Jurors in Amber Heard’s defamation war with ex-husband Johnny Depp on Wednesday heard a former friend to the actress describe her prepping for a 2015 appearance on The Late Late Show with a busted lip and a missing clump of hair.
Raquel Pennington said in a January 2020 video testimony played in Fairfax County Court on Wednesday that Heard revealed the lip to a makeup artist and the hair fiasco to a stylist prior to her spot that December on James Corden’s show.
“I remember her showing the injuries,” Pennington said, adding that she was with Heard in the hours preceding the appearance at the actress’ apartment.
The injuries are just some of many Pennington said she saw on the actress during her short-lived union with Depp before the pair ultimately began the process of divorce in 2016. Two years later, Heard penned a Washington Post op-ed that has now become the crux of Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit currently being played out in Virginia court. Heard has since countersued, claiming defamation after one of Depp’s ex-lawyers called her allegations a “hoax.”
Both Heard and Depp have accused each other of domestic violence—and have denied any wrongdoing.
WATCH: Pennington gets emotional as she describes injuries on Heard's face. Pennington notes photos of the injuries were taken the night before she appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden.#JohnnyDepp #AmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/il188x6OQP
— Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) May 18, 2022
But Pennington’s testimony provides a new window into Heard’s claims to being abused by Depp. Pennington, who said in the video deposition that she ultimately “grew apart” from Heard and that the pair no longer speak, told jurors that she was called over by the actress to “check her out” after an incident Heard said involved Depp.
There, Pennington said she saw a bloody patch on the top of Heard’s head, with a clump of hair ripped out and swelling on the bridge of her nose. She added that Heard was still “very upset” by the time she got there and that she took photos of the actress’ injuries.
“Her face was red and swollen. Hair had been ripped out of her head,” Pennington emotionally said, adding that she didn’t “even sleep that night…watching her to make sure [Heard] didn’t” have a concussion.
Melanie Inglessis, a makeup artist for Amber Heard, testified that the actress had a “split lip” and bruises on her face when she prepared her for a late-night appearance on Dec. 16, 2015.
“I did makeup, just a little heavier. We covered the discoloration and the bruises with slightly heavier concealer,” Inglessis said. “We had no other option that night… than to use a really red lipstick that night to cover up the injuries on her lip.”
Pennington, however, admitted that she never saw Depp strike or throw anything at Heard during their relationship. But she was privy to Depp’s alleged erratic behavior—and noted that she was worried for Heard’s “physical safety.”
“Johnny would be acting like his wonderful self for a certain portion of an occasion where people were hanging out or sometimes just privately at home,” Pennington said in another January 2022 video deposition played on Wednesday. “I never knew what caused it. A switch would happen where he would either disappear, go somewhere off by himself, or his mood would change to something darker.”
One of those instances, about which Heard previously testified on the stand, came when the group took a trip to Hicksville Trailer Park, where Depp allegedly yelled at one of their female friends to “Get off my woman” because she was too close to Heard. Pennington said that a “switch flipped” in Depp at the trailer park—and she was terrified.
“I was scared for Amber and I was sad for Johnny because he was my friend, too,” Pennington said after being asked if there were signs of abuse between Heard and Depp. “I was worried for her physical safety. I was worried that when he turned he might accidentally do something that was worse than he ever intended.”
Pennington said another moment she was worried for Heard came in May 2016, during an altercation between the former celebrity couple that both have described as the last fight before their relationship ended. The former friend said that she heard the pair in “a verbal argument” inside their penthouse and that she ultimately “went over to [Heard] and stepped between them.”
While she said that she did not see Depp touch or throw anything at Heard during that altercation, she noted there was damage all over the apartment.
Josh Drew, Pennington’s former husband who also lived in the penthouses, testified via a 2019 video deposition played in court Wednesday that “Amber was damn near-catatonic” after that incident. Drew added that he was the one who first met with police when they arrived at the penthouses, stating that Heard did not want to communicate with the officers or file a report because she was “still protecting Johnny.”
Four days after that altercation, Heard filed for a temporary restraining order—appearing in court with a bruise on her face. Pennington, who was there that day with Heard and her publicist, said she took a photo of the actress and confirmed that on her “right cheekbone [was] a bruise.”
“She looks like a skeleton,” the former friend said about the photo.
Pennington has also acknowledged that she got into at least one physical altercation with Heard herself—over Thanksgiving dishes.
“We were setting up for Thanksgiving and we were looking for maybe some glasses or dishware and we couldn’t find them anywhere,” Pennington said during a chunk of her deposition played in court a day earlier, on Tuesday. “She finally found them in a place I thought I looked and we started arguing about that. She thought I wasn’t looking hard enough, and I told her I thought I looked there.”
The argument eventually turned physical, Pennington said, after she pushed Heard. She said that Heard “either pushed or hit me back” in response. Pennington added that the incident was the only time she got into a physical argument with Heard—and that she did not know of any other examples of the actress being physical with anyone else.