The exes have spent the past several weeks battling it out in court after Depp, 58, sued Heard, 36, for $50 million over a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post , in which she declared herself to be a domestic abuse survivor. Heard, who is countersuing for $100 million, did not name Depp in the article, though his lawyers have argued that it was obvious she was referring to him.
Amid the proceedings at Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court—where Depp and Heard have denied one another’s allegations of domestic abuse—a court declaration allegedly from Howell caused a stir when it resurfaced on social media. Depp fans are circulating the declaration, which alleges that Heard was violent toward her own sister, Whitney Henriquez, as well as her ex-husband, Depp.
With the trial days away from ending, a post shared on an Instagram account associated with Art of Elysium founder Howell has discussed karma. The post, which was shared on Monday, showed a scenic waterfront view under a cloudy, darkened sky.
An accompanying caption read : “Home! We are all going home and the road to get there is different for each of us. Somehow, I believe that deep down in our soul, we all know where we are returning to. Karma comes for us all and she is not a one lifetime kind of vixen.”
Philanthropist Howell became a talking point on social media during the latter stages of the trial due to the circulation of the court declaration dated July 26, 2020.
Although some versions of the document bear a Fairfax County Government letterhead, it is unverified and has not been admitted as a piece of evidence in the trial. Heard’s lawyers have argued that it was falsely procured and passed off as evidence to mislead the public.
During her testimony last week, Heard’s sister Henriquez confirmed in court that she had moved from staying with Depp and Heard in their Los Angeles penthouse to live with Howell, her former friend and boss at Art of Elysium.
Howell’s declaration was allegedly made in reaction to Henriquez’s testimony in 2020 in a London court, where Depp had filed a libel lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun for referring to him as a “wife-beater,” referencing Heard’s allegations.
“I have learned that Whitney testified in court July 23 in London about a violent incident in March 2015 on the stars at Johnny Depp’s penthouse,” reads the declaration. “She testified that Johnny supposedly hit Amber and Whitney on the stars at Johnny’s downtown penthouse.”
“Then Whitney said she had to go live with her employer where she had to sleep on their floor. I am that employer. This is not what I was told to be true,” the declaration continued. “First, Whitney came to live in the guest room of my apartment on Wilshire Boulevard, not on my floor but in my guest room. Second, when Whitney arrived, she was a mess. Whitney told me she tried to stop her sister Amber from hitting and attacking Johnny on the stairs.”
“Whitney said when she tried to intervene to stop Amber from going after Johnny, Amber nearly pushed Whitney down the stairs. She told me she was worried Amber ‘was going to kill Johnny,'” the declaration goes on.
While Heard has denied being violent in her relationships, the declaration asserts that Howell was told by Henriquez that the alleged violent scenes between the now-exes were a continuation of the abuse she had endured for several years.
“[Henriquez] told me she had endured that kind of abuse her entire life, first from her father, and then from Amber, who she said was extremely violent,” Howell is quoted as saying. “She lived with me because she did not feel she could do back to live at [Depp and Heard’s penthouse]. My father reminded me this morning that I told him that ‘Whitney had moved in with me because she was terrified of her sister.'”
The declaration lists a host of other allegations, including claims that Henriquez stated while at work that Heard had cut off Depp’s finger. Heard has denied Depp’s allegation that this occurred, accusing him of doing it himself.
According to the document, Henriquez had determined her sister to be the violent one in their tumultuous relationship.
Henriquez spoke out against the allegations made in the declaration in July 2020, telling The Mirror in a statement: “This is complete fiction. Jennifer Howell’s statements do not bear any relationship to the truth and I have no idea why she is saying this.”
While the declaration is included in the more than 250 pages of court documents on Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse’s website, it is stated early on in the file that Heard’s legal team wants the declaration to be excluded.
The declaration, it says, “was never produced to Defendant and was procured by false subpoenas never served on Defendant’s counsel. Instead, Plaintiff’s counsel Adam Waldman ‘leaked’ this declaration created by him on his [Twitter] account.
“The Court Ordered Plaintiff to produce this document and all documents transmitted to the press or social media users, but consistent with his conduct in this case Plaintiff refused to produce it, so Defendant only possesses the screenshot from Mr. Waldman’s tweet.
“Because of the violation of this Court’s Order, the Declaration and all information included, should be excluded as a sanction.”
Newsweek reached out to representatives of Heard and Howell for comment.
The Depp v. Heard trial continues on Tuesday. Follow Newsweek’s live blog for updates from the Fairfax County courtroom.
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