iO Tillett Wright is speaking out again in defense of Amber Heard, and further corroborating her accusations that Johnny Depp was physically abusive towards her during their 15-month marriage.
Wright, who prefers the use of male pronouns, is Heard's friend who called 911 last month after an alleged altercation between the estranged couple, according to court docs.
"I called 911 because she never would. Because every time it happened, her first thought was about protecting him," he writes in an op-ed for Refinery 29. "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."
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Wright claims that the alleged domestic abuse that Heard says she endured became worse as time went on. "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," he writes. "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."
"I witnessed firsthand the absolutely baffling mental pretzel that an abused person puts themselves into, trying to balance the desire to protect their aggressor, with the knowledge that their swollen face is unacceptable. I listened as she cycled through things she could've possibly done to provoke him, or how she could've made him upset enough to do this," Wright continues. "The bottom, unequivocal line is, 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."
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Despite calling out Depp's alleged abuse towards Heard, Wright is also quick to praise Depp for being a good friend to him. "He had been my friend, too, a person I loved very much. A person I had once referred to as a brother," he shares. "A person who came to my rescue in my darkest hour, who I have credited with saving my own life, who I lived with for a year by his invitation while I healed and worked. 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."
However, Wright also says this last alleged altercation left him no choice but to call the police. "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," he recalls. "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."
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In court documents filed a few weeks ago, Heard claims that on May 21 she and Depp got into a heated altercation that turned violent, resulting in him inflicting a bruise near her eye caused by Depp allegedly throwing a cell phone at her face.
The LAPD told ET that the NYPD received a third-party call that Heard was involved in a domestic dispute that day. When police responded to the incident, however, the department said they found no evidence of a crime. Heard claimed it was only a verbal dispute at the time, and did not mention Depp's name, nor was he present when police arrived to the scene, according to the LAPD.
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Several of Depp's family and friends have spoken out in defense of the 52-year-old actor's character following Heard being granted a temporary restraining order against her husband. Depp's divorce attorney, Laura Wasser, also claims in court documents that Heard is "attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse."
"Whether we loved him or not has nothing to do with it," Wright concludes in the op-ed. "When it comes to violence, 'love' is no longer part of the equation."
Wright also took to social media to defend Heard earlier this week. Here's what he had to say: