FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) Actor Amber Heard suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder due to violence she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband Johnny Depp, including multiple forms of sexual assault, a psychologist testified Tuesday.
The sexual assaults included being forced to have oral sex and having Depp penetrate her with a liquor bottle, psychologist Dawn Hughes told jurors during Depp’s libel trial against Heard. He accuses her of falsely claiming in a newspaper article that she was the victim of domestic violence.
Hughes’ testimony contradicts that of a psychologist hired by Depp’s attorneys, who said Heard was faking her symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered from borderline and histrionic personality disorders. Hughes disputed that Heard suffers from a personality disorder.
Hughes was the first witness to take the stand on Heard’s behalf after Depp’s lawyers dropped their case Tuesday morning.
Hughes said many of the abuse cases are confirmed, including Depp’s apologies and confessions to Heard and confessions he made to friends in text messages about his bad behavior when he drinks. In some cases, Heard told her therapists about the abuse simultaneously, Hughes said.
Depp has said that he never physically assaulted Heard, and that she was the aggressor who routinely beat him and threw things at him during their relationship.
Hughes said in her testimony that Heard acknowledged that she sometimes pushed and pushed Depp, berated him and insulted his parenting.
But Hughes said there is a difference in the violence when a smaller person attacks a larger person, and that Depp’s violence was intimidating and threatened her safety, but Heard’s violence didn’t have the same effect on Depp.
READ MORE: Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Daily Trial Highlights
“That’s just physics; that’s just proportional force,” she said.
Much of the violence, Hughes said, stemmed from Depp’s obsessive jealousy. He insisted that she avoid nude scenes, if she worked at all, and accused her of having affairs with actors Billy Bob Thornton and James Franco. If she was working on a movie, Depp would call the director and others on set and say he had “eyes” there that would report him if she was fraternizing inappropriately, Hughes said.
And Heard, who identifies as bisexual according to the treatment notes introduced during the trial, was also scrutinized in her interactions with women. Hughes said that Depp once hand-invaded Heard in anger after witnessing Heard’s interactions with a woman.
“Amber was charged with women beating her, and she was accused of men beating her,” Hughes said.
Heard blinked away the tears, and her lips and chin trembled at times as Hughes described the abuse.
Hughes said she based her testimony on 29 hours of interviews with Heard, as well as interviews with her therapists and a review of court documents.
Earlier Tuesday, Depp’s lawyers dropped their case and a judge rejected a request by Heard’s lawyers to dismiss the case. Heard’s attorneys argued that Depp had failed to legally defend his case and that no reasonable jury could rule in his favor.
But the judge, Penney Azcarate, said the standard for dismissing a case at this point in the trial is extraordinarily high, and that the case should continue if Depp has provided even a “snippet” of evidence to substantiate his claims. .
Depp and his lead attorney, Benjamin Chew, patted each other on the shoulder after the judge ruled the case can go ahead.
Chew argued that the jury has a wealth of evidence to conclude that Heard falsely accused Depp of abuse. In fact, he said, the evidence shows that “Mrs. Heard him physically abused. She is the abuser.”
Heard’s attorney, J. Benjamin Rottenborn, said the evidence from the past three weeks is clear that Heard’s allegations of abuse are truthful.
“We haven’t gotten around to taking up our case yet,” he said. “This is all evidence that came in while Plaintiff was checking the playing field.”
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in Fairfax County Circuit Court after Heard wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in December 2018 describing herself as “a public figure who represents domestic violence.” The article never mentions Depp by name, but Depp’s lawyers say he was slandered anyway because it’s a clear reference to allegations of abuse Heard made in 2016, in the midst of the couple’s divorce proceedings.
The judge said on Tuesday she has no opinion on whether the headline of the article in online editions should be part of the libel lawsuit, saying the evidence is unclear at this time as to whether Heard wrote the headline or was responsible for it. for. The online headline reads: “I spoke out against sexual assault – and faced the wrath of our culture. That has to change.”
Hughes will be questioned on Wednesday and Heard is also expected to take the stand on Wednesday.
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