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Amber Heard said Johnny Depp tried to suffocate her with pillow, court told


Amber Heard had a cut lip and bruises that she said had been inflicted by Johnny Depp, who she said had tried to suffocate her with a pillow, Heard’s regular makeup artist has told a court.

Giving evidence via video link from California, Mélanie Inglessis said she was called by Heard to the Hollywood couple’s penthouse apartment in Los Angeles in December 2015 and helped to conceal the injuries so that Heard could appear on a US chat show the next day apparently unblemished.

Depp, 57, is suing the Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article that called him a “wife beater” and referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he had attacked Heard.

Depp denies ever hitting Heard, 34, who has submitted details of 14 occasions during their relationship when she claims he assaulted her.

Inglessis, who was a friend of Heard’s, told the court she went to the apartment when Heard called her after failing to turn up to go out bowling.

When she arrived, she said, she found broken picture frames, glass on the floor and words written in gold paint on a table. Inglessis said Heard was “upset, furious with a lot of emotion and she was quite distressed.”

Ingelssis added: “She [Heard] said that Johnny and her had a fight. She said he tried to suffocate her with a pillow. She felt he tried to kill her that night. He dragged her by the hair.”

The following day Inglessis came back to help Heard prepare for an interview with the TV host James Corden. “There was a cut or scab on [Heard’s] lip,” she said. “She had minimal discolouration on the corners of her eyes by her nose.”

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She added: “I used concealer to try and conceal some of the bruises … Amber’s signature lip colour was red, I said we had no other choice [than to use it] to cover up the injury on her lip.”

Asked about the bruises, Inglessis said: “To my recollection they were not that dark or inflamed yet. I don’t remember having trouble covering them.”

Earlier on Wednesday Heard was questioned by Eleanor Laws QC, representing Depp, about the injuries. In her statement, Heard described the December 2015 incident as “one of the worst and most violent nights of our relationship”.

She told the court she received “two black eyes, a broken nose, bruises all over my body [and] a broken lip.” She said Depp had “very deliberately clenched his fists, reeled back and slammed his head directly into my nose.”

Shown an extract of her appearance on the James Corden show, Heard said she had worn lots of makeup and bright red lipstick. “The reason I wore the red lipstick was to cover this.”

Laws asked Heard if she had bitten her lip herself, “because there was fresh blood on it” when she was examined later by a nurse. Heard replied: “Of course not.”

Earlier, Heard admitted she sometimes got angry and would “lose her cool”, but she blamed Depp for a barrage of bottle-throwing one evening in March 2015.

Recalling a ferocious row, she said it started when she tried to stop Depp drinking spirits at a location house in Australia where he was filming for the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

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“He had given up the drinking for a while. It was on a list of ‘if this happens, I leave’. He was taunting me to take [the bottle] and would revoke it when I reached.”

Johnny Depp arrives at the high court on Wednesday



Johnny Depp arrives at the high court on Wednesday Photograph: Sean Smith/The Guardian

Heard said when he was sober Depp would thank her for saving his life “by standing up to him about the booze” and she thought this would be another such occasion.

She continued: “I got the bottle a second time and I smashed it on the floor between Johnny and me. I think it snapped something in him. He started picking up bottles and was using them like grenades or bombs, throwing them one after the other in my direction.

“I felt glass breaking behind me. I retreated into the bar and he didn’t stop. I was too scared to look behind me. I felt glass hitting my arms. He threw all the bottles that were in reach except one, which was a celebratory magnum-size bottle of wine. There had been 30 or so bottles on the bar.”

Asked by Laws whether it had instead been her who had thrown bottles, Heard denied she had done so.

She also denied cutting Depp’s finger with a bottle and later stubbing a cigarette out on his cheek. Heard said: “No. Johnny did it [burned his cheek] right in front of me. He often did things like that.”

Laws put it to Heard: “You would get yourself into rages on some occasions.”

Heard replied: “Sometimes I would get angry, but not to the extent of throwing something offensively … Sometimes I get angry and lose my cool, yes.”

The only times she threw anything at Depp, Heard said, was to “escape Johnny when he was beating me up”.

Asked by Laws whether she had ever “played around with images [on a mobile phone] in any way”, Heard replied: “I don’t know how to do that sort of thing.”

Joshua Drew, who lived in one of the LA penthouses with Raquel Pennington, a close friend of Heard’s, gave evidence that he had heard both Hollywood actors “shouting at each other on occasions”. He agreed that Heard had sometimes drunk to excess.

The hearing at the high court in London continues.



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