Officers told the court during Johnny Depp’s trial against ex-wife Amber Heard that they found no evidence of domestic violence after a call from Heard.
The defamation trial between Depp and Heard began Monday, April 11, in Fairfax, Virginia, following Depp’s lawsuit against his ex-wife in March 2019. Depp is arguing that she defamed him in a December editorial. 2018 published in The Washington Post titled “I Speak Out Against Sexual Violence – and I Faced the Wrath of Our Culture. That has to change”.
Officers Melissa Saenz and Tyler Hadden of the Los Angeles Police Department said during pre-recorded courtroom depositions on Tuesday and Wednesday that they had not identified any evidence that a crime had been committed.
Saenz responded to Depp’s penthouse at the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles where Heard was staying on May 21, 2016, finding her crying. While Mrs. Saenz said that Ms. Heard was flushed with emotion, the 12-year LAPD veteran testified that she did not witness any injuries to Ms. heard.
“We met with a victim,” Saenz said in a pre-recorded video testimony shown in court on Tuesday. “We checked the location. The husband wasn’t there, and the victim told us that she just got into an argument. And that she wasn’t going to give us more information. And since we didn’t identify a crime, we issued her a business card.”
She added that they “informed her that she could contact us later if she changed her mind and wanted to cooperate.”
Heard filed a restraining order against Depp later that month, claiming he had thrown a phone in his face.
Saenz has said several times that she would have filed a police report if she thought a crime had been committed, but said she saw nothing to make her think domestic violence had taken place.
Depp testified that he was the one who was the victim of domestic abuse, claiming Heard made up his allegations when he realized he wanted to end the relationship.
Los Angeles Police Officer Tyler Hadden’s pre-recorded testimony was played in court Wednesday morning. He also responded to the May 21, 2016 incident – the final fight between the couple before their split. Mrs. Saenz was her training officer.
Officers arrived at the building at 8:57 pm, with a police document showing that they “met the victim” at 9:22 pm. Mr. Hadden said that Ms. Heard did not request that a report be filed and that their investigation did not warrant a report being written.
He said that Mrs. Heard had no visible injuries and that there were no signs indicating that a fight had taken place.
The “victim, correction, witness… did not cooperate,” he said.
“I had no idea who she was,” he added.
Hadden said Heard’s face was “red from crying” and not “from anything else”, adding that “it was consistent with her crying”.
He added that it would not be common practice for officers to write a report on a “verbal-only dispute”.
In her 2018 editorial, Heard wrote that “like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted when I was in college. But I kept silent – I didn’t expect the filing of grievances to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”
“Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse and felt the full force of our culture’s anger at women speaking out,” she added at the time.
Although Depp is not named in the piece, his legal team argues that it contains a “clear implication that Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they say is “categorically and demonstrably false”. Depp is seeking damages of “no less than $50 million.”
Heard has filed a $100 million counterclaim against Depp for nuisance and immunity from his allegations.