- Johnny Depp’s sister, Christi Dembrowski, spoke on Tuesday as the first witness in his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard
- Dembrowski described the former couple’s volatile relationship
- Depp’s sister said she believes Heard’s 2018 op-ed had a negative effect on the actor’s career and reputation
Johnny Depp’s sister has claimed that Amber Heard once called him a “fat old man” and that the actor’s family was “devastated” by his marriage to the actress.
Christi Dembrowski made the statements Tuesday as she testified as the first trial witness in Virginia for Depp’s $50 million libel lawsuit against Heard. The actor alleged Heard defamed him and ruined his career when she wrote a 2018 opinion piece in The Washington Post about being a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse, though the article never mentioned Depp by name.
Dembrowski described the former couple’s volatile relationship, telling the jury that her younger brother and Heard often argued and that the “indifferent” actress often made fun of Depp, the New York Post reported.
The sister claimed that when Depp told Heard Dior was interested in a campaign with him, the actress was “incredulous and kind of disgusted.”
“Dior, why would Dior want to do business with you? It’s about class and style, and you have no style,” Heard reportedly said.
Dembrowski claimed she would book an extra hotel room for her brother when the couple traveled together in case he and Heard got into a fight. The 61-year-old also said she was “frightened” and “devastated” when she learned Depp was marrying Heard.
Although Depp was not named in Heard’s op-ed, Dembrowski, who helped manage her brother’s career, said she believed it had a negative effect on the career and reputation of the ‘actor.
“I believe there is a negative effect on anyone’s career when there are accusations like there have been. Personally, I know he doesn’t want people to feel. .. that he could ever be that kind of person, which he isn’t.” she said when asked about Heard’s article, adding that what bothered her brother the most was that the abuse allegations “reflected on his children.”
Dembrowski is expected to return to the helm on Wednesday.
Dembrowski wasn’t the first to say Heard was ashamed of Depp. In a witness statement in Depp’s libel case against British tabloid The Sun in 2020, Tara Roberts, the manager of actor Little Hall’s Pond’s Cay estate in the Bahamas, claimed she saw Heard attack Depp and throw disparaging remarks at him.
Roberts detailed how Heard “repeatedly berated [Depp] with increasing ferocity” in an alleged assault in December 2015 when the couple were on the Caribbean island with Depp’s two children and a friend, the BBC reported.
“She was insulting him, insulting him, and in the middle of that onslaught, I heard her say specifically ‘your career is over’, ‘no one is going to hire you’, ‘you’re washed up’, ‘fat,’ ‘you’ll die a lonely man,’ and also screaming incomprehensible things,” Roberts said.
Depp sued the publisher of The Sun for defamation for calling him a “wife-beater” in a 2018 article based on Heard’s claims that he was the victim of domestic violence. The actor lost the case in November 2020 and the judge later denied his appeal.
Meanwhile, Depp remains the face of Dior’s best-selling Sauvage fragrance. In September 2021, the brand shared a new ad featuring the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
“Bold and powerful, Johnny Depp embodies the new film Sauvage, featuring rock’n’roll and the night, wolves and the moon”, writes Dior on Twitter.
The defamation trial is expected to last six weeks. Elon Musk and SpaceX and Tesla CEO James Franco are expected to testify for Heard, while Paul Bettany will testify on Depp’s behalf.
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