Johnny Depp’s divorce faced a new twist when his estranged wife Amber Heard submitted a document to the court on Friday, May 27, 2016, alleging Depp physically abused her. Heard filed for divorce from her husband of fifteen months on May 23, 2016. The new revelations of abuse have been met by scorn and reservations by Depp’s closest friend, daughter and ex-partner.
Depp’s closest friend Dough Stanhope said that Heard was peddling lies about Johnny Depp for him to agree to her divorce terms. These allegations were refuted by Heard’s lawyer Peter Sample who said that “the allegations against Ms. Heard are absolutely and unequivocally false”. Heard alleges that Depp abused her physically and verbally during their fifteen months’ marriage. Her lawyer has demanded a retraction of a statement claiming that Heard was blackmailing Depp to get a favorable share in their divorce settlement.
Friends and family have come to Depp’s defense against the physical abuse allegations. Friends Paul Bettany and Mickey Rourke, his daughter Lily-Rose Depp and his ex-partner Vanessa Paradis have all labelled these allegations as lies. Paradis said that in the 14 years she has known Depp, he has never been a violent man, to her these claims are “outrageous”. Heard claims that Johnny attacked her with an iPhone and a wine bottle, which he swung like a “baseball bat” at their home in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles yoga teacher Raquel Pennington who has been Heard’s friend for the past 13 years has also submitted documents to the court supporting her friend’s assertions. According to Pennington, she was called by Heard to her house when Depp was drunk and high. She found Heard cowering on the couch with a bruise on her face which she got when Johnny attacked her with an iPhone and a bottle of wine. She recounted how she was able to pull them apart and took Heard to the safety of her house. Los Angeles police sources differ with both Heard and Pennington’s recounts. According to the police there was no physical assault evidence when they visited the house and the bruise seen on Amber’s face was not there. The police left their business card and left the scene because there was no crime committed at that point.
As this abuse drama unfolds, Depp was in Sweden at the Stockholm Grona Lund, performing with his Hollywood Vampires. A social media petition was launched to boycott the event but the venue owners allowed it to go ahead. The venue defended their decision to let Johnny perform by saying that the actor deserved to be judged as innocent until proven guilty. A hashtag #lamwithAmber was posted on Facebook asking fans to boycott the event, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears though, because he performed in front of a packed crowd. These allegations have caused Depp’s divorce to face a new twist, it’s no longer business as usual.
The turn of events in this divorce case have resulted in a lot of speculations. Friends and family of both parties are all lining up behind their own. The credibility of these allegations is a bit questionable since the police shows no intention of investigating the allegation. Is it a celebrity publicity stunt or was a physical assault crime committed? Reports of abuse in marriages are also very common and sometimes people do not talk about it until they fall out. The authenticity of Amber’s best friend Pennington who is a self-confessed “cheese specialist and travel junk” also remains to be investigated. Pictures of both women in court and in their lives show them as very close friends. Heard describes her as her shoulder to cry on. Who is telling the truth here, Heard or Depp?
Opinion by Tinyiko Chauke
INDEPENDENT.IE: Amber Heard’s lawyer slams “offensive” claims she’s is blackmailing Johnny Depp with domestic abuse allegations for larger settlement
Daily Mail: The yoga fanatic who is Amber’s shoulder to cry on: Johnny Depp’s ex relies on spiritual BFF who lives next door and is so bendy she even pulls poses on her BIKE
INDEPENDENT: Johnny Depp goes ahead with Stockholm performance despite calls for gig to be boycotted
Image Courtesy Kenya Allmond’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License