Johnny Depp and Amber Heard May 2016 Domestic Violence Abuse Accusation, What Happened?
Are you wondering who is telling the truth in the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard battle of competing domestic violence accusations?
In this post, I look at one incident in which Amber claims Johnny was violent and Johnny claims Amber is lying: the May 21, 2016 fight. It happens on one of the last times Amber and Johnny were ever together, and was followed shortly by Amber filing for divorce and requesting an emergency court hearing to get a restraining order against Johnny.
Amber's vivid accusations of domestic violence were made public while she simultaneously pressured Johnny to give her a lucrative financial divorce settlement.
Most of Johnny's side of the story came out in 2020 during his libel trial against the Sun newspaper in the UK High Court. Johnny's side of the story includes some convincing evidence, including the testimony of police officers that responded to 911 calls on May 21, 2016.
When I put Amber and Johnny's stories together, they sound a lot like other stories of abusive women and abused men that I've heard and talk about in my book Abuse OF Men BY Women: It Happens, It Hurts, and It's Time to Get Real About It.
What's In This Post
|Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Relationship|
|What Happened on May 21, 2016 Between Amber and Johnny?|
|The Days Following May 21, 2016|
|What is an Ex Parte Court Hearing?|
|Amber Heard's May 2016 Domestic Violence Accusations Vs Johnny Depp|
|Raquel (Rocky) Pennington's Support for Amber's Partner Abuse Story|
|Johnny's Response to Amber's May 16, 2016 Request for Restraining Order|
|Johnny Depp's Version of the Events of May 21, 2016|
|Testimony of Police Responding to 911 DV Call Contradicts Amber and Raquel's Story|
|Police Body Cam Contradicts Amber and Raquel's Accusations of Abuse|
|Stylist Samantha McMillen Contradicts Amber and Raquel's Story|
|Johnny Depp's Security Guard, Sean Bett, Supports Johnny's Version of Events|
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Relationship
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard started dating around 2012. They were married on Feb 3, 2015.
Their marriage lasted only about a year. Johnny Depp ended his relationship with Amber Heard on April 21, 2016, one month before the night in question.
Johnny's mother, who he was close to, died on May 20, 2016.
Johnny had been living in his LA house for the month since separation while Amber had been living in a penthouse apartment that they had shared during the marriage.
At that time, Amber knew that there is going to be a divorce and she is motivated to position herself to get the best settlement from Johnny.
|For more on other events in Amber and Johnny's relationship and their accusations of partner abuse: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Relationship and Legal Battles Timeline|
What Happened on May 21, 2016 Between Amber and Johnny?
Here are the basic facts of what happened on May 21, 2016.
Johnny contacted Amber and told her that he would be coming by the penthouse to pick up personal items that day.
Johnny brings along 2 of his security guards.
While Johnny is at the penthouse to pick up his things, there is an argument between Amber and Johnny.
At some point after Johnny arrives in the penthouse apartment, Amber's friend Raquel, who lives in the penthouse next door, appears in Amber's apartment.
Johnny is there between 45 minutes to an hour.
Another of Amber's friends who is not present calls 911 to report a domestic disturbance and that Amber is in grave danger.
Two sets of LAPD officers respond to 911 calls regrading Amber and Johnny that night and determine that there is no basis for domestic violence charges.
Johnny's Penthouses in LA
The incident on May 21st takes place in a penthouse in LA's Eastern Columbia Building, a historic art deco building at 849 S. Broadway.
A number of people are involved in the incident and they are connected to a number of penthouses in the building. All of the penthouses are owned by Johnny.
To help you keep track of what's what and who's who, here's the backstory.
Johnny owned 5 penthouses in the Eastern Columbia building. He purchased 3 of the penthouses in 2002 and added to his holdings over the years.
He sold them all after his divorce from Amber Heard.
As part of her divorce settlement requests, Amber asked for 3 of the penthouses.
Some court documents related to Johnny and Amber's battles refer to the penthouses by numbers.
Penthouse 1: Amber's friend Raquel (Rocky) Pennington and her boyfriend/fiancée Joshua Drew lived here rent-free
Penthouse 2: Johnny's long-time friend Issac Baruch lived here rent-free from March 2013 to Nov 2016.
Penthouse 3, 4, 5: Johnny's residential apartments. Amber remained in them during their separation. Amber says she used the upstairs of Penthouse 5 as her closet and the downstairs as her "studio." When Johnny enters P5 on May 21, 2016 he discovers that Raquel Pennington is using it for her beading business.
The Days Following May 21, 2016
On May 22, Johnny leaves California for a pre-scheduled tour with his band, Hollywood Vampires. Their first concert is in Portugal on May 27th.
Amber files for divorce on May 23, 2016 asking for $50K/month in alimony, use of 3 penthouse units in LA at Johnny's expense, and other financial support. (The penthouse units include the one Amber and Johnny had shared prior to separation, one Amber used as a studio/closet, and one that Amber's friend Raquel has been living in rent-free at Johnny's expense for a couple of years.)
On May 24, 2016, Amber's attorney sends Johnny's business attorney a letter threatening to go public with DV accusations unless Johnny quickly concedes to Amber's financial demands. While the letter accuses Johnny of being abusive, and says that Amber is afraid of him, the letter does not make any requests for Johnny to stay away from Amber. The letter's demands are all financial.
Here is a portion of the letter Amber's attorney sent Johnny's business attorney (note: source of the letter is Mashable.)
When Johnny rebuffs her financial demands, Amber files for an emergency ex parte court hearing on May 27th asking for her financial demands to be granted and to get a restraining order (even though Johnny is out of the country and would remain out of the country for some time with his band's international tour).
Amber uses the emergency court hearing to publicly accuse Johnny of being a wife beater and get in front of cameras to present herself looking forlorn with a "bruise" on her face.
What is an Ex Parte Court Hearing?
An ex parte hearing is an emergency hearing that is supposed to only be for situations and subjects that are of such urgency that they cannot wait to be held in a normal way.
They require very little notice to the other party and can go ahead even if the other party can't be present.
Law.com's definition of ex parte:
"Latin meaning "for one party," referring to motions, hearings or orders granted on the request of and for the benefit of one party only. This is an exception to the basic rule of court procedure that both parties must be present at any argument before a judge, and to the otherwise strict rule that an attorney may not notify a judge without previously notifying the opposition."
Amber Heard's May 2016 Domestic Violence Abuse Accusations Vs Johnny Depp
Amber accuses Johnny of multiple violent acts on the evening of May 21, 2021.
She accuses Johnny of physically abusing her by throwing a cell phone at her face, pulling her hair, striking her, and violently grabbing her face.
Amber also accuses Johnny of destructive behavior: violently smashing things in the penthouse apartment, and spilling wine in the apartment and entrance hallway.
Amber's May 27, 2016 declaration about May 21, 2016:
- "The next time I saw him was on May 21, 2016. He arrived at the residence at approximately 7:15 pm. He was inebriated and high."
- "Johnny was becoming increasingly enraged. I began to have concerns for my safety and sent a text to my friend Raquel who was in the condominium next door. It texted her to ask her to come over."
"Johnny ripped the cell phone from my hand . . . Johnny then grabbed the cell phone, wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me striking my cheek and eye with great force."
"He then forcefully pulled back my hair . . . Johnny continued screaming at me, pulling my hair, striking me and violently grabbing my face."
"Raquel entered the condominium using the key I had previously provided her. I then escaped Johnny's grasp. . . Raquel ran in between us and begged Johnny to stop. He then slapped away her arms that she had extended in a defensive manner and continued to yell obscenities at her."
"Johnny then picked up the magnum size bottle of wine he had been drinking out of, and he started swinging it around, smashing everything he could."
"Johnny continued screaming and breaking things, finally leaving the condominium. As Johnny went down the hallway, he smashed another bottle of wine."
Raquel (Rocky) Pennington's Support for Amber's Partner Abuse Story
Amber's friend Raquel Pennington submitted a declaration in support of Amber's Request for Restraining Order.
Who is Raquel (Rocky) Pennington?
(Photo from eonline.com)
Raquel Pennington met Amber Heard in 2003 when Amber was 17 years old and they both worked as clerks at a Whole Earth Provision Company
store in Austin, Texas.
She also goes by the name Rocky.
Raquel makes jewelry and teaches yoga and lived rent free for several years along with her boyfriend, Joshua Drew, in a penthouse apartment that is part of the multi-unit penthouse in LA paid for by Johnny Depp.
Raquel says that she heard many stories from Amber about how Johnny abused her.
Raquel's Declaration in Support of Amber's Request for Restraining Order Against Johnny
Raquel Pennington claims Johnny slapped her hands away when she had just put them up to protect Amber.
Raquel also says that she witnessed Johnny creating a great deal of destruction: spilling wine on the walls, floors, and furniture in the apartment and breaking things in the hallway.
And Raquel says that she saw significant injuries on Amber's face that evening.
What's not in Raquel's May 27, 2016 declaration:
Raquel does not say that she sees Johnny physically attack Amber.
She makes no mention of the 2 sets of police who come to the penthouse investigate.
Raquel's May 27, 2016 declaration:
"When I opened the door, I saw Amber by the couch in the living room covering her head with her arms and hands, and Johnny was loudly screaming at her."
"I ran over and stood in between Johnny and Amber, begging Johnny to stop yelling at her. I put my hands out in a defensive manner and motioned him to stop. Johnny slapped my hands away and screamed foul obscenities at me."
"Johnny picked up a magnum size bottle of wine and began swinging it like a baseball bat. Wine was flying all over the walls, floors and furniture, and he began using the bottle to smash everything he could."
"Johnny continued screaming and breaking things, before finally walking out of the apartment and into the hallway where he continued screaming and breaking things."
"I observed that Amber sustained a significant injury to her right eye as a result of the incident with Johnny, as there was redness and swelling. Amber was crying, shaking and very afraid of Johnny. Finally, I heard Johnny leave the premises."
Raquel's Declaration in The Sun "Wife Beater" Article Libel Trial
Raquel submitted another declaration during the 2020 UK trial in which Johnny Depp was suing The Sun newspaper for libel because of the "wife beater" article they published based on Amber's accusations of abuse by him. [The original article that stimulated The Sun libel lawsuit was entitled: “Gone Potty: How can J.K. Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film?” ]
In her 2020 declaration, Raquel supports the idea that Johnny is a wife beater by recounting stories that Amber told her. Once again, Raquel does not ever see Johnny physically attack Amber.
In this newer declaration, Raquel repeats the story about May, 21, 2016 that appears in her previous declaration, but with a few changes.
In this declaration, Raquel says that she herself put her hands on Johnny. She claims that it was "light."
In this newer declaration, Raquel states:
"I walked over to Johnny, and when he saw me he said “get the fuck out of here”. He started to walk towards Amber, and I stepped in front of him to shield her from him, with my hands up, lightly touching his chest, and said “stop, please”. To this he replied “get your fucking hands off me”. He knocked my hands out of the way. . . "
Raquel adds more to her description of Johnny's destructive behavior that night:
"Johnny was smashing and knocking off things from the kitchen island, fruit and baskets and glass bottles and flowers. He then grabbed his bag and stormed out of the apartment. He had a wine bottle in his hand and was sloshing wine everywhere."
"In the hallway there were puddles of spilled wine on the floor and splashed on the walls, and a dent in the of my apartment."
Raquel also states that when the police came: "Nothing had been cleared up in the apartment. The police clearly saw everything." [The police officer testified that there was NO broken stuff in the penthouse or hall. See her testimony later in this article.]
Johnny's Response to Amber's May 16, 2016 Request for Restraining Order
Johnny was not in the country when Amber filed her quicky ex parte hearing request on May 27, 2016 accusing him of harming her a week earlier on May 21st, so his lawyer filed a response for him.
There was no need for an emergency hearing regarding the topics that Amber filed for. Amber's purpose in filing for an emergency hearing appears to be to publicly disparage Johnny, demonstrate the power that she wields, and pressure him to give in to her financial demands.
Prior to filing for an ex parte restraining order, Amber had threatened to go public with accusations of domestic violence against Johnny if he didn't agree to her demands for spousal maintenance, financial support for the costs associated with 3 penthouse units, and other financial demands. Johnny did not agree to her demands and she followed through with her threat.
Johnny's Attorney's response to Amber's Ex Parte Restraining Order:
"Ex parte applications are restricted for emergency situations where substantial injury, harm, or, at least prejudice, would result if the matter were not either resolved immediately or on a shortened time. Amber is nonetheless seeking ex parte relief for several matters that do not constitute an emergency, including the payment of spousal support and attorney's fees."
"Not only are such matters devoid of exigency, but they are also wildly premature. This case commenced this week. . . The Court has no financial information upon which to make financial orders at this time. Moreover, Amber is a successful model and actress and earns her own income and is capable of supporting herself."
"Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse. . . ."
"Further, Johnny is willing to stipulate to mutual stay-away and personal conduct orders even though he and Amber are on different continents, as Amber is aware."
"Johnny is currently out of the country for work. He is unable to attend the hearing. . ."
Johnny Depp's Version of the Events of May 21, 2016
Much more about Johnny's side of the story regarding May 21, 2016, came out in documents and depositions that happened during the course of related cases after the May 27, 2016 ex parte hearing.
Johnny has since testified that he went to the penthouse on May 21, 2016 to pick up some of his personal belongings. (He had not been living there with Amber for the past month. She stayed in the penthouse after he separated from her on April 21, 2016 and he stayed at his LA house.)
Johnny was at the penthouse that night for about 45 minutes and brought 2 of his security guards with him since he was afraid that Amber would "start a fight."
He denies any physical violence on his part and accuses Amber of setting up an opportunity for her to falsely accuse him of harming her.
Johnny Depp's May 2019 Deposition
Here are excerpts from Johnny's declaration dated May 2019.
Why Johnny Was in the Penthouse and Who Else Was There
"I went to pick up my things on May 21, 2016, and also resolved to tell her that I was divorcing her.
I arrived at the penthouse in the early evening, and brought my two security guards Jerry Judge and Sean Bett as a precautionary measure, asking them to wait just outside the door of penthouse.
It appeared that Ms. Heard was alone in the penthouse, although according to witness interviews, she was not. Her friend Raquel Pennington was hiding somewhere in the penthouse, although Ms. Pennington later falsely testified that she was summoned by Ms. Heard by text to Penthouse 3 at 8:06 PM, one of their many concocted lies."
What Started an Argument -- Feces Gate
"After I entered and went upstairs to collect personal belongings, Ms. Heard and I called our then-Estate Manager Kevin Murphy together and I asked Mr. Murphy to repeat to Ms. Heard what he had told me about her admission that the defecation in my bed was 'just a harmless prank.'"
[Note: "Defecation in my bed" refers to the discovery of feces in Johnny's bed on April 22nd. This was part of events on April 21-22, 2016 that led Johnny to decide to end the marriage. Amber claimed to Johnny that it must have been left there by one of the dogs, but Johnny, and the housekeeper who discovered the feces in the bed, are adamant that by virtue of the size of the feces it could not possibly have been created by one of their tiny dogs.]
"Upon hearing Mr. Murphy recount her admission, she went berserk and started screaming and cursing at Mr. Murphy, prompting Mr. Murphy to ultimately hang up the phone. Before he hung up, I told Ms. Heard that I intended to divorce her." [Note: Mr. Murphy corroborates this story in his December 12, 2019 statement for Johnny's libel trial against The Sun in the UK.)
"She insisted on calling her friend iO Tillett Wright, who had been living rent-free in my properties for years, to try to explain away the feces that she left in my bed." [Note: Amber's friend Raquel was living rent free in a penthouse apartment paid for by Johnny. iO is a different friend of Amber's living off of Johnny.]
"Ms. Heard put iO Tillett Wright on speakerphone. I had no interest in speaking
with Mr. Tillett Wright. Nevertheless, both iO Tillett Wright and Ms. Heard had their chance to badger me, mock me and deny the defecation incident (of which there were multiple sworn eyewitnesses and photographs) as a figment of my imagination."
What Happened with the Phone
"Hearing enough, I took the phone from Ms. Heard. I said into the phone to iO Tillett Wright: 'I don’t care, it’s over.' I flipped the phone onto the sofa, and it landed about 4 feet away from where Ms. Heard was sitting. And indeed, even Ms. Heard admitted this occurred in just this way, testifying 'he, you
know, like tossed it (the phone) on – in --- tossed it in my direction or something on the table or on the couch.'”
Johnny is Far Away When Amber Accuses Johnny of Hitting Her and Raquel Joins In
"After tossing the phone onto the sofa, I turned around and walked to the other end of the open floor plan room, to the island in the kitchen, approximately 20 feet away from Ms. Heard. Ms. Heard immediately started loudly proclaiming that I had thrown the phone at her and hit her in the face, and screaming 'Johnny stop hitting me.'
I turned to look at Amber trying to understand what was happening.
Suddenly, Ms. Pennington comes out of nowhere and runs towards Ms. Heard from behind me and yells: 'don’t do it, stop it, leave her alone.'
Because she came from the direction of the front door, and did not come past my security guards outside, she could only have been hiding in the closet, waiting for the signal.
Ms. Pennington’s ex-husband who was present in penthouse 5 advised that Ms. Pennington lied about being summoned by Ms. Heard at 8:06 by text, because Ms. Pennington was in fact hiding in my penthouse 3 all along.
I was shocked and immediately denied this absurd allegation because I had neither thrown the phone at her, nor hit her, nor touched her, nor was I physically anywhere near her."
Johnny's Body Guards Enter the Penthouse
"Ms. Heard did not know that my two security guards were posted immediately outside the door of the penthouse. I had asked them to accompany me in case she became violent. At the first sound of her screaming, they rushed inside the penthouse in a second.
The two guards surprised Ms. Heard with their entrance, and indeed she appeared shocked. They witnessed her saying 'stop hitting me,' as I stood 20 feet away from her. She then changed her screams and speaking tense
to 'you better not hit me again!'
. . . As Ms. Heard screamed first that I had hit her and then that I better not hit her again, I yelled back that she (Ms. Heard) was crazy, and that I did not touch her, as I had not.
My two security guards were both eyewitnesses to this incident, and have testified under oath to it."
[Johnny's security guard, Sean Bett, submitted a statement for The Sun libel trial. Portions of his statement are provided later in this article.]
Johnny's Comments about Raquel's Testimony
"An excerpt of a deposition given by Ms. Pennington is attached as Exhibit E, in which even she admits that at the time of the incident, I immediately denied hitting Ms. Heard. Ms. Pennington also admits in her deposition that she never saw me hit Ms. Heard. That portion of her deposition is attached as Exhibit E.
It is accurate that Ms. Pennington never witnessed what did not happen, but her testimony that she was not present throughout most of Ms. Heard’s abuse
hoax is a lie, and both other eyewitnesses have so testified that she was present and standing with Ms. Heard by the sofa as soon as Ms. Heard started play-acting abuse."
Johnny Leaves the Penthouse
"Stunned by the faked abuse allegations, I left penthouse 3 and walked down to my penthouse 5. In penthouse 5, I was shocked to see some sort of bead making, arts and crafts operation littering and strung across the room, along with Raquel Pennington’s then-boyfriend Josh Drew, a dog, and a woman I did not know.
Based on her later deposition testimony supporting Ms. Heard’s abuse hoax, I later learned that the woman was Ms. Heard’s friend Elizabeth Marz, who also lived rent-free in my property. I told Josh Drew and Elizabeth Marz to get off my premises immediately.
Then I left the Eastern Columbia Building with my two security guards and returned to my home in West Hollywood. Surveillance footage from the Eastern Columbia Building shows me boarding the penthouse elevator, riding downstairs, and exiting the elevator at 8:29 pm on May 21, 2016."
Johnny Denies Physically Attacking Amber And Points to Supporting Evidence
"I did not violently attack or even touch Ms. Heard, and Ms. Heard’s and her friends’ poorly fabricated accounts of that night are entirely disproven by the sworn accounts of two domestic abuse-trained police, both of my security guards (one of whom was an 18 year veteran of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department), and the testimony of a multitude of witnesses whose face to face interactions with Ms. Heard throughout the ensuing week began the following day, May 22, 2016. [Note: See excerpts from Samantha McMillen's and Sean Brett's statements later in this article.]
The accounts of Ms. Heard’s and her friends’ is also contradicted by 87 surveillance videos that were captured, reviewed and preserved by the management staff of the Eastern Columbia Building.
Furthermore, when two LAPD police officers, Officer Melissa Saenz and Officer Tyler Hadden, arrived at 10:24 pm on May 21, 2016 they later testified under oath that Ms. Heard had no injuries to her face following two separate examinations of her face and body. [Note: I provide excerpts and links for the officer testimony and body cam footage later in this article.]
Coupled with their testimony that there was no scene of destruction or indeed any damage whatsoever, both police officers testified under oath that Ms. Heard had no injuries, and they saw no property damage in the penthouse or the hallway."
Johnny Leaves the Country the Following Day
"My recollection is that I left Los Angeles, California the following day, May 22 for rehearsals on the east coast. From there I traveled to Europe to tour with my band the Hollywood Vampires, without returning to Los Angeles. I did not return to Los Angeles until late June or early July of 2016."
Testimony of Police Responding to 911 DV Call Contradicts Amber and Raquel's Story
Remember that in her declaration for obtaining an emergency restraining order against Johnny, Amber said that Johnny:
"wound up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw the cell phone at me striking my cheek and eye with great force,"
" forcefully pulled back my hair . . . pulling my hair, striking me and violently grabbing my face."
"picked up the magnum size bottle of wine he had been drinking out of, and he started swinging it around, smashing everything he could."
"As Johnny went down the hallway, he smashed another bottle of wine."
Two sets of police officers went to Johnny and Amber's penthouse on the evening of May 21, 2016 in response to 911 domestic violence calls. Amber claims that she was on the phone with a friend during her fight with Johnny and screamed out for her friend iO to call 911.
Johnny left the penthouse building by 8:30 pm and was not there when either set of officers arrived.
Neither set of officers filed any charges in the case.
The first set of police officers were Officer Melissa Saenz and Tyler Hadden who was her trainee that evening.
In her statement for court in 2019, Amber said that the mess was still there when the first set of police arrived:
"Then they demanded to do a walk through the apartments. There was wine all over the floor and Johnny had smashed things." (p. 37)
Melissa Saenz gave a deposition about the case on July 18, 2016. Only a couple of months had gone by, so it is likely that her recall would be reliable.
Officer Saenz testified that:
Amber would not give her name and would not provide other names related to the call. She did not recognize Amber and did not know who she was. [This can be interpreted as supporting the idea that the officers didn't get star-struck and didn't do anything different then they would have done with any such call.]
Though asked repeatedly, Amber didn't want to file charges. Amber "refused to speak" to the officer.
Despite Amber not wanting to file charges and her general resistance to talk to them, the officers investigated to see if charges should be filed.
The officer spoke in private with Amber spending time with her close-up and was looking for "injuries", but saw none. NO "signs of swelling or injury to her face at all." NO "marks of any kind on her face." NO "bruises or marks under either eye."
The officer spent quite a lot of time in the entrance hallway. It was well lit. She walked the full length of the hall. She saw NO destruction, NO damage, NO broken glass or bottle, NO wine on the walls or floor.
The officer spent quite a lot of time in the penthouse apartment where the incident was alleged to have happened. She was looking for "signs of property damage or vandalism." She "inspected the upstairs and downstairs of the penthouse" "all the rooms." She saw no damage. NO "broken glass of any kind." NO "wine bottles on the floor or broken in any manner." NO "spilled wine of any kind or spilled liquids of any kind." NO "signs of struggle or vandalism."
She would have proceeded with "further investigation of a crime" "whether Ms. Heard cooperated or not, if [she] had seen physical injuries to Ms. Heard."
Officer Hadden also gave a deposition July 18, 2016. His answers to questions resemble Officer Saenz's answers. (You can find Officer Haden's declaration here.)
Police Body Cam Contradicts Amber and Raquel's Accusations of Abuse
Later on May 21, 2016, two other police officers arrive at the penthouse saying that there had been a second domestic violence call.
The police bodycam footage in Johnny and Amber's penthouse has been made public recently. Contrary to Amber and Raquel's declarations, the body cam footage shows NO damage, NO wine stains, NO upheaval of any kind in the penthouse and hallway.
It shows a very tidy hallway and penthouse.
Stylist Samantha McMillen Contradicts Amber and Raquel's Story
Samantha McMillen was Amber Heard's stylist starting in 2014.
She saw Amber up-close makeup-free on May 24th, 2016.
Samantha provided a declaration undermining Amber's assertions that her face was battered and bruised from being hit by the cell phone that she claims Johnny threw at her and other violence that she injured at the hands of Johnny on May 21, 2016.
December 2019 Declaration of Samantha McMillen:
“On May 24, 2016, I interacted closely with Ms. Heard in Mr. Depp’s house in West Hollywood. I went to the house in the afternoon, and encountered Ms. Heard. Ms. Heard was not wearing makeup. There were no visible marks, bruise, cuts, or injuries to her face or any other part of her body. I saw her by the kitchen door during daylight in Mr. Depp's house. She gave me a hug . . .
Three days after my encounter with Ms. Heard, on May 27, 2016, I saw in the media that Ms. Heard had gone to Court with prominent injuries visible on her face. I knew that she did not have those marks on her face May 24, 2016 when I was with her”
Johnny Depp's Security Guard, Sean Bett, Supports Johnny's Version of Events
Sean Bett was a LA County deputy before working private security. He had been doing security for Johnny Depp for 9 years when he submitted a written statement for The Sun libel trial.
Sean Bett's Statement
In his December 12, 2019 statement Sean Bett testified that:
"I was working on the evening of May 21st, 2016. Mr Depp, my former partner, Mr Jerry Judge, and I arrived at 849 S. Broadway, Los Angeles between 19:30 and 19:45. Mr Depp owned adjoining penthouses 3, 4 and 5.
That night Mr Depp was sober, lucid and had expressed his concern to us about how Ms Heard might behave. We entered Penthouse 3 where Mr Depp and Ms Heard primarily resided.
There were lit candles and there was an open bottle of wine with at least one glass on the counter. Mr Depp told us that he would go upstairs to the bedroom to speak to Ms Heard. I do not think that anyone else was in the apartment at this stage.
While he did so, Mr Judge and I went to the hallway. We went very briefly into Penthouse 4 and then returned to outside the door of Penthouse 3.
One can see into the Penthouse and hear what is happening inside from there. After approximately 10 minutes, Mr Judge and I heard Ms Heard's shouts. I could not make out what she was saying, but we immediately entered the penthouse.
When we entered, we saw Mr Depp standing approximately 20 feet away from Ms Heard, who was standing by the couch.
As soon as Ms Heard noticed that we had entered the room, she looked very surprised; her demeanor then changed and she pointed at Mr Depp and screamed to us words to the effect of: 'If he hits me one more time, I am calling the police.'
I believe that Raquel Pennington was the Penthouse 3 at this stage.
I understand from Mr Depp's advisor that Ms Pennington and Ms Heard have both testified that Ms Heard summoned Ms Pennington by text around 8:06 PM that night, and that Ms Pennington rushed down the hallway from Penthouse 5 to Penthouse 3 to assist.
I also understand that Josh Drew claimed that Mr Judge and I were waiting in Penthouse 5 rather than in front of Penthouse 3, and saw us through the peephole running towards Penthouse 3 when the yelling started.
Both of those statements are falsehoods for the same reason: other than our brief entry into Penthouse 4, Mr Judge and I were guarding the door to Penthouse 3 for the entirety of the incident to protect Mr Depp in case Ms Heard pulled something.
So Ms Pennington did not come through us into the only entrance into Penthouse 3; she was clearly already inside Penthouse 3 when we arrived. And her ex-husband's testimony that he saw us running through the peephole is just a lie to explain the impossible.
I have quite good eyesight. I was able to see that Ms Heard was wearing little or no make-up, her skin was quite pale and she had no red marks or evidence of any bruises or abrasions to her face or body.
I could see Mr Depp was visibly upset at having been accused of hitting Ms Heard. However, he never came closer than 20 feet to her during the time I was able to observe them.
I did not notice any smashed glass or broken bottles in the apartment at the time.
Mr Depp, Mr Judge and I agreed that it would be best if Mr Depp left the building, due to the fact that the situation had escalated and Ms Heard was hysterically shouting at Mr Depp and making allegations about his behavior.
. . . I have never seen Mr Depp being violent to anyone including Ms Heard during the long period I have been working for him.
In addition, I have observed Ms Heard throwing bottles, glasses and other objects at Mr Depp while being verbally abusive towards him. As a rule, during these episodes Mr Depp remains fairly passive and either tries to calm Ms Heard down or remove himself from the situation."
- Ann Silvers