Johnny Depp’s sister Christi Dembrowski in her testimony on Tuesday, revealed that they had been abused by their mother Betty Sue, while growing up.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor is suing his wife Amber Heard for defamation over a 2020 piece she wrote for Washington Post. While the actress never named Depp in the article, Depp is suing her for insinuating that.
However, at the court proceedings inside the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia on Tuesday, Dembrowski, taking to the stand, recalled the abuse she and her brother witnessed at home during their childhoods.
“We would run and hide,” she remembered seeing her mom being abusive toward their father, who she said would not react.
Dembrowski added, “She would hit us. She would throw things.”
When asked whether Depp had retaliated by hitting their mom when she was abusive, Dembrowski said no, “He never went to that place.”
“Really early on as a young child,” she said, “none of what was happening in our home felt good. And so, as I got older, both Johnny and I actually, we decided that once we left, once we had our own home, we were never going to repeat, ever, anything similar in any way to our childhood. We were gonna do it different.”
Dembrowski also revealed that Betty “softened” as she grew older before her death in May 2016.
A few days before her death, Heard filed for divorce from Depp. Depp and Heard had met while making the 2011 movie The Rum Diary and broke up in May 2016, when she sought a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing the actor of abusing her.
Depp, however, denied the claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016.
In opening statements before Dembrowski’s testimony, Heard’s attorney Ben Rottenborn revealed that evidence will show she suffered domestic abuse by Depp that “took many forms,” including physical, emotional, verbal and psychological, as well as “sexual violence at the hands of Depp.”
A spokesperson for Depp denies the allegation as “fictitious.”