Raquel “Rocky” Pennington, who was best friends with Amber Heard from 2003 through the actor’s marriage to Johnny Depp, offered corroborating testimony Wednesday morning in court as Heard’s team continued to present its witnesses in the defamation case brought by the former “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
Pennington, who appeared via a video deposition recorded in January, described injuries she said she saw on Heard’s face and head, and property damage caused by Depp, after the altercation that allegedly occurred at the couple’s penthouse on May 21, 2016.
That incident resulted in police being called to the Eastern Columbia Building in downtown L.A. Pennington and her then-fiancé lived there in a penthouse owned by Depp that connected to the one where the Hollywood couple lived.
Pennington said she was with Heard that night when the “Aquaman” star got a text from Depp asking to come over, either to talk or to pick up something.
“I thought it was a really bad idea, but you can’t stop somebody from coming over to their own home,” she said in her deposition, which was shown as the trial was broadcast and streamed live on CourtTV.
A while later, Pennington said, she was alerted that something was happening in the couple’s penthouse and went to check on Heard. She testified that she heard Depp yelling inside, though she didn’t remember what he was saying.
“She was calling for help, and that had never happened before,” Pennington said about Heard. “Saying, ‘Help me, help me.’ I went and I put my hands up on his chest and I was like, ‘Stop, just stop.’
“He hit my hands away, so I just went straight over to Amber. She sat down on the couch and she was crying. I just put my body over her.”
Pennington said Depp kept coming closer and closer to them in a menacing way, and remembered that she noticed a big ceramic ashtray on the coffee table and thought to herself that if he came too close, she would pick it up and use the ashtray as a weapon.
Pennington, who said at one point that she and Heard had “grown apart” in the years since she lived in Depp’s penthouse, was shown various photos by Heard’s attorney. The shots allegedly show injuries on Heard’s face and head, which Pennington said accurately reflected what she had seen in person.
Pennington’s deposition and a video deposition from Heard pal iO Tillett Wright were the first witnesses presented by Heard’s team after the actor’s days-long appearance on the stand wrapped up Tuesday.
Parts of the Pennington deposition shown late Tuesday and early Wednesday included questioning from Depp’s legal team, though the corroborating testimony was elicited by Heard attorney Benjamin Rottenborn.
The trial, which is being held in Virginia and revolves around a 2018 Washington Post op-ed written by Heard, continues with additional witnesses until 3 p.m. Pacific Wednesday and will pick up again Thursday at 6 a.m. Pacific.
Depp is suing his ex-wife for $50 million, alleging defamation in the op-ed. Heard has countersued, also for defamation, seeking $100 million from Depp.
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