A friend of Johnny Depp testified as a witness on day three of the defamation trial opposing Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Isaac Baruch was called to testify on Wednesday (April 13) in Fairfax, Virginia. He took the stand after cross-examination wrapped up for Mr Depp’s sister Christi Dembrowski.
Mr Baruch said he first got to know Mr Depp when both were teenagers in Florida, playing in bands. He testified for a couple of hours, giving colorful testimony that at times drew smiles and laughs from others in the courthouse – including Mr Depp and Ms Heard themselves.
Mr Baruch told the court that Mr Depp supported him materially as he tried to build a career as a visual artist, arranging for him to live in the Eastern Columbia Building, an Art Deco building in Los Angeles.
Mr Baruch testified that during his time living in the building, he had some familiarity with Mr Depp’s personal circle, including Ms Heard.
Asked to describe Mr Depp and Ms Heard’s relationship, Mr Baruch told the court: “They were always loving with each other. They treated each other like gold. You know – kissing and ‘What can I get you?’ type of thing. Just being kind to each other. Always a loving situation.”
Asked whether he got along with Heard, Mr Baruch smiled and said: “I loved her. I fell in love with her just like Johnny fell in love with her. I fell in love with her. She she’s totally respectful, gracious to me. She’s got great teeth. She treated me with complete respect. … Humor-wise, total locker room humor. insane humour. He totally laughed at the jokes, made the jokes, totally got along with her. Every time I walked into their place: ‘Isaac, you want something to eat? Isaac, you want something to drink?’”
There was only one time Ms Heard did not extent such an offer, he said, adding: “I walked in and she’s in the kitchen at the counter and she’s doing a beauty facial mask, so she can’t offer me. And I’m going, ‘Hey, is that something that can help me?’ And she looks at me, and she goes, ‘No.’ And I’m laughing, and she laughed after, because she didn’t realize she was making a joke. Yeah, I loved her.”
Ms Heard smiled at this latter part of Mr Baruch’s recollection.
A significant part of Mr Baruch’s testimony focused on whether or not he had seen bruises on Ms Heard’s face after an incident of alleged violence on Mr Depp’s part.
Mr Baruch said he hadn’t seen bruises or marks on Ms Heard’s face afterwards, and that it didn’t look to him as though she was wearing make-up at those times.
Ms Heard’s attorney, during cross-examination, questioned Mr Baruch’s knowledge of cosmetics, asking him whether he knew which products Ms Heard used, and whether he knew whether she was wearing specific products such as concealer or foundation when he saw her. Mr Baruch answered those questions in the negative.
Asked whether he knew if Mr Depp had ever committed domestic violence against Ms Heard, Mr Baruch said: “I never witnessed – I never saw or witnessed whatever type of claim that is being said. Ever.”
Mr Depp has alleged that Ms Heard defamed him in a 2018 op-ed she wrote for Washington Post, in which she refers to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”. Ms Heard has counter-sued Mr Depp, accusing him of allegedly orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing her own lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.”
The defamation trial is expected to last for six weeks.