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Heard’s first witness was Dr. Dawn Hughes, a New York-based clinical and forensic psychologist who is an expert about domestic violence.
Dr. Hughes said that women in abusive relationships get into them for the right reasons but slowly their partner turns.
She said it was like ‘sucking the oxygen out of the room and before you know it you’re suffocating.’ Dr. Hughes said that many victims feel shame for the abuse which has a ‘compounding effect’ on them.
She said it was like a ‘vicious cycle of trying to figure out how can I be with this man who hurts me and yet I love him so much.’
Heard appeared to choke up as Dr. Hughes explained why women stay in violent relationships.
She said: ‘For the loving man, stay for the man who is kind, (the man she) had hoped and promised for their future. Some people stay because they have economic reasons, some people have children in common and don’t want to deprive their children of a father.
‘The most dangerous time for a woman is when she’s leaving – her likelihood of being killed increases substantially. Staying keeps her safe.’
Amber Heard appeared close to tears as her team’s first witness testified and explained why women stay in violent relationships
Heard appeared to choke up as Dr. Hughes explained why women stay in violent relationships
Dr. Hughes said that women in abusive relationships get into them for the right reasons but slowly their partner turns
Heard’s first witness was Dr. Dawn Hughes, a New York-based clinical and forensic psychologist who is an expert about domestic violence
Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft asked Dr. Hughes whether digital penetration of the vagina counted as abuse – such conduct has not been raised in the trial.
Dr. Hughes said yes if it was non consensual.
Bredehoft asked if the same applied to penetration by inanimate objects – that has also not been raised at the trial, but Heard’s lawyers claimed in their opening that Depp sexually assaulted her with a bottle.
Heard looked on, stony-faced as Dr. Hughes said if there was no consent, it was abuse.
Depp’s lawyers have accused Heard of screaming at him during their rows but Dr. Hughes said that was a normal reaction to being victimized.
She said: ‘For women who feel they need to preserve their sense of autonomy they will yell and fight back.’
Women could ‘absolutely’ use violence in an abusive relationship but it was mostly for self defense or to ‘fight back.’
Dr. Hughes told the court she conducted a forensic evaluation of Heard involving examining documents in the case and testing and interviewing Heard herself for 22 hours in person and twice on Zoom.
In addition, Dr. Hughes spoke with Heard’s doctors and her late mother.
Dr. Hughes said that her conclusion was that Heard’s account was ‘consistent about what we know about Intimate Partner Violence.’
In Heard’s case her abuse was marked by: physical violence, psychological aggression, sexual violence, coercive control and ‘surveillance behaviors’, Dr. Hughes told the jury.
Dr. Hughes said that Heard demonstrated ‘very clearly traumatic effects’ from three statements made by Depp’s lawyers – which appeared to refer to claims by the Depp legal team that the case is a ‘hoax’.
Dr. Hughes said that she diagnosed Heard with PTSD and the cause was ‘intimate partner violence by Mr. Depp.’
This came after Heard‘s lawyers made a last-ditch effort to have the case dismissed, only for the judge to deny their request.
Before starting their case, Amber Heard’s lawyers asked Judge Penney Azcarate to dismiss the case, saying Johnny Depp had not proven his claims.
Judge Azcarate denied the request regarding two statements in the Washington Post op-ed because there was a ‘scintilla’ of evidence a jury may find that they were defamatory.
The judge held off ruling on a third statement in the op-ed because the relevant evidence had not been brought in yet.
The request sparked angry exchanges in court with both sides strongly making their arguments.
Heard’s lawyer Benjamin Rotternborn said that if the court agrees that Depp abused Heard ‘even one time, she wins – it’s that simple.’ Rottenborn said that the evidence Depp abused Heard physically and verbally was ‘overwhelming and undisputed.’
As Rottenborn argued, the defamation claim should be stricken because Depp failed to establish ‘falsity of statement’ during his case in chief.
In a fiery response Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew said that Depp had ‘come forward with multiple credible witnesses, documents and authentic tape recordings of Miss Heard herself.’
The evidence satisfied all ‘requisite elements’ and even went the ‘extra mile of showing Miss Heard physically abused him.’
Raising his voice, Chew said: ‘She’s the abuser in this courtroom!’
Before starting their case, Amber Heard’s lawyers asked Judge Penney Azcarate to dismiss the case, saying Johnny Depp had not proven his claims
Amber Heard’s lawyers asked Judge Penney Azcarate to dismiss the case, saying Johnny Depp had not proven his claims
In a fiery response Depp’s lawyer Benjamin Chew said that Depp had ‘come forward with multiple credible witnesses, documents and authentic tape recordings of Miss Heard herself’
Judge Penney Azcarate denied the request regarding two statements in the Washington Post op-ed because there was a ‘scintilla’ of evidence a jury may find that they were defamatory
Heard’s lawyer Rottenborn argued that if the case does move ahead, the headline of the op-ed should be stricken as Heard did not write it.
The headline on the online version reads: ‘I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.’
Rottenborn also claimed that Depp had failed to prove that Heard acted with ‘actual malice’ in writing the article, the test required for a defamation case.
Rottenborn told the court it was a ‘gatekeeper of the First Amendment’ and should dismiss the case.
Depp’s lawyer Chew said that the ‘most convincing and most disgusting’ evidence was from emails sent by the ACLU to the Washington Post pitching the idea of the piece.
In the email one ACLU executive told a Washington Post editor that it was written by Heard who ‘as you may recall was beaten up during her brief marriage to Johnny Depp.’
Chew claimed that the ACLU ‘helped her (Heard) to lie about it’ afterwards and called the civil rights group a ‘co-conspirator with Miss Heard’ that played a ‘frankly reprehensible role’ in the case.
The lawyer claimed that Heard told the ACLU to ‘put it back in, make it more spicy’, referring to an allusion to Depp
Without that the piece would have ended up in Teen Vogue as ‘no-one was interested in what she had to say unless she was defaming Mr. Depp’, Chew said.
Chew tore into Heard for failing to pay her $7million divorce settlement to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles with half going to each.
Chew said that it was ‘one thing for her to stiff the ACLU’ but it was another to fail to pay the hospital with ‘sick and dying children’.
According to Chew ‘everybody and his grandmother’ knew that Heard was referring to her restraining order against Depp with the op-ed.
He called it ‘just a scam to get $7m from the divorce settlement’ that she ‘pocketed’ instead of giving it to charity as she pledged.’
Chew said, ‘Witness after witness has testified that Miss Heard, far from being a figure representing domestic violence, is in fact a recidivist perpetrator of domestic violence on Mr. Depp and others.’
In response Rottenborn said that Chew ‘wrote that speech for an audience outside the courtroom.’
Speaking of Heard, he said: ‘She’s not the abuser. She and her witnesses will put on even more evidence she suffered at the hands of Mr Depp.’
Amber Heard’s personal nurse took the stand Tuesday as Johnny Depp’s team rested its case
The court heard from Erin Falati, also known as Erin Boerum, the former nurse of Amber Heard who appeared by video deposition.
Under questioning from one of Depp’s lawyers, she walked through her notes of her treatment of Heard, starting with their first meeting in August 2014.
The notes state that Heard ‘reports history of substance abuse including an addiction to cocaine and liquor.’
‘Heard does not smoke but reports she drinks ‘1-3 glasses of red wine a day,’ the notes state.
The notes state: ‘Familial history of substance abuse, both mother and father have abused and become dependent on stimulants.
‘Client admits to a history of anxiety, eating disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, bipolar disorder, codependence issues and occasional insomnia.
‘Client identifies as bisexual, and was married to a female partner prior to current relationship.’
The notes add that Heard had been ‘experiencing increased agitation recently and has had several outbursts of anger and rage. Her mood has been labile.’
Asked what ‘labile’ meant, Falati said: ‘Emotional lability is when emotions spin on a pendulum, you see someone sad and quickly transition to extreme happiness, it’s like a pendulum.’
The court heard from Erin Falati, also known as Erin Boerum, the former nurse of Amber Heard who appeared by video deposition
Under questioning from one of Depp’s lawyers, she walked through her notes of her treatment of Heard, starting with their first meeting in August 2014
Falati told the court she recalled Heard acting like this during the time she treated her.
In another remark from the notes, Falati said: ‘Client expressed concern to husband and Dr Kipper (Depp’s personal doctor) she is nervous about being alone while husband is working (on movie set in London) and expressed she has difficulty dealing with feelings of insecurity and jealousy when not in presence of her husband.’
In a note from August 29, 2014, Falati said that over dinner Heard spoke about her ‘confusion’ because she thought Depp wanted her to ‘eliminate acting career’ and stay home.
Asked if she ever got the impression Depp wanted Heard to stop acting, Falati said: ‘I don’t recall that being a sentiment.’
In Falati’s medical notes from September 2, 2014, she wrote that Heard reported ‘difficulty with jealousy issues and anxiety around fiance’s fame and ability to interact with females often.’
Falati told the court she recalled a ‘general sense of jealousy and anxiety issues cropping up over the years.’
In the medical notes from September 4, 2014, Falati noted that at dinner Heard became ‘frustrated’ with the wait staff over a miscommunication.
Heard calmly repeated herself which caused Falati to reflect on her ‘change in coping mechanism’ as previously Heard’s coping skills involved ‘anger and yelling.’
The court was shown photographs of Heard’s red and bruised face that the actress had sent to her former nurse Erin Falati
Amber Heard’s former nurse has testified that the actress sent her pictures with red marks on her face (pictured) via text messages and was told that she was suicidal
In a note on March 25, 2015, Falati wrote that Heard was ‘concerned about ability to trust fiance following argument’ two days earlier.
Falati told the court she had a ‘generalized memory of there being jealousy and anxiety issues including mistrust within the relationship.’
Depp and Heard are seen in September 2015 in Venice, Italy – the same year a blowout fight in Australia took place
Asked if she recalled Heard thought Depp was ‘cheating on her’, Falati said she didn’t recall that specifically, just a general sense of jealousy.
Another note from December 17, 2015 revealed Falati’s observations about Heard at her Los Angeles penthouse following a fight with Depp.
The notes state that she ‘had visible bright red blood appearing at center of lower lip’ and that it was ‘actively bleeding.’
The medical notes stated: ‘Heard stated it was from injury sustained in an argument between her and her husband.
‘States her head is bruised and she has lost clumps of hair in the altercation.’
The court heard that Falati attended Heard’s 30th birthday at the penthouse on April 21, 2016 where Heard became angry because Depp was late.
The notes of the evening state: ‘Heard appears to laugh and smile when talking to friends but mood turns depressed and affect flat when she is alone or talking with friend Rocky.
‘Heard said: ”I can’t believe (Depp) isn’t here yet. He keeps saying he is on his way but he still hasn’t shown up”’
Depp had been attending a two-hour crunch meeting with his accountants and turned up at 10.15pm.
The following day Heard went to the Coachella music festival with her friends as a birthday trip.
In a note on May 11, 2016, Falati wrote about visiting Heard at home.
The note states: ‘Client admits to illicit drug use, and states she ingested mushrooms and MDMA simultaneously and vomited and was ‘high for at least 24 hours straight.’
‘(Falati) reminded client that illicit drug use will not be tolerated by medical staff and that any medications or drugs that are not prescribed can cause adverse effects with her prescribed medication.
‘Client laughed and also reported using illicit drugs (mushrooms and MDMA) on March 9 at home with a high profile male acquaintance. Client reported that her husband was not aware of the male visitor, not her illicit drug use.’
Asked if Heard ever spoke about her substance use before, Falati said that she did when they first met.
Mike Spindler, a forensic accountant called by the Depp team, testified that Depp lost out of $40m in earnings as a result of the claims by Heard
Of that $20.2m was from the loss of Pirates of the Caribbean 6, where Depp would have played the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, after agent’s fees were deducted
Mike Spindler, a forensic accountant called by the Depp team, testified that Depp lost out of $40m in earnings as a result of the claims by Heard.
Of that $20.2m was from the loss of Pirates of the Caribbean 6, where Depp would have played the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, after agent’s fees were deducted.
Between the Washington Post op-ed being published in December 2018 and October 2020, Depp lost out on another $20m from other films he didn’t appear in.
That led to total losses of $40,317,237, Spindler claimed.
Meanwhile, legions of fans have come to Depp’s defense after hearing his testimony last week, with a petition calling for his ex-wife to be axed from upcoming sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom reaching three million signatures Monday.
Supporters of the actor are pleading with filmmakers DC and Warner Bros to ditch the actress from the sequel, Aquaman 2, which is due to be released next March.
Heard starred as Mera in the original film in 2018 alongside Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman.
Critics believe she should suffer the same fate Depp did when he was dropped by Disney in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean – after Heard’s op-ed.
‘I will not be going to view Aquaman 2 movie if Amber is playing the role,’ one fan tweeted. ‘I love Jason Momoa, I can’t support a project that fires the victim and kept the abuser in their films.’
Another said: ‘I don’t care if Amber Heard’s Aquaman 2 screen time is reduced to 10min. I won’t watch it until they reduce it to 0.’
Heard is countersuing for $100million. Up until now she has watched on as the actor has made multiple allegations about her alleged behavior during their tumultuous relationship.
A petition calling for Amber Heard to be axed from the second Aquaman movie has passed three million signatures
Heard featured as Mera in the 2018 movie Aquaman, and is set to reprise her role in the sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
If the petition, which is already rapidly rising, reaches 4,500,000 signatures it will become one of the top signed on Charge.org.
It states: ‘Amber Heard has been exposed as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp.
‘In his lawsuit, Johnny Depp describes many incidents of domestic abuse that he suffered at the hands of his (then) wife Amber Heard, including one incident where she punched him twice in the face and another where she shattered his finger with a vodka bottle, and his finger had to be surgically reattached.
‘He will bear the scar from that for the rest of his life.’
It continues: ‘Men are victims of domestic abuse, just like women. This must be recognized, and action must be taken to prevent a known abuser from being celebrated within the entertainment industry.
‘Do the right thing. Remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2.’
The A-list trial in Virginia, started on April 11 and is set to last another three weeks.