Amber Heard claimed to have post-traumatic stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of ‘spouse violence’ from her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
The claim was made by Dawn Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist, who also said that Depp suffered from “obsessive control” issues and “obsessive jealousy” towards Heard during their relationship.
Hughes was the first witness to be called by Heard’s lawyers after Depp sued for defamation by his ex-wife.
Hughes said he diagnosed Heard as having PTSD after performing four separate tests over 29 hours and checking therapy records.
“Those tests allowed me to make a definite diagnosis that he had PTSD,” he said, as quoted by AFPWednesday (4/5).
“There is significant support for the fact that there was partner violence in this relationship,” Hughes told a jury of seven hearing the case in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
Hughes’ findings contradicted Depp’s witness, Shannon Curry, who said Heard did not have PTSD.
Curry, who is also a clinical and forensic psychologist, expressed his opinion that the 36-year-old actress, who stars in the film Aquaman, has borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
Disputingly, Hughes said Heard did not suffer from the disorder. Hughes said Heard had reported a number of violent acts by Depp and a number of incidents of sexual assault.
“He (Depp) pushed him, he threw Heard, he slapped him with the front of his hand and the back of his hand. Depp choked him, slammed him against the wall, pushed him until Heard fell. He kicked him from behind,” Hughes explained.
Hughes will be cross-examined by Depp’s lawyers on Wednesday US time.
Previously, the judge who heard the defamation lawsuit rejected Heard’s lawyer’s request to drop the case.
They claim Depp has failed to prove that he was slandered by Heard’s writings.
“The court had to grant the motion to strike because the irrefutable evidence is that he, in fact, abused Amber,” said Heard’s attorney, Ben Rottenborn.
Depp’s attorney, Benjamin Chew, asked the judge to overrule the motion, claiming that Heard was the real ‘perpetrator’.
Such motions to dismiss are common in legal proceedings, but are rarely granted.
The judge said sufficient evidence had been presented so far to allow the case to proceed, and he would leave it up to a jury to decide.
Depp filed a defamation complaint in the US after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020 that he filed against The Sun for calling him a ‘wife-beater’.
Depp felt wronged by the opinion section Heard wrote in The Washington Post in December 2018. In that article, Heard described himself as a public figure representing domestic violence (KDRT).
Although Heard never mentioned Depp in his writings, the Pirates of the Caribbean star sued because he thought Heard implied Depp was a perpetrator of domestic violence. No doubt, he also asked for compensation of US $ 50 million.
Heard also sued back, demanding $100 million and claiming she suffered physical abuse and abuse at the hands of her ex-husband.
Depp has denied ever physically abusing Heard and has claimed at a libel trial that took place in Virginia that it was Heard who often did the violence.