In a recorded deposition played for jurors, Raquel Pennington said she never personally witnessed Mr Depp strike Ms Heard. But she said she saw the injuries, and she took photos of Ms Heard’s face in December 2015 after a fight in which Ms Heard says Mr Depp head-butted her and perhaps broke her nose.
The photo shows a swollen nose, a cut lip and two moderately black eyes on Ms Heard’s face.
She also took a photo of strands of hair that she said were ripped from Ms Heard’s scalp.
Ms Heard “often had to cover bruises and injuries on her face” with makeup, Ms Pennington said in the January 2022 deposition.
Ms Pennington said she did not really consider herself a current friend of Ms Heard, and that the two grew apart in the last year.
Mr Depp is suing Ms Heard for libel in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
The trial is now in its fifth week.
Mr Depp says he never struck Ms Heard and that he was the victim of abuse inflicted by Ms Heard.
The December 2015 fight is one of several that were disputed. While jurors have seen the photos taken by Ms Pennington documenting the injuries, they have also seen video of Ms Heard’s appearance on a late-night talk show the next day in which those injuries were not visible.
Ms Heard has said the injuries were just covered by makeup.
Ms Pennington’s testimony comes after Ms Heard wrapped up her time on the witness stand, including two gruelling days of cross-examination in which Mr Depp’s lawyers questioned Ms Heard about the truthfulness of her allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
Ms Pennington’s testimony provides corroborating evidence to several of the alleged assaults. In addition to the December 2015 incident, Ms Pennington said she saw cuts on Ms Heard’s feet when she returned from a trip to Australia in March 2015. Ms Heard testified that Mr Depp sexually assaulted Ms Heard with a liquor bottle on that trip and that she cut her feet on broken glass from the attack.
And Ms Pennington, who lived for a time in a suite of penthouses along with Mr Depp and Ms Heard, said she was the first person to see Ms Heard during a final fight between the couple in May 2016 that precipitated the couple’s divorce.