An old friend of Johnny Depp’s tearfully described how the long-running legal battle with Amber Heard had unfairly “ruined” the actor’s life.
Saac Baruch, an artist who has known Mr Depp for 40 years, said Ms Heard’s “fake narrative” “went out the door and around the world” when he was testifying at the US trial.
The 58-year-old actor is suing his former partner for defamation over a 2018 article she wrote in The Washington Post in which she discussed her experiences of domestic violence.
Mr Depp’s lawyers say the article falsely implied that Ms Heard, 35, was physically and sexually abused by him when they were married.
Mr. Baruch lived in the actor’s apartment in the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles between 2013 and 2016.
Testifying on Wednesday, he said he was “tired” from the lengthy process and that Ms Heard should “take her responsibilities, heal and move on”.
When asked if he was angry at the Aquaman star and her allegations, Mr Baruch said: “Yeah, that kind of confused me and frustrated and angry, upset.
“It’s been (since) six years… am I mad? What I am is tired and I want this all to end.
“So many people have been affected by this vicious lie that started it and created it and it’s been knocking on the door and around the world.
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“I’m not angry with anyone. I want what’s best for (Ms Heard), I want her to take responsibility, heal and move on.”
Visibly upset, he added: “For Johnny, his family has been completely destroyed by all of these things and it’s not fair.
“It’s not right what she did and what happened that affected so many people, it’s crazy how that happened.”
Ms Heard’s lawyers say that although her article is protected by the US Constitution’s First Amendment, there is also evidence that Mr Depp physically abused her on multiple occasions.
Mr Baruch was asked about his encounters with Ms Heard in the days following an incident on 21 May 2016 in which she claimed Mr Depp “became violent” towards her.
He said the following day, May 22, which happened to be his birthday, he saw Ms Heard again in a well-lit place but saw no signs of injury, although he “inspected” her face.
“I’ve seen her (without) makeup … with makeup, glamorous … for three and a half years I’ve been seeing her in different forms,” he said.
“She sticks her head out and I’m looking… I’m inspecting her face… I’m looking all over and I don’t see anything… I don’t see a cut, bruise, swelling, redness.
“It’s just Amber’s face.”
Mr Depp’s lawyers say the abuse allegations were false and that the actress “prepared to give the performance of her life” during the trial.
Mr Baruch also said he saw CCTV video footage from the apartment building several weeks after his encounters with Ms Heard in May, which showed the actress and her sister Whitney appearing to give her a ‘wrong punch’.
Asked about Ms Heard’s reaction to the punch, he said: “She laughed”.
Ms. Heard’s article in The Washington Post was titled “I Speak Out Against Sexual Violence — and Faced the Wrath of Our Culture.”
The case is being brought in Virginia and not in California, where the actors live, because the Washington Post’s online editions are published through servers in Fairfax County.
Other high-profile celebrities are listed as witnesses in the trial, including actors James Franco and Paul Bettany, and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/friend-of-johnny-depp-says-legal-dispute-with-amber-heard-wrecked-actors-life-41551627.html Johnny Depp’s boyfriend says Amber Heard’s lawsuit ‘ruined’ actor’s life