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'Her pillow was covered with blood': Heard's friend writes an essay detailing Johnny Depp's alleged abuse

9The FIX 9The FIX 8/06/2016

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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's ongoing he said/she said divorce battle is becoming a mega-round of everybody said.

Amber's photographer friend iO Tillett Wright has now joined the chorus, penning a scathing essay for Refinery29 in which she details various incidents of Johnny's alleged abuse of the model-turned-actress.

"I called 911 because she never would," iO begins. "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."

Amber, 30, filed for divorce from the 52-year-old Oscar nominated actor on May 23, later accusing him of being physically abusive during their four-year relationship. Despite iO's "911" comment, there had been no report of abuse until after Amber sought a restraining order on May 27.

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According to iO, the alleged abuse began 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.

"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."

This appears to be the December 2015 incident that Amber mentioned in her May 27 request for a restraining order.

iO, who is a lesbian, reportedly has had an up-and-down relationship with the actor. Last year, Page Six reported that when Johnny and Amber were dating, he allowed her to stay in his guest house despite the fact that he "doesn't like iO". The source added that he was concerned she and his bisexual then-girlfriend "were spending too much time together for it to be comfortable".

"He had been my friend, too, a person I loved very much," iO wrote of Johnny. "A person I had once referred to as a brother. A person with whom I had laughed at the absurdity of the media and their spicy claims about my role in their family.

"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."

Meanwhile, Johnny's Oscar-winning Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas co-star Benicio Del Toro has spoken in his defense.

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"What I know, there's a lot of trouble from the girl that sounds a little manipulative," Benicio told the ' Confidential, referring to Johnny as "a nice guy, very caring, very smart".

"It sounds a little bit like there's something really twisted about that girl...but I don't know the specifics.

"It seems the fact that his mom passed away and she filed for divorce two days later and then she wants money and she's saying she got hit, it's almost like, wait, I saw them not too long ago," he added.

"Maybe it was January, a dinner for the Oscars or something like that. He was there with her and they were fine."

And adding yet another voice to the mix, Amber's ex Tasya van Ree has responded to reports of the star's 2009 arrest for domestic assault after she grabbed her then-girlfriend and hit her arm in a Seattle airport.

"In 2009, Amber was wrongfully accused for an incident that was misinterpreted and over-sensationalized by two individuals in a power position," Tasya said in a statement. "I recount hints of misogynistic attitudes toward us which later appeared to be homophobic when they found out we were domestic partners and not just 'friends'.

"Charges were quickly dropped and she was released moments later. It's disheartening that Amber's integrity and story are being questioned yet again. Amber is a brilliant, honest and beautiful woman and I have the utmost respect for her. We shared 5 wonderful years together and remain close to this day."

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