Makeup company Milani Cosmetics published a video on TikTok that appeared to contradict the narrative Amber Heard’s attorneys presented in actor Johnny Depp’s defamation case. But now a source close to Heard says the attorney’s words are being interpreted incorrectly.
Heard’s attorneys claimed in their opening statements that she used the Milani Cosmetics Conceal + Perfect All-in-One Correcting Kit during her relationship with Depp to hide bruises that her attorney said were caused by domestic violence.
“This was what she used,” attorney J. Ben Rottenborn said in his opening statement. “She became very adept at it. You’re going to hear the testimony from Amber about how she had to mix the different colors for the different days of the bruises as they developed in the different coloring and how she would use these to touch those up to be able to cover those.”
Rottenborn and another of Heard’s attorneys, Elaine Bredehoft, held up the makeup kit in court while talking about Heard’s covering her alleged bruising. While they did not mention the brand or the kit by name, the gold letters “MILANI” were visible on the front of the product they held, and Milani Cosmetics later said it was one of its products.
“This is what Amber carried in her purse for the entire relationship with Johnny Depp,” Bredehoft said while holding the kit. “She’s an actor. Can you honestly think she would’ve left her apartment ever without makeup? Do you think that she ever would’ve wanted other people to see her bruises and her cuts?”
But Heard filed for divorce from Depp on May 23, 2016, and the correcting kit was released in December 2017, according to Milani Cosmetics.
Milani Cosmetics even posted a TikTok video, which has been viewed more than 5 million times, showing video from the courtroom juxtaposed with what appear to be internal documents about when the kit was released.
“Milani Cosmetics can confirm that the palette in question — the Milani Cosmetics Conceal + Perfect All-in-One Correcting Kit — did not launch until December 2017,” a spokesperson for Milani Cosmetics said in a statement. “Our video was to verify the claim that our eagle-eyed and loyal fanbase made about the product named in the trial.”
The company added that it is “not taking a formal stance on the trial, evidence or future outcome of the case.”
A source familiar with the situation who’s close to Heard said her attorneys were simply using the Milani kit as “an example of the kind of makeup that she used,” adding that “it’s a sad day when a makeup company uses that as an opportunity to make light of what victims of domestic violence have to do to hide the results of the abuse they endure.”
Depp is suing Heard alleging defamation over an essay she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she said she had become the “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Although the article never mentions Depp by name, his attorneys said it indirectly refers to abuse allegations she made against him during their 2016 divorce. Heard is countersuing Depp seeking $100 million in damages.
The trial in Fairfax County, Virginia, is expected to take weeks.
Both Depp and Heard have testified that the other had been violent with them during their relationship.
Evidence presented in court shows Depp appearing to threaten Heard with violence, and a recording of Heard includes her making statements like: “I was hitting you. I was not punching you.”
In May 2016, Heard was granted a protective order after she claimed Depp hit her in the face with a cellphone. Depp denied getting violent with Heard. In court filings, Heard claimed she struck Depp only in self-defense or in defense of her sister, according to The New York Times.
The case inspired a frenzy among onlookers on social media, many of whom have rallied around Depp. Milani Cosmetics’ TikTok video further stirred up fans online.
Fans of Depp lauded the video as irrefutable evidence that the defense would lie to make him look bad, but others criticized the company for getting involved, suggesting the company was chasing the clout of the high-profile case.
“not y’all calling her out like that, this is one of the many reasons y’all are one of my favorite brands,” a comment with more than 164,000 likes reads.
The company replied with a laughing emoji and a message saying, “We are here to provide the facts of the case.”
On Twitter, some suggested that the kit had been made available in 2016 and that it was possible that Heard could have been given an early sample of the product. Others argued that the couple would have been broken up by then anyway.
But many posted that they felt uneasy about the makeup brand’s wading into the fray and suggested it had done so for attention.
“corporations getting invovled in this trial for clout @milanicosmetics. i wish nothing but the worst for you,” one person tweeted.
Another suggested that the prosecution was merely giving an example of what Heard might have used but said Milani Cosmetics’ response was “shameful.”
“The way ppl are so anti-capitalism then fangirl over a brand like milanicosmetics for doing something so wildly inappropriate and psychotic against a potential DV victim for likes and clout is disgusting,” one person wrote.
Still, some took the Milani Cosmetics TikTok video as such overwhelming evidence that they recorded themselves going to the courthouse to tell the prosecution about it.
TikTok user Nuha, who goes by @Devotedly.Yours on the platform, posted a video of herself saying she was at the Virginia courthouse, and she showed herself appearing to walk the halls in search of Depp’s lawyers.
She then showed an email she claims she sent alerting Depp’s attorneys to the Milani Cosmetics TikTok video. NBC News has reached out to Nuha for comment.
“Now we sit back and see if it’s even useful at all,” Nuha wrote, with a crossed-fingers emoji.
Although she posted a follow-up video saying she hadn’t heard back from the attorneys, she said she hoped they used it.