms Sexton went on to say that Ms Heard had 'previously been very comfortable with her sexuality and how she looked', but when she and the actress first looked at doing a film called London Fields in 2013, Ms Heard 'seemed stressed about the nudity in the film'.
'It became impossible for us to work on this at home together - Johnny was angry about her doing this part and so it was always 'we can't do it now' or she would call me crying about him shouting at her about it,' Ms Sexton alleged.
Her statement says: 'When we would discuss upcoming opportunities and possible roles, she started saying things like, 'he doesn't want his woman doing this film' and he doesn't want 'his woman doing sex scenes'.'
Ms Sexton alleged: 'She started telling me that he was accusing everyone of being in love with her and accusing her of wielding her sexuality all the time.
'She also told me that he was constantly upset about her ex-partners. She told me he was worried about her having affairs with co-stars.
'She started telling me that she couldn't do certain roles because he didn't want her doing 'whore parts'.'