Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard: Actress Ellen Barkin as a witness

Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard
Actress Ellen Barkin as a witness

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in the 1990s.

Johnny Depp and Ellen Barkin in the 1990s.

© imago images/Landmark Media

Johnny Depp’s Amber Heard defamation trial resumes next week with new witnesses including Ellen Barkin.

Johnny Depp (58) returns to the witness stand next week, along with his opponent Amber Heard (36), her sister Whitney Henriquez (34) and actress Ellen Barkin (68, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”). As “Entertainment Weekly” further reports, Depp’s defamation trial against his ex-wife will continue on May 16 in Fairfax County, Virginia. The hearing, which was adjourned this week because the judge had to attend another hearing, will be broadcast live on Court TV and Law & Crime on Monday.

Heard will complete her testimony at the retrial. She could then be cross-examined later on Monday. Depp is also expected to return to the witness stand for a second time, this time as a defense witness, after days of testifying on his own behalf about his tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife.

Ellen Barkin and the bottle of wine in the hotel room

Heard’s sister, Whitney Henriquez, and actress Ellen Barkin are also expected to testify on behalf of the defense. Both Henriquez and Barkin similarly testified as witnesses for Heard during Depp’s failed 2020 defamation lawsuit against The Sun. The actor had sued the British newspaper over language that referred to him as a “wife beater” in an article related to Heard’s abuse allegations.

Barkin dated Depp while filming Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) in the late 1990s. During the defamation trial in the UK, she allegedly testified that during a heated moment in a hotel room, Depp threw a bottle of wine at her. Depp denied the allegation, claiming Barkin harbored a grudge against him.

The actress, who recently starred in TNT’s Animal Kingdom, has been on Heard’s witness list since March. However, it is still unclear whether other stars on the list, such as Elon Musk (50) and James Franco (44), will take the witness stand.

Heard’s sister claims to have seen bruises on Heard’s face

Heard’s sister, who lived for a time in one of Depp’s Los Angeles penthouses, was also on the witness list from the beginning and her name came up during the trial. US law enforcement officials said they were called to the Los Angeles penthouse in 2016 following a domestic violence call, but found no evidence of a crime. During Depp’s trial in the UK, Henriquez testified that she saw bruises on Heard’s face early in her relationship with Depp.

The ‘Aquaman 2’ actress also mentioned her sister when she once admitted hitting Depp. During a heated argument in March 2015, Depp reportedly slapped Henriquez when she was trying to end an argument between the couple, according to Heard. “[Whitney] had his back to the stairs and Johnny was hitting her,” she said Thursday. “And I was hitting him,” she continued. “In my entire relationship with Johnny, I hadn’t hit him once.” This time she got him actually hit, “right in the face”.

Depp’s team has also referenced Henriquez, claiming that video shows her and Heard laughing and acting out a “fake punch,” which the actor’s attorneys say was exercise for Heard to avoid “abuse by fooling around”.

Defamation suit for an article in the Washington Post

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post article in which she shared her experiences as a survivor of domestic violence. Though Heard never mentions Depp by name, his attorneys argue that the references to their client — and Heard’s previous abuse allegations following their 2017 divorce — are clear. They claim the essay harmed Depp’s career and reputation.

Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim alleging that Depp and his legal team slandered her by calling her allegations false.