Johnny Depp’s Sister Testifies Against Amber Heard in Defamation Case
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's defamation trial is underway. This week, the Pirates of the Caribbean star's sister took the stand.
On Wednesday (April 13), Depp's older sister, Christi Dembrowski, testified in the Fairfax County Courthouse of Virginia, where she refuted the Aquaman actress' claim that Depp abused Heard during their relationship.
Content warning below // child abuse, drug abuse and domestic violence
According to footage of the trial shared via The Guardian, Dembrowski claimed on the stand that Heard previously referred to Depp, her husband at the time, as "an old, fat man." Heard also allegedly shared her disdain when Depp was offered a partnership with Dior. "They’re about class and style and you don’t have style," Heard supposedly told Depp at the time, according to Dembrowski's testimony.
Heard's attorney also questioned Dembrowski about two text messages she sent to Heard when they were on vacation in Australia, the very same trip during which Depp claimed Heard severed his finger with a vodka bottle.
“I love him so much but he needs help,” Dembrowski wrote in a message, referring to Depp's alleged drug use before advising Heard in a separate text to tell Depp that she "can't deal" with his struggle.
During her time on the stand, Dembrowski also made the revelation that she and her brother were victims of domestic violence at the hands of their mother, Betty Sue Palmer. She claimed that Depp swore to never perpetrate domestic violence after what they experienced as kids.
"We would run and hide," Dembrowski recounted of seeing her mother being physically abusive toward their father, who did not reciprocate the abuse, per People. "She would hit us. She would throw things."
When an attorney asked her if Depp ever fought back when their mother was abusing them, Dembrowski said, "He never went to that place."
"None of what was happening in our home felt good," she continued. "And so, as I got older, both Johnny and I actually, we decided that once we left, once we had our own home, we were never going to repeat, ever, anything similar in any way to our childhood. We were gonna do it different."
If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic abuse, help is available through the National Domestic Violence Hotline. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-799-7233.