Amber Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez is breaking her silence after the jury sided mostly with Johnny Depp in his defamation trial against his ex-wife.
Last Wednesday, the seven-person jury handed down their verdict which awarded Depp, 58, $10.35 million in damages, finding that Heard, 36, defamed her ex-husband in her 2018 washington post op-ed about domestic abuse, in which she did not name him.
Heard, meanwhile, was awarded $2 million in her defamation countersuit. She plans to appeal the verdict, her attorney revealed the following morning.
The actress’ younger sister, who tested on her behalf during the trial and was present in the courtroom when the verdict was read, showed support for the actress on Instagram Sunday.
“I still stand with you, sissy. Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will always be proud of you for standing up for yourself, for testing both here in Virginia and in the UK, and for being the voice of so many who can’t speak to the things that happen behind closed doors,” wrote Henriquez, 34.
“We knew that this was going to be an uphill battle and that the cards were stacked against us,” she continued. “But you stood up and spoke out regardless. I am so honored to testify for you, and I would do it a million times over because I know what I saw and because the truth is forever on your side.”
Henriquez concluded, “I’m so sorry that it wasn’t reflected in the decision made by this jury, but I will never give up on you, and neither will anyone who stands with you. Forever by your side… #istandwithamberheard.”
Heard, who also has an older sister, released her own statement directly after the verdict was revealed, calling the decision a “setback” for women. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she wrote. “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband.”
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“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback,” she added. “It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”
“I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK,” the Aquaman actress continued. “I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly.”
On the witness stand earlier in the court case, Henriquez testified and was questioned about a March 2015 incident when she claimed Depp allegedly hit her and Heard on a staircase at their penthouse. She said her then-brother-in-law struck her in the back then proceeded to “repeatedly” hit Heard. Heard tested about the incident as well, saying she punched Depp to defend her sister. He denied that version of events.
Henriquez said she got along with Depp “at first” before witnessing the tumultuous relationship, living with them at one point. Depp, during his time on the stand, recalled liking “sweet kid” Henriquez when they met, but claimed she often got the “dirty end of the stick” and would be a “punching bag” for Heard. “Whitney was trying to please her sister, trying to be up to snuff and it just seemed like she got shot down every time,” he said of the sisters’ “up-and-down” relationship.
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Following the verdict, Depp, who was in the UK when the decision was announced, said in a statement that the jury “gave me my life back.”
“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye,” he said. “False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back.”
“I am truly humbled,” he continued. “My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought. From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
Depp said he is “overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world.”
“I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media,” said the actor. “I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth. The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. Veritas numquam perishes. Truth never perishes.”