Witness for Johnny Depp cryptically contradicts key Amber Heard witness
Jennifer Howell — who once employed Amber Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez — testified briefly Tuesday in the six-week civil trial through a recorded deposition.
Jurors in Johnny Depp’s libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard heard a snippet of testimony Tuesday contradicting one of Heard’s key witnesses, but much of the context was stripped away. Jennifer Howell — who once employed Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez — testified briefly Tuesday in the six-week civil trial through a recorded deposition.
Depp is suing Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
Depp has denied he ever struck Heard, and says she was the abuser in the relationship. Heard has testified about more than a dozen separate instances of physical abuse she says she suffered at Depp’s hands.
Howell testified that she sent an email in 2020 to Henriquez begging her to tell the truth.
Jurors, though, did not see the letter, nor did Howell explain in what way she thought Henriquez was being untruthful. The edited deposition played in court for less than 15 minutes — Howell appeared to walk out of the deposition before lawyers had completed their questioning.
In a court document, though, Howell goes into much greater detail. She gives a four-page declaration in which she says Henriquez confided in her that Heard was the aggressor in the fight and Henriquez allegedly said she thought Heard “was going to kill Johnny.”
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Howell also says in the declaration that Henriquez told her and others in their workplace that Heard cut off Depp’s finger in a fight the couple had in Australia. The severed finger has been a point of dispute throughout the trial. Depp says the finger was severed when Heard lobbed a vodka bottle at him. Heard says Depp did it to himself on a night when he was in a drunken rage and sexually assaulted her with a bourbon bottle.
Henriquez is the only one of Heard’s witnesses who testified in the six-week trial that she personally witnessed Johnny Depp physically assault Heard, in a fight where she said each landed blows on the other while she was caught between the two.