Amber Heard's best friend has spoken out in defence of the actress denying that her allegations of domestic violence against Johnny Depp are fabricated. In an emotive open blog post, iO Tillett Wright sensationally claims that she witnessed the brutal aftermath of Depp's alleged assaults, on more than one occasion.
In the article titled Why I Called 911, the photographer and gender activist, who describes himself as gender fluid, alleges that Heard was trapped in an escalating cycle of violence and was left bloodied and bruised after the actor attacked her in a fit of rage.
In the blog post, he described finding the 30-year-old actress shaking and crying after an alleged assault by Depp in which she claims he head-butted his wife. "The reports of violence started with a kick on a private plane, then it was shoves and the occasional punch, until finally, in December, she described an all-out assault and she woke up with her pillow covered in blood," she explained.
"I know this because I went to their house. I saw the pillow with my own eyes. I saw the busted lip and the clumps of hair on the floor. I got the phone call immediately after it happened, her screaming and crying, a stoic woman reduced to sobs."
"As she, shaking and crying, described this 195-pound man throwing the full weight of his body into head-butting his 120-pound wife in the face in a fit of rage."
He goes on to describe a shocking account of abuse stating: "Nothing she ever could have said or done deserves what she describes as him dragging her up the stairs by the hair, punching her in the back of the head, choking her until she almost passed out, and smashing his forehead into her nose until it almost broke."
iO said that Depp would always be apologetic after each assault, pleading for forgiveness and promising he would change his behaviour. He said that after the last alleged assault, in which Heard claims that the Pirates of the Caribbean star hit her in the face with an iPhone, iO called the police herself.
"I called 911 because she [Amber] never would. Because every time it happened, her first thought was about protecting him. Because every time it happened, the sweet, loving man we all cared for so much would come back with apologies, profuse, swearing up and down that he understood how bad what he had done was, and swearing never to do it again. We all loved him, but especially, especially her, and she wanted to believe that the behavior wasn't going to last.
"That's why, when it happened again, when I was on the phone with both of them and heard it drop, heard him say, 'What if I pulled your hair back?' and her scream for my help, I wondered like so many times before if I should break the code of silence that surrounds celebrities and invite the police into the situation, and in a split second decided that, yes, I was going to.
"Because I realized that as long as I was protecting the abuser from consequences, I was enabling the abuse and I could no longer partake. I had to stand up for my friend, and for what I believe in my gut to be the code of conduct by which human beings have to behave with each other.
"I understood her heartbreak. He had been my friend, too, a person I loved very much. A person I had once referred to as a brother...I knew him to be soft and gentle, with a temper and a dark side, but a golden heart. I didn't want to believe it either, until I saw the wreckage."
On 27 May, the 30-year-old actress was granted a temporary restraining order against her estranged husband after she accused him of domestic violence. Heard alleged that she "lived in fear" of his violent outbursts during their 15-month marriage.
In a court declaration she said: "I endured excessive emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating, and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him. I live in fear that Johnny will return to [our house] unannounced to terrorize me, physically and emotionally."
She also submitted photographs of her injuries after she alleged he threw an iPhone at her, leaving her face bruised. Police were called to the scene, however the actress had initially declined to file a formal complaint.
Depp responded to the allegations of domestic abuse issuing a statement by his lawyer in which it was claimed that the accusations levelled at him were motivated by financial gain. The Independent reports that Depp's lawyer Laura Wasser said in a statement: "Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse. Her current application for a temporary restraining order along with her financial requests appear to be in response to the negative media attention she received earlier this week after filing for divorce."
iO responded to the claims that Heard was attempting to blackmail the Alice Through The Looking Glass star explaining that the refusal to believe Heard is an injustice to all victims of domestic violence whose terrifying reality is denied.
"The cycle of abuse is perpetuated by every person who asserts that the victim more likely punched themselves rather than addressing the very real evidence of violence in front of them. The culture of victim-blaming is the very thing that protects abusers' ability to get away with this kind of behavior.
"Right now, every battered woman in the world is watching this media circus, internalizing the message that when they come forward for help, when they break the cycle, they will be called a gold digger, a cheater, and be accused of having faked it all for attention.
"I'm looking at every journalist, every editor, every person who puts a comment on an article pointing an uneducated finger. You are the lynch mob. You are a deafening chorus. Your searching for an explanation for why he would have hit her sends the clear message that there CAN be a reason why someone hits their spouse.
"It doesn't matter what was said between the two lovers, it doesn't matter if the romance was coming to an end, because nothing warrants that response. No person, ever, should suffer violence at the hands of the person they love. Whether we loved him or not has nothing to do with it. When it comes to violence, 'love' is no longer part of the equation."
Since the allegations of domestic abuse have arisen, friends and family of Depp have come forward in his defence, including his ex-wives and his daughter, Lily-Rose who described him as "the most loving person I know."