A psychologist testified that actress Amber Heard experienced post-traumatic stress disorder due to the abuse she endured at the hands of her ex-husband Johnny Depp, which included repeated instances of sexual assault.
The sexual assaults included being coerced into performing oral sex and being penetrated by Depp with a liquor bottle, according to the psychologist who testified during Depp's libel trial against Heard. He accuses her of making a false claim about being a victim of domestic violence in a newspaper op-ed piece.
Hughes' testimony contradicts the testimony of a psychologist hired by Depp's attorneys, who claimed Heard feigned post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered from borderline and histrionic personality disorders. Hughes refuted Heard's claim that she has a personality problem.
Hughes was the first witness to testify on Heard's side following the conclusion of Depp's lawyers' case Tuesday morning.
Hughes stated that numerous incidents of abuse had been corroborated, including Depp's apologies and admissions to Heard and entries he made to others in text messages about his poor behavior when he drinks. Hughes stated that heard disclosed the abuse to her therapists contemporaneously in some instances.
Depp has stated that he never physically attacked Heard and that she was the aggressor throughout their relationship, regularly hitting him and throwing items at him.
Hughes testified that Heard admitted in her evidence that she pushed and shoved Depp at times, called him names, and made disparaging remarks about his parenting.
However, Hughes stated that when a more petite person attacks a more prominent person, the violence is different. While Depp's aggression intimidated and threatened her safety, Heard's violence did not have the same effect on Depp.
"That is straightforward physics; that is straightforward proportional force," she stated.
Hughes stated that much of the violence was motivated by Depp's intense jealousy. He requested she abstains from naked scenes and accused her of having affairs with stars Billy Bob Thornton and James Franco. If she worked on a film, Depp would contact the director and other crew members and inform them that he "had eyes" on-site who would report to him if she engaged in improper fraternization, Hughes said.
And Heard, who, according to treatment notes introduced at trial, self-identifies as bisexual, was also scrutinized for her interactions with women. Hughes stated that Depp once manually penetrated Heard out of rage following observing Heard's interactions with a woman.
"Amber was accused of women assaulting her and of men assaulting her," Hughes explained.
Heard blinked back tears as Hughes recalled the torture, and her lips and chin quivered at moments.
Hughes stated in her testimony that she based it on 29 hours of interviews with Heard, conversations with her therapists, and a review of court documents.
Earlier Tuesday, Depp's attorneys rested their case, and a judge denied Heard's attorneys' motion to dismiss the case. Heard's attorneys contended that Depp had not established his claim on the merits and that no reasonable jury could decide in his favor.
However, the judge, Penney Azcarate, stated that the threshold for dismissing a case at this trial stage is exceptionally high. The patient should proceed if Depp has presented even a "scintilla" of evidence substantiating his accusations.
Depp and his primary attorney, Benjamin Chew, congratulated the judge's ruling that the lawsuit could proceed.
Chew contended that the jury has a variety of evidence to decide that Heard made a false accusation against Depp. Indeed, he stated that "the evidence demonstrates that Ms. Heard physically abused him." She is the perpetrator."
Heard's attorney, Benjamin Rottenborn, stated that it is evident that Heard's allegations of abuse are true after three weeks of testimony.
"We haven't been able to present our case yet," he explained. "All of this evidence has come in while plaintiff maintains control of the playing field."
Depp filed a lawsuit against Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court for $US50 million after Heard penned an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in December 2018 characterizing herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse." Although the report mentions Depp by name, Depp's lawyers claim he was defamed since it is an obvious allusion to abuse allegations made by Heard in 2016 during the couple's divorce proceedings.
On Tuesday, the judge stated that she is withholding judgment on whether the article's headline in online editions should be included in the libel complaint, saying that the evidence is unclear as to whether Heard wrote or was responsible for the headline. "I spoke out against sexual violence — and faced our culture's wrath," the internet title reads. This must be changed."
Heard is scheduled to testify on Wednesday.