FAIRFAX, Va. (CN) — On the night in 2016 that Amber Heard contends Johnny Depp beat her, police officers called to the couple’s residence say they saw no signs of bruises on her face.
Witnesses who met with Heard after a dispute with Depp, then her husband, testified in prerecorded depositions shown during trial Wednesday in the high-profile defamation lawsuit brought by Depp.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor claims he was defamed by a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post in which Heard wrote that she had become a public figure representing domestic abuse. She never mentioned Depp by name but referred to a time coinciding with her marriage to him.
As the marriage was ending, Heard took out a temporary restraining order against Depp on May 27, 2016. Her face appeared bruised during a court appearance, allegedly the result of an altercation with Depp six days earlier on May 21.
But an officer who saw her that night had a different story.
“Ms. Heard refused any medical treatment and had no visible injuries,” said Tyler Hadden, a Los Angeles Police Department officer, in the deposition shown to jurors. “There was no sign of struggle, and the witness that was there that I spoke with was uncooperative as well.”
The charge that Heard was abused that night is the linchpin of Depp’s lawsuit. The "Aquaman" actress claimed Depp "savagely injured her face by throwing her own iPhone at her from point blank range as hard as he could and then continued to beat her face,” according to his lawsuit, which calls the claims an "attention-seeking hoax."
Officers responding to the domestic violence call said Heard didn’t request that they make a report. Her face was red from crying but showed no signs of bruises, they testified.
The officers gave Heard a card with their number so that she could call them back if she wished. Questioned by attorneys for both actors, Hadden said he didn’t know then that Depp was involved. Asked if he recognized Heard, the officer replied, “I had no idea who she was.”
Another Los Angeles police officer, William Gatlin, along with his partner, also visited the penthouse residence in Los Angeles after the department received another call about a disturbance. Gatlin said he hadn’t seen bruises either. Under cross-examination, the officers said they weren’t sure whether Heard had covered bruises with makeup.
A front-desk worker at the building where Depp and Heard lived also said he saw no bruises on Heard.
“I always make eye contact with someone whom I’m talking to,” said Alejandro Romero. He explained that he’s not necessarily studying the person, “but if I see something I probably will remember it.”
Romero, who gave his deposition while apparently vaping or smoking inside a vehicle, said, “I’m just so stressed out because of this. I just don’t want to deal with this anymore. I’m tired. I don’t want to deal with this court case. Everybody’s got problems.”
After Romero's deposition ended and the jury was sent off on break, Judge Penney Azcarate remarked, "That was a first, I'm sorry. I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen that."
In another deposition later in the day, Christian Carino, a talent agent who once represented Depp and Heard, testified that in terms of acting ability, Depp's reputation has remained unchanged. But over time, his personal reputation has been altered "with the exposure that came with the lawsuits."
Carino said through conversations with colleagues and studio executives, he formed the opinion that Depp lost his "Pirates" role because of Heard's accusations.
Depp’s lawsuit asks for $50 million in damages. Heard filed a counterclaim seeking $100 million.
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