EXCLUSIVE: 'He's fine' - Johnny Depp's sister speaks out about divorce from Amber Heard to fuel claims that ex-wife was 'hated' by his sisters and late mom

  • Christi Dembrowski is first member of Depp's tight-knit family to speak since shock announcement that Amber Heard is divorcing him 
  • Heard, 30, posted papers just three days after his mother Betty Sue died
  • Depp was close to his mother and is close to both his sisters 
  • Dembrowski also said the family was coping 'fine' after loss of Betty Sue, 81, who had been suffering a long illness 
  • Reports have emerged of tensions between Heard and the rest of the Depp family and also difficulties over her lesbian friendships
  • Depp, 52, and Heard did not have a pre-nup and he now faces paying out as much as $50 million for the 15-month marriage 
  • See more news and updates on Johnny Depp's divorce from Amber Heard 

Johnny Depp's sister has broken the family's silence over his split from Amber Heard to tell Daily Mail Online: 'He's fine.'

Christi Dembrowski became the first person close to Depp to discuss his state in the wake of the shock divorce after just 15 months.

Heard filed her divorce papers just three days after Depp's mother, Betty Sue, 81, died after a long illness.

He, his mother and his sisters had a close bond but Dembrowski told Daily Mail Online the family was coping 'fine' with the loss.

However the decision of a family member to speak positively about Depp's state after the divorce will fuel suggestions that his mother and sisters did not get on with Heard.

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Speaking out: Christi Dembroski, who was pictured on set with Depp in 2014 and runs his production company, broke the family's silence to Daily Mail Online

Over: Depp and Heard on the red carpet in Palm Springs in January. Sources say their marriage was in trouble months before that

Family feud: Johnny's beloved mother Betty Sue Palmer was by his side as he received a Walk of Fame star in 1999. Amber's pals say the actress helped oversee Betty's nurses and visited her mother-in-law in hospital. Hours later his spokesman issued a statement criticizing 'lies' told about his private life

Her decision to file for divorce as he deals with bereavement was already seen in that light.

But it came against a background of claims that Depp's decision to move his mother into the Los Angeles compound her shared with Heard had hit their relationship.

Depp, 52, had never made any secret of his closeness to his mother and his sisters. Dembrowski, 55, runs his production company, Infinitum Nihil and is frequently seen with him on set.


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are getting divorced in a state which divides martial assets using the 'community property' method.

This means a judge will simply divide a couple's joint assets equally while allowing the individuals to retain inherited and premarital assets.

Forbes reports that Depp made $30million in 2015 alone, which suggests Heard would be line for a minimum of $15million.

California is one of only eight U.S. states that uses this type of settlement.  

It would mean that the bulk of Depp's $400m fortune would not be taken into account, it was reported by Entertainment Tonight.

Among his most lucrative roles were 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the first Alice in Wonderland film a year earlier which earned him $55m and $50m respectively. 

Heard, meanwhile, is estimated to be worth between $4.5m and $9m. 

In 2015, she was reportedly paid $416,667 for her role in The Adderall Diaries. 

Among her official production credits are The Rum Diary, the movie on which Depp met Heard.

He also has another sister, Debbi Depp, who lives in Kentucky.

Reports of tension between his family and his new wife had surfaced during his brief marriage but became more prominent in the light of the split.

TMZ reported that Dembrowski, their mother, their other sister Debbi and his two teenage children by Vanessa Paradis all 'hated' Heard.

Sources told the website that they believed Heard would 'treat him like c***', and that his mother particularly believed his younger wife was using him to boost her career.

Depp's spokesman had issued a statement about the end of the marriage saying that there had been 'lies' about his person life.

'Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life,' it said.

It did not address which of the stories about the end of the marriage were lies - but was issued after a source close to Heard spoke to People magazine to describe the actress as a devoted daughter-in-law to Betty Sue.

'Amber was by Betty Sue's side during this illness,' the source said. 'And regularly visited her in the hospital.'

Neither Heard or Depp have been seen in public since she filed the divorce papers.

Her close friend, the gay rights activist and photographer Io Tillett Wright has also not been seen at either of her homes in New York and California.

Her close friendship with Wright was said to be one of the causes of tension between her and Depp.

The marriage is now claimed to have been in trouble almost since the beginning, with  reports that Depp and Heard have been experiencing relationship difficulties since May last year.

It is believed the pair decided to give themselves a year 'to patch up' their relationship in a bid to save the embarrassment of having to end a three-month union.

And sources close to the couple told Page Six that their marriage became shaky as Depp grew tired of Heard's lifestyle.

Headed home: A somber looking Lily-Rose Depp arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday, the day before her 17th birthday and three days after her dad's wife Amber Heard filed for divorce

At his side: Christi Dembrowski was pictured beside Depp in 1995 at a party for the film Ed Wood in Cannes. She is close to Depp, and was said to side with his mother against Heard

Key role: Christi Dembrowski is president of Infinitum Nihil, Depp's production company

Lesbian friend: Io Tillett Wrgiht (left) was close to Heard throughout the marriage. She has not been seen at either of her homes in California and New York

Among the sources of tension were openly-bisexual Heard's lesbian friends. 

The source said: 'Their relationship turned sour almost immediately. She’s really young and affected by the industry and "the scene" at times. Don’t get me wrong; she’s a cool chick, but Johnny doesn’t tolerate that.'

The intervention by her aunt came after Depp's model daughter Lily-Rose was pictured for the first time since the shock announcement of her father's divorce.

Lily-Rose who celebrates her 17th birthday this weekend is the eldest of Depp's two children with French actress, singer and model Vanessa Paradis, from whom he split in 2012 after 14 years together.

The teenager was seen walking through Los Angeles airport arrivals area clutching a white cell phone.

Heard filed for divorce on Monday citing 'irreconcilable differences and asking for spousal support.

However, Depp filed a response on Wednesday in documents obtained by ET, where he asked the court to not award spousal support to his ex.

He also listed that the dated of separation be changed to 'to be determined' after Heard claimed it was May 22, the day before she filed for divorce.

The actor also requested separation of certain assets, including 'miscellaneous jewelry' and earnings made after their separation.

The now-estranged couple first met on the set of their 2011 movie The Rum Diary, and wed on his private island in the Bahamas on February 7 last year.

Heard, 30, submitted court documents to end their 15-month marriage on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking spousal support, triggering a battle over the star's $400 million fortune.

However, the Black Mass actor has already fired back his own request for the judge to deny spousal support. He has also requested she pay her own attorney fees.

They did not have a prenup, and under California family law Heard is legally entitled to half of his earnings during their marriage.


Heard, 30, submitted court documents to end her 15-month marriage to Depp on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking spousal support

JUNE 2012

The pair, who met on set of 2011 The Rum Diary, are romantically linked shortly after Depp's split from his from long-term love Vanessa Paradis. Amber, who is bisexual, previously dated Tasya van Ree.


Amber called off their romance, but Johnny wooed her back with a personally penned poem and a bouquet of roses every day throughout the month of September to convince her to give him another chance, Page Six reported at the time. His plan eventually worked and she flew out to his private island, Little Hall's Pond Cay in the Bahamas, for a mini vacation.

MAY 2013

The couple move in together after Depp forked out on a $16 million ranch in Nashville, Tennessee, as a love nest for his new girlfriend.


Amber is spotted with a black pearl and diamond ring on her engagement finger at LA restaurant Ago and friends later confirmed they plan to wed. 

APRIL 2014 

Johnny raves about his fiance. He told Today.com: 'She's a wonderful girl. She's sharp as a tack. A southern belle and sweet as can be, and very good for me.' Later that month he reveals he wants to have more children. He told Entertainment Tonight: 'I love kids. I have two, and they're perfect. Man, I'd make 100. But I've got the easy gig, right?' 


Johnny appeared drunk at the Hollywood Film Awards, slurring his way through an embarrassing speech on stage. Amber was apparently mortified with the sloppy display, with sources saying she thought he'd made a 'fool' of himself.


Insiders claim their relationship is in trouble. A source close to the pair told People: 'Johnny is crazy in love with Amber, but there is turmoil in the relationship.'


The pair press ahead with their marriage, legally tying the knot with her at their home in Los Angeles on February 3 so his ailing mother can attend. The following weekend, they exchanged vows again on his private island in the Bahamas, Little Hall's Pond Cay.

MARCH 2015

Johnny injures his hand in Australia and returns to the U.S. for surgery, delaying production of the film. 

APRIL 2015 

Johnny fails to show up on the Australian set of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales', where he was expected to resume filming. Production on the movie has been reshuffled so they can work without him.

Sources claim Johnny and Amber have started 'fighting a lot', but they are pictured together in Brisbane, Australia, on April 20. 

MAY 2015

Australian authorities threaten to kill Johnny and Amber's dogs. Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has revealed they just 50 hours to remove his two Yorkshire terrier pooches from the country or they will be 'destroyed. The pair failed to adhere to quarantine laws and instead 'snuck' the pooches in on a private jet. The next day, Depp jets the two pet dogs back to the US. 

JUNE 2015

Amber  describes herself as 'fiercely independent.' When asked about married life, she told Elle magazine: 'Nothing is a dramatic change. We've been together for a long time now, so it's been a fairly organic process. I have a fiercely independent spirit. I fall in love [with Johnny] again and again.' She added: 'We have a fairly normal, um [relationship]. I guess, we do our best. He has his life, and I have mine, and our challenge is to be able to find time to be together. We're very happy. Very.'

JULY 2015

Amber is charged over smuggling her dogs into Australia. She is summoned to appear in court in Queensland after illegally smuggled their Yorkshire terriers into the country on a private plane. She is charged with two counts of illegal importation and one count of producing a false document after breaking the country's quarantine laws. 

APRIL 2016

Amber Heard's dog smuggling charges are dropped after she pleads guilty to supplying false documents. Amber and her 'Black Mass' actor husband attended Southport Magistrate's Court in Queensland, where she admitted to lying on her arrival card on entering the country. Her lawyer told the court she was under the impression Johnny's staff had dealt with the two dog's travel forms when they arrived in April. He also claimed that Amber had 'nothing in it' to fill in the forms incorrectly and that it was a 'terrible mistake'.

MAY 25, 2016

Johnny Depp appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote his new film Alice Through The Looking Glass. He jokes about the dog fiasco, comparing Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to Hannibal Lecter. He give no indication of marriage troubles, nor does he reveal his mother recently passed away. 

MAY 26, 2016

News breaks that Amber has filed for divorce from Johnny after just 15 months of marriage. The 30-year-old actress filed a divorce petition on May 23, citing irreconcilable differences, according to TMZ. The publication claims Amber wrote in the divorce documents that the pair separated on May 22, which was just two days after the 52-year-old actor's mother Betty Sue Palmer passed away.

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