An old friend of Johnny Depp has claimed the “distraught” actor confided in him in 2013 that Amber Heard “likes to argue and likes to hit”.
Isaac Baruch, an artist who has known Depp for 40 years, said the Hollywood star told him Heard “argues and then she’ll just start punching me and wants to fight”.
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Baruch lived rent-free in an apartment owned by Depp, 57, at the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles between 2013 and 2016.
In a written statement submitted in support of Depp’s libel claim against Sun publisher News Group Newspapers, he alleged: “Within the first year in 2013 of living in the Eastern, Mr Depp one day knocked on my door to visit.
“I opened the door to let him in and said, ‘Hey, hey, look at this, this is nice, coming to visit.’
“He smiled but I noticed that he also seemed down and a bit distraught, like if he was crying.
“I said, ‘Dude, come in, sit down, what’s up?’.
“We both sat down and he started telling me about his relationship with Ms Heard.
“He said, ‘l don’t know what to do.’
“l said, ‘about what?’
“He said, ‘She likes to argue and she likes to hit.’
“I said, ‘what do you mean, sexually?’
“He smiled and said, ‘No. She just wants to argue about stuff all the time and then she’ll start hitting me.’
“I was kind of surprised when he said this and I asked almost disbelievingly, ‘you mean like playful hitting or hit hitting?’
“He said, ‘Yes, she argues and then she’ll just start punching me and wants to fight. I’ll try to stop her but she just keeps going to the point where I just stop trying to stop her and say OK, go ahead do your worst, get it out of your system.’
“He then said ‘I don’t know what I’m gonna do, because I’m not gonna hit her, you know me I’m not gonna hit her, I love her.'”
Baruch gave his account of his encounters with Heard, 34, in the days after an incident on 21 May 2016 in which it is alleged Depp was violent towards the actress, which he denies.
He said he arrived at the Eastern Columbia at about 9.30pm and, at the start of the hallway leading to the five penthouses, saw glass on the floor from a broken sconce that hung on the wall, and that in front of Penthouse 1 was “a large puddle of spilt wine along with splashed wine running down the wall directly in front of the door”.
Baruch claimed he saw Heard the following day, 22 May, and she told him the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor “had come by the night before and got violent” and she was changing the locks to three apartments.
Baruch added that Heard later told him that Depp “hit her in the face and threw a phone at her”.
His statement said: “With lights from the hallway and the sunlight that came in through the windows from Penthouse 1, which filled the room and spread into the hallway, it was very easy for me to get an excellent view of Ms Heard’s face.
“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. She also definitely didn’t seem to be wearing any makeup at this time of day that could cover any marks or swelling.
“Her face looked to me just as natural and normal as all the other times I’ve seen it over the past three years while hanging out together around the apartments.”
Depp’s security guard, Travis McGivern, said in a written witness statement he had seen Heard spit at the actor, punch him in the eye and throw a full can of Red Bull at his back during an argument on 23 March 2015.
McGivern said: “After Ms Heard threw the can of Red Bull, I recognised that Ms Heard had access to a variety of other items that she could throw from her position.
“I therefore moved next to Mr Depp to ensure that he would not get hit by anything else.”
A concierge at the Eastern Columbia building, Alejandro Romero, told the court in a statement that he “did not notice any bruises, cuts, swelling, red marks or any other injuries of any kind to Ms Heard’s face” when he saw her four days after she alleges Depp threw a phone at her and smashed objects during a row at their penthouse.
Romero said that on that day, Heard asked him to check the apartment “to check that no-one was there and that it was safe”.
He said he searched two penthouses, accompanied by Heard and a friend, between about 10.30pm and 11.30pm and claimed “during my search, I did not see another person or anything to cause concern, at any point”.
Picture Yui Mok/PA Wire