A friend of Johnny Depp's has testified in the actor's defense as part of his ongoing libel case against a U.K. tabloid

By Maria Pasquini
July 17, 2020 02:57 PM
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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
| Credit: Marc Piasecki/WireImage; Phillip Faraone/Getty

Johnny Depp’s friend testified that in the days after Amber Heard alleged the actor had hit her in May 2016, she had no visible bruises on her face.

Isaac Baruch, an artist who's been friends with Depp for nearly 40 years and used to live in an apartment unit owned by the actor, provided statements on Friday as part of Depp's ongoing libel case against News Group Newspapers (NGN), parent company of the U.K. outlet The Sun, which published an article calling Depp a "wife beater” in 2018.

In Baruch’s written testimony, obtained by PEOPLE, the artist claimed that on May 22, 2016 — the day after Depp, 57, is alleged to have struck Heard, 34 — he ran into the actress in a hallway outside of their respective apartments.

“Ms Heard, whose demeanor I would describe at that moment as being very animated and in control, informed me that Mr Depp had come by the night before and got violent,” he testified. “She told me that he hit her in the face and threw a phone at her. I then asked her where he had hit her and she stretched her neck and pushed out the right side of her head for me to look at her right eye.”

“I literally was around 12 inches from her, inspecting her face and I did not see a single mark or evidence of any marks, bruising, or swelling of any kind anywhere on her face,” Baruch continued.

Baruch also testified that no marks were visible on Heard’s face on May 23.

“Again, I saw no marks of any kind on either side of her face. There were no bruises, scratches, redness, dark spots, or swelling of any kind,” he said.

Heard previously alleged that Depp had been abusive during their 15-month marriage, a claim he has denied, saying that he was the victim of domestic violence in their relationship.

Heard's lawyer Eric George has denied the allegations against the actress, saying in a statement previously obtained by PEOPLE: "The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard. The increasingly desperate attempts by Mr. Depp and his enablers to revive his career by initiating baseless litigation against so many people once close to him — his former lawyers, former managers, and his former spouse — are not fooling anyone.”

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in January 2016.
| Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Heard and Depp married in 2015. In May 2016, she filed for a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016 for $7 million, which she donated to charity. Both actors signed NDAs barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.

Depp’s lawyers filed a $50 million defamation suit in the U.S. against Heard over her Dec. 18, 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she described being an alleged victim of domestic violence. While she never mentioned Depp by name, the actor’s lawsuit called her allegations against him a “hoax.”

Heard’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, urged the court last fall to throw out the suit, arguing that the column was not about Heard’s allegations against Depp, but in March, a Virginia judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.