Johnny Depp’s Sister Reveals Mother Physically Abused Them as Children

Johnny Depp‘s sister Christi Dembrowski testified in court Tuesday that her mother, Betty Sue Palmer physically abused them when they were growing up.

Depp is currently suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard for defamation after the Washington Post published an op-ed from her in 2018 detailing her survival of domestic abuse. Though the op-ed never named her ex-husband, many understood who she probably was describing.

Christi Dembrowski Recalled Childhood Abuse of Herself and Johnny Depp After She Took the Stand in a Fairfax Court Tuesday.

johnny depp's sister reveals mother physically abused them as children
Johnny Depp and His Mother, Betty Sue Palmer / Shutterstock

During court proceedings in Fairfax County, Dembrowski, 61, described what she and her brother witnessed as children.

“We would run and hide,” she recounted of seeing her mother being abusive to their father, who she said would not react to it. Dembrowski also shared, “She would hit us. She would throw things.”

When asked if Depp, 58, ever hit back at his mom when she was abusive, Dembrowski said no, “He never went to that place.”

johnny depp's sister reveals mother physically abused them as children
Johnny Depp, Betty Sue Palmer, and His Ex-Wife, Vanessa Paradis / Shutterstock

“Really early on as a young child,” she recalled on the stand, “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.”

According to Dembrowski, Betty’s demeanor “softened” with age. Their mother died at age 81 in 2016, days before Heard filed for divorce from Depp.

johnny depp's sister reveals mother physically abused them as children

The couple had met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011 and they eventually split in May 2016 when she filed a domestic violence restraining order against Depp, saying that he was abusive towards her.

Depp denied Heard’s claims, and the former couple settled their divorce out of court in August 2016.

RELATED: Details of Actor Johnny Depp and Actress Amber Heard’s Abuse Allegations and Subsequent Divorce Are Being Revealed During Actor’s Libel Suit

johnny depp's sister reveals mother physically abused them as children
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp / Shutterstock

In opening statements ahead of Dembrowski’s testimony, Ben Rottenborn, Heard’s attorney, said evidence would show she suffered domestic abuse from 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 allegations as “fictitious,” People reports.

johnny depp's sister reveals mother physically abused them as children

Originally, the $50 million lawsuit had been filed in March of 2019 but the case was paused due to the pandemic.

This is not the first time Depp has gone after others for libel. In 2020, Depp filed a lawsuit in the UK against the British tabloid The Sun after the outlet published a story that characterized him as a “wife-beater.”

The court upheld the publication’s claims as “substantially true.” Heard testified at the time to back up The Sun‘s claims. In March 2021, his attempt to overturn the decision was ultimately overruled.

On Saturday, Heard shared on Instagram that she would be taking a break from social media until after the trial concluded and she thanked her fans for their continued support.

“Hopefully when this case concludes, I can move on and so can Johnny,” she wrote in part. “I have always maintained a love for Johnny and it brings me great pain to have to live out the details of our past life together in front of the world. At this time, I recognize the ongoing support I’ve been fortunate to receive throughout these years, and in these coming weeks I will be leaning on it more than ever.”

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johnny depp's sister reveals mother physically abused them as children

“Johnny is suing me for an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post,” Heard also explained. “I recounted my experience with violence and domestic abuse. I never named him rather I wrote about the price women pay for speaking out against men in power.”

As the court proceedings are already evident, Heard was speaking to a truth about domestic abuse and the lengths to which accused abusers will go to silence their victims.

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