Debbie Depp: What She’s Like And Her Abuse Allegations

Debbie Depp is Johnny Depp's older sister. She was set to testify as a witness for Amber Heard in the pair's recent defamation trial.

By Erika Hanson | Updated

At the age of 59, Johnny Depp has managed to remain a household name for decades. But what about his sister, Debbie Depp? Before 2021, most people would not have known the name of the sister to one of the world’s most famous actors, but her participation in her brother and Amber Heard’s highly publicized trial has led everyone to ask the question: Who exactly is Debbie Depp, and here is what we know. 


Debbie Depp (second from the right in the above pic) is the oldest sister of Johnny Depp. Born on the 10th of May, 1956, she is seven years older than her famous sibling. The pair have another brother, the oldest of the clan, Daniel Depp, age 68, and another sister, Christi Dembrowski, age 61.

The Depp family was born in Kentucky. However, their parents, Betty Sue, a waitress, and Christopher Depp, a civil engineer moved frequently in those early years before they made a permanent residency in Miramar, Florida. In 1979, when Debbie Depp would have been 23 years old, her parents divorced, but it also should be noted that in most reports like this one from Distractify, Christopher is listed as her stepfather, which would make Debbie Johnny’s half-sister if correct.

Unlike the Pirates of the Caribbean star, Debbie Depp has no fame to her name and lives a relatively average life. She is believed to live somewhere in Kentucky, with her husband, Richard Rassel. Sticking away from the camera, Debbie made a career for herself as a teacher.

If Debbie Depp is on social media, she keeps her accounts unknown. Her brother has a net worth of $150 million, but like most else, her’s is unknown. She is likely enjoying her privacy.


Debbie Depp
Christi Dembrowski and Johnny Depp

According to reports from one of her siblings, Debbie Depp grew up in a troubled home. Her sister, Christi Dembrowski would be the one to report on this last spring during the Depp/Heard defamation trial. Taking to the stand, Christi alleged that their mother, Betty Sue, repeatedly beat her children.

According to reports from Insider, Christi recalled how she and Johnny would “run and hide” from their mom. She also made note of the violence their mom would unleash on their father at the time. But the main reason for revealing this troubling account wasn’t just to gain pity or attention, it was to aid her brother in his case.

Betty Depp’s famous brother was suing Amber Heard for defaming his name in an op-ed piece she had written for The Washington Post in 2016 following the couple’s divorce. In it, she accused Johnny (though without ever really naming him) of domestic abuse during their relationship. In the defamation trial, Johnny asserted his innocence, vowing that he never struck Amber nor any other woman.

It was Christi Dembrowski that helped in Johnny’s witness character case. When opening up about the treatment she and her siblings received from their mother, Christi was questioned as to whether Johnny ever struck back. She replied saying “no,” he never hit his mother despite what may have happened in the home. 

Furthermore, Christi’s testimony made it appear that the abuse happened when she and Johnny were little. Since these two were the youngest of the siblings, there is no telling whether or not Debbie Depp was a part of this abuse as well. For all we know, she may have been moved out of the family’s home by the time this occurred. 

Within her reports, Christi also noted that their mother “softened” as she aged. One would assume this was surely the case, as before opening up about the apparent violence, Johnny Depp never spoke ill of his mother. In fact, he was often photographed with his mother on red carpets, and even has her name tattooed on his arm. 

Betty Sue passed away at the age of 81 in May 2016 following a long-lasting illness. At the time, Johnny opened up about his mother’s passing with Vanity Fair. Unbeknownst to most at the time, he may have actually hinted at the possible abuse he suffered as a child when he called his mother, “mean” but “funny.” 


Debbie Depp

While Christi Dembrowski took to the stands to support her brother in his trial against Amber Heard, his other sister, Debbie Depp appeared ready to testify against him. Last May, Newsweek broke the news that Amber Heard’s list of witnesses included his oldest sister. However, she never ended up being a witness in the end. 

There is no telling why Debbie Depp never ended up testifying. But because her name appeared on Amber Heard’s list of witnesses, many were quick to assume that this must have meant she and her brother are not on good terms. On the other hand, it looks as if Johnny and his other sister have remained close through the years.

When testifying, Christi referred to herself as Johnny’s manager, asserting that the two had always been close. In fact, pictures circulating from DailyMail show pictures of the siblings through the years. However, no photos of Johnny and Debbie Depp can be found.


After a long, heavily followed trial, the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial would come to an end – without testimony from Debbie Depp. In the end, the jurors found both parties guilty of demanding each other. This meant that Johnny won all three of his claims, but was only awarded $10.4 million out of the $50 million he was seeking in damages.

The trial is now officially over, and Johny Depp has given little insight into some of the personal revelations made throughout the process. In the past, Johnny was not known to open up about Debbie Depp, and that appears to remain the case. Whether or not the two have a good relationship remains much of a mystery.