Stylist told court she saw no injuries, despite ex-wife saying Johnny Depp had assaulted her
By Ben Quinn
Amber Heard asked a US stylist “Can you believe I just did that show with two black eyes?” following a television appearance the night after she was allegedly hit by her then husband, Johnny Depp, the high court has been told.
But Samantha McMillan, who worked with the couple when they were together and continues to work for Depp, disputed Heard’s claim as the stylist gave evidence at the actor’s libel trial.
McMillan said she spent “much of the afternoon and early evening” of 16 December 2015 with Heard, as the star prepared to appear on James Corden’s The Late Late Show. She said she could “see clearly” that Heard had no marks, cuts or bruises.
McMillan said in a witness statement: “After the show, Ms Heard said to me ‘can you believe I just did that show with two black eyes?’. Ms Heard did not have any black eyes, and had been visibly uninjured throughout the day and at that moment.” McMillan said she later learned that Heard had accused Depp of violently abusing her the previous night.
Depp, 57, is suing publisher of the Sun, 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 says he assaulted her.
The trial also heard evidence from Hilda Vargas, a housekeeper who has been working for Depp for 30 years.
Vargas said she was “horrified and disgusted” to find “a large pile of faeces” in the bed the actor shared with Heard.
In a witness statement Vargas said it was “clear” that the excrement was human, saying she knew it could not have come from the couple’s two small dogs.
The source of the faeces, which was found in the bed on the day after the couple was said to have had a bitter argument when Depp arrived late for Heard’s 30th birthday, has been a matter of dispute. Heard said it was from one of their two small Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, while Depp told the court it was “a mystery” who defecated in the bed. He said he was “convinced” Ms Heard “or one of her cohort” was involved in the “defecation incident”.
Speaking through a translator and via a video link from Los Angeles, Vargas said she had taken photographs to show to her supervisor and regarded it as a “lack of respect”.
In her statement, Vargas also said she had “often” heard Ms Heard “yell at Mr Depp and at other people”. She said: “She has a bad temper in my opinion, and I did not want her to yell at me. On the contrary, in the over 30 years I have worked for Mr Depp, I have never seen Mr Depp be physical with or yell at anyone.”
Earlier, it was alleged that Heard shouted insults at Depp, calling him “washed up” and “fat”, and was physically aggressive towards him during a Christmas visit to the Caribbean.
The claims were made in a witness statement by Tara Roberts, the estate manager at Depp’s home on a private island in the Bahamas, in evidence via a video link.
Roberts said she had seen Heard “screaming and berating” Depp as he yelled at her to “go away” and said she had seen a “red, swelling gash” on his nose. Depp told her Heard had thrown a can of lacquer thinner into his face, Roberts said.
Roberts, who has worked for Depp since December 2008, called him an “unusually kind man” and said she had never seen him be “violent or aggressive” with Heard, or anyone else.
“I observed in December 2015 to my colleagues that Amber was a ‘thrower’, someone who threw projectiles,” she said in her witness statement to the court.
She said she saw Heard “lunge violently at Johnny, pull his hair, and commit other aggressive physical acts against him”.
The alleged events took place in December 2019, when Depp and Heard were staying on the island with his two children and a friend.
Referring to an apparent argument, Roberts said: “While I could not hear what caused the fight, Amber repeatedly berated him with increasing ferocity.
“She was insulting him, calling him names, and in the middle of this onslaught I heard her say specifically ‘your career is over,’ ‘no one is going to hire you,’ ‘you’re washed up,’ ‘fat,’ ‘you will die a lonely man,’ and also screaming things that were incomprehensible.”
During evidence in the morning, Depp’s bodyguard said the actor initially made up an excuse after his wife allegedly severed his finger during an incident in Australia in 2015, because victims often tried to protect their abusers.
Malcolm Connolly was questioned about an episode when Depp and Heard were in Australia for the filming of one of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Depp has accused Heard of cutting off the tip of his finger when she hurled a vodka bottle, but wrote at the time that he had caused the injury himself.
The bodyguard told the trial that one of the first things Depp said to him as they stood outside a rental property before going to hospital was: “She’s just cut my finger off.”
Connolly added that he had come up with the false story that Depp had damaged his finger in bi-fold doors. Asked why, the former prison officer replied it had been to “protect [the film] production” but also because of the “usual victim pattern” he had seen in prison, where victims sought to protect their abuser.
“The usual victim pattern is to protect the abuser for some reason, you know the psychological bullying … they fit the same criteria, they never come forward with the information,” he said.