A psychologist hired by Depp testifies to Heard’s health

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — A forensic psychologist testified Tuesday that actor Amber Heard suffered from borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, as the civil lawsuit between her and ex-husband Johnny Depp continues to wallow in the couple’s personal problems.

Depp is suing Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post referring to herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.” The article does not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers say the article contains “defamation by implication” because it clearly refers to domestic abuse allegations made by Heard when she filed for divorce in 2016.

The psychologist, Shannon Curry, was hired by Depp’s legal team. She said she reached her diagnosis during 12 hours of interviews with Heard, as well as reviewing her mental health records.

Curry also testified that Heard did not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from his relationship with Depp, as Heard claimed.

Depp’s team hope Curry’s testimony will bolster their claim that Heard was the aggressor in the couple’s troubled relationship. Depp has just completed four days on the witness stand and testified to Heard’s “need for conflict” and his tendency to stalk and chase him during arguments when he tried to walk away and disengage.

The two personality disorders are similar, Curry said. Borderline personality is a disease of instability, she said, “driven by an underlying fear of abandonment.” She said people with the disorder would “make desperate attempts to prevent this from happening”.

Evidence presented earlier in the trial includes audio clips of Heard pleading with Depp not to leave and to stay with her after indicating his desire to break up or separate.

She also said that borderline personality disorder “appears to be a predictor for women who implement violence against their partner.” Depp said he was the one who was the victim of domestic violence and that Heard repeatedly punched him and threw things like paint cans and vodka bottles at him.

Histrionic personality disorder, Curry said, is associated with “drama and superficiality” and the need to be the center of attention.

She said there was a correlation in the disorder with people who are physically attractive and “use their looks to get that attention”.

During cross-examination, Heard’s attorneys questioned Curry about potential bias, noting that she dined and drank with Depp and his lawyers at Depp’s before he was hired. Curry said it was just part of the interview process.

And Heard’s lawyers pointed to evidence that Heard reported abuse simultaneously to his therapist and the couple’s marriage counselor.

While the defamation lawsuit is supposed to focus on whether Depp was defamed in the article, the bulk of the lawsuit has focused on ugly details of the couple’s brief marriage. Depp denied ever hitting Heard. Heard’s lawyers say Depp physically and sexually assaulted her and that Depp’s denials lack merit because he was often drunk and high to the point of passing out.

Earlier Tuesday, jurors heard testimony from Tara Roberts, who managed Depp’s private island in the Bahamas. She testified that she had never seen Heard with bruises. His testimony also provided another window into some of Depp’s lifestyle extravaganzas.

She said she was paid $120,000 to manage the island, where Depp worked on a John Deere utility vehicle. The island had a staff of four, including Roberts, although Depp was only there a few times a year. A section of the island’s shoreline has been dubbed Brando Beach, for the actor Depp had collaborated with in the past.

Roberts also testified to an incident when Depp and his family took one last excursion on a yacht before it was sold to author JK Rowling. On cross-examination, Roberts admitted that Depp passed out face first in the sand and arranged for a helicopter to pick up some passengers after the yacht trip became unpleasant.

Earlier testimony focused on activities that took place in the five penthouses Depp owned atop the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles.

The last witness on Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Officer Melissa Saenz, testified about her visit to the apartment building in May 2016, just days before Heard filed for divorce and showed up at a courthouse to asking for a restraining order with a big mark on her face that she says came from a fight with Depp that night.

The officer, giving evidence via recorded deposition, said he saw Heard crying but saw no evidence of injury – Depp’s lawyers say Saenz’s testimony is proof Heard faked his injury to damage Depp’s reputation.

Saenz could not recall many details of her interactions with Heard that night, but she “remembers being impressed with the penthouse, how big and beautiful it was”.

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