The Truth About Amber Heard's Sister

The following contains references to domestic abuse and substance abuse.

Prior to meeting Johnny Depp, Amber Heard was famous for her roles in "Pineapple Express," "Zombieland," and the TV series, "The Playboy Club." But when she met Depp on the set of the 2011 film "The Rum Diary," things changed. Firstly, she landed bigger roles, playing Zoe in "Magic Mike XXL" and Mera in the DC Comics sensation "Aquaman" alongside Jason Momoa. The second, and most impactful change, was her marriage to Depp. They tied the knot in February 2015 on Depp's private island in the Bahamas. But by May 2016, Heard had filed for divorce.

Things took a drastic turn in December 2018, however, when Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post that claimed she was a sexual and domestic abuse survivor. While she didn't explicitly state Depp by name, she alluded to their relationship as being the subject of her article. Depp eventually filed a defamation lawsuit against her for $50 million and she countersued for $100 million.

The former couple's court case began in Virginia in April 2022, a state chosen because that's where the online portion of The Washington Post is published, The Independent noted. With such an extensive case, myriad private details have surfaced about Depp and Heard's lives, including testimony by ex-partners, the nitty-gritty details about their financial situations, and stories about family members. And while some fans may have known about Heard's sister, during the trial, the world got very well acquainted with Whitney Henriquez. But just who is Amber Heard's sister?

Whitney Henriquez and Amber Heard's relationship with their father

Amber Heard and Whitney Henriquez (née Heard) grew up in Texas and their father, David Clinton Heard, had an ongoing issue with substance abuse. In London's High Court in 2020, Amber testified that their father "struggled with alcohol and drug abuse issues his whole life," according to Page Six. "He is an addict and an alcoholic and he was very violent but I love him very much."

Their mother, Patricia Paige, lived through the challenges of a relationship with their dad, so Amber said that she often reached out to her mom for advice. In a text exchange from 2013, Amber wrote to her mother, "[Depp] makes dad look like a saint when he falls off the wagon." Amber and Henriquez's father didn't just struggle with substance abuse, though. He was also allegedly abusive. "My father was violent to my mother growing up," Amber said in court. "They loved each other but he was very violent to her until ... she passed away."

This wasn't the only revelation aired about their dad recently. In April 2021, Radar Online exclusively reported that, in 1982, David was arrested and sent to jail for running illegal pit bull fighting rings on his property. He only spent 15 days in jail with charges of aggravated cruelty to an animal. Nevertheless, Henriquez still had fond feelings for her father. In 2013, she posted a photo to Instagram with her dad captioned, "Oh Poppa Heard."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Whitney Henriquez's brief acting career

Amber Heard isn't the only actor in the family. Her sister, Whitney Henriquez, played Ugna in the 2007 movie "Homo Erectus," a comedy about a caveman that's part of the National Lampoon franchise. Unfortunately, the movie was a critical and commercial failure, per Rotten Tomatoes. "Thanks to natural selection, without the script, direction or comedic chops to survive, 'Homo Erectus' will be extinct from theaters soon enough," a Los Angeles Times critic wrote.

That seemed to be the end of Henriquez's acting career, and she began to work in the hospitality industry, according to Hollywood Life. Henriquez confirmed the change in her professional industry during the defamation trial: "Before the pandemic, I worked in hotels doing various food and beverage management jobs, primarily events as well."

Henriquez married ​​Gavin Henriquez and the couple welcomed a son, Hunter. In February 2020, she posted a family photo with the caption: "Not sure how I got so lucky, or what I've done to deserve this ... but alas, here I am. F***ing BEYOND grateful!!!" In March 2022, the Henriquezes welcomed a daughter, Harlin Willow. Henriquez didn't tell anyone about her pregnancy and instead broke the news after the birth. "Well ... for those of you that have been wondering where I've been for the better part of a year, SURPRISE! I've been growing another human! Meet Harlin Willow ... our perfect little girl was born just about a week ago and we couldn't be happier!" she wrote.

Whitney Henriquez's relationship with her sister

Whitney Henriquez and Amber Heard have, by all accounts, a close relationship. In December 2018, Heard spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Henriquez and said, "She's my best friend. She's my partner in crime." Henriquez has certainly returned the compliments and frequently raves about her sister on social media. For Heard's birthday in 2019, Henriquez wrote to her sister on Instagram, in part: "You never pass up an opportunity to show up for me, or anyone else you love for that matter."

Heard was very hands-on during the birth of her nephew, too. "Hell, you were even holding my hand in the delivery room when Hunter was born," Henriquez added. "You're the strongest, bravest most talented and kind person I've ever known — and you have been from day one. You're not only my built-in best friend, you're also my hero." Henriquez has joined Heard at premieres, like the 2017 grand opening of "Justice League." Henriquez wrote in part, "So proud of my sis, the bad ass Mera."

But things might not always have been easy between the sisters. A video has been circulating of friends speaking to Henriquez about a fight between her and Heard. Henriquez called it an "altercation," though a woman in the video asked her, "Did you really start the fight with your sister? Or did she start it?" Henriquez responded, "We're not going to talk about that." Their current friendship certainly seems to override any conflict from their past.

Johnny Depp said Whitney Henriquez was insecure

When Johnny Depp and Amber Heard started dating, it wasn't long before Whitney Henriquez became close with her future brother-in-law. "When I first met Whitney," Depp began during the defamation trial, "there was something in what I saw of Whitney that was much less confident than Amber, much more revealing of insecurities." When asked about his relationship with Henriquez, Depp said it was "great and fantastic. Called her 'sis.' I loved her." But Depp mentioned that there was something tragic in her, too. "I had always felt like Whitney had missed out on something," he added.

Depp said that Henriquez was living in Los Angeles when he first began dating Heard and said that he saw her a lot, saying that she visited often for dinners with a man she was dating at the time. 

Depp owned five penthouses in the coveted Eastern Columbia building in Los Angeles when he was in a relationship with Heard, per Forbes. During the defamation trial, Depp explained that Henriquez eventually moved into one of his penthouses. "She needed a place," Depp said, "so we gave her Penthouse 4 to live in." He said she lived there for a few years and he didn't charge her anything for rent. Since his and Heard's contentious divorce, Depp has since sold that property. The very one that Henriquez lived in sold in November 2017, per Forbes. The one-bedroom, two-bathroom unit went for $1.42 million.

The sisters had a falling out over wedding photos

Things got rocky between Amber Heard and Whitney Henriquez in 2015. Henriquez had a friend who was working at People magazine at the time, and Johnny Depp allegedly accused her of selling their wedding photos to the outlet. While testifying in London's High Court in 2020, Henriquez said that, as a result of the disagreement, she moved out of the penthouse where she was living for free and severed contact with her sister and Depp. "I fell out with both of them," she said, according to The Mirror.

Henriquez further explained her side of the story. "Johnny accused me of leaking and selling stories ... about him and Amber to my friend, Sara Kitnick, who is a journalist and was then writing for People magazine," she said. "In fact, she was tipping me off about stories that other media outlets were going to publish about Johnny and Amber's upcoming wedding and warned me that other people were going to send helicopters over the wedding and things like this."

Henriquez vehemently denies ever selling any of her sister's wedding photos and added that she felt betrayed by Heard for not taking her side. "I was upset that she believed Johnny over me, and there was a long period in 2015 when I was estranged from Amber and Johnny because of this," she said. She then moved out of the apartment, but reportedly refused to sign an NDA she was allegedly presented with.

Johnny Depp and Whitney Henriquez did drugs together

Johnny Depp's history with drug and alcohol addiction came up continuously during the defamation trial between him and Amber Heard. During the trial, Depp admitted that he had done drugs with Whitney Henriquez, guessing it happened two or three times. "Whitney and I had done a line or two of cocaine together," Depp told the court.

When Heard was testifying in court, she had a photo that she had taken years prior of their breakfast table. On it were four lines of cocaine and a tampon applicator. Heard explained her sister's surprising connection to this photo. "The tampon applicator next to the driver's license that you see is a device that I believe my sister had taught him to use in order to put the cocaine in your nose," the actor said.

Record producer and musician Bruce Witkin testified in court and brought up Depp's drug use at the time, noting that Heard was also imbibing and Witkin said they "both seemed like zombies." Witkin said that Depp's drug use raised concerns and that the "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor did seek therapy. "He did it a little bit, but then he stopped because, in my experience, it's deep-rooted issues that he's dealing with that has nothing to do with Amber," Witkin said. "That's my opinion." So while Depp did drugs with Heard and Henriquez, as far as Witkin was concerned, the larger picture had nothing to do with either woman.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Whitney Henriquez didn't want Amber Heard to marry Johnny Depp

While Whitney Henriquez seemed to get along well with Johnny Depp early on in his relationship with Amber Heard, she claimed she had observed evidence of Depp's abuse. She stated she saw bruises on Heard and confronted both her sister and Depp about it, who both deflected and downplayed the situation. Henriquez said, "[Heard] said that she must have done something to annoy him or antagonize him. I told her she needed to leave because it wasn't worth it if he would do that to her," according to Variety.

In light of this, Henriquez was upset when she heard that Heard and Depp were going to get married. In 2020, when Depp sued "The Sun" for defamation after the outlet called him a "wife beater," Whitney testified in London and said she "felt sick about" their engagement. "I told her it was a bad idea, begged her not to go through with it, and said that she should end it because it wasn't going to get better." She continued, "I asked [Heard]: 'Why are you putting up with this?' and told her that him putting a ring on her finger was not going to stop him hitting her."

For Heard, however, the proposal was a very different experience. "I had butterflies ... my dad told me, 'You know, Johnny has asked me permission for your hand in marriage.' I felt like the luckiest girl in the world," she testified.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Whitney Henriquez's role in the defamation trial

Whitney Henriquez played a big part in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in Virginia in 2022 because she was close with both of them throughout their relationship. Henriquez spoke about her impressions of Depp when she first met him as her sister's boyfriend. "We got along really well at first," she said of Depp. "He was sober at the time and Johnny when he's sober is very bright and beautiful and lovely and kind and generous and he was very easy to get to know. Frankly, we all fell in love with him at first."

Henriquez said she had never seen her sister so in love with someone, but said that if Depp was using drugs or abusing alcohol, the relationship would unravel. She said they almost always got into fights. "He would be sober for a little bit and almost as quickly fall off the wagon and start to use or drink and there would be some big blowout," she explained.

Henriquez came up later in the trial as well. The manager of the Eastern Columbia building in Los Angeles — where Depp was living with Heard — claimed he saw video footage of Henriquez throwing Heard a fake punch. Depp's lawyer said this incident occurred in the same week of Heard's allegations of domestic abuse at the hands of Depp. His lawyers used this as a rebuttal to Heard's allegations, claiming a sister would never joke about this.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).