civil lawsuit | 

Amber Heard suffers from personality disorders, doctor tells Depp vs Heard trial

The psychologist said she reached her diagnosis during 12 hours of interviews with Heard, as well as from reviewing her records

Actor Amber Heard in the courtroom during ex-husband Johnny Depp's defamation trial against her

Matthew Barakat

A forensic psychologist testified yesterday that actor Amber Heard suffers 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 issues.

Depp is suing Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post referring to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.

The article does not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers say the article contains “defamation by implication” because it clearly refers to allegations of domestic abuse made by heard when she filed for divorce in 2016.

The 58-year-old actor is suing Heard (36) for $50m (€47m). Heard has counter-sued for $100m, saying Depp smeared her by calling her a liar.

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 from reviewing her records.

Actor Johnny Depp talks to his attorney during the defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard in Fairfax, Virginia. Brendan Smialowski/Reuters

Ms Curry also testified that Heard does not suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from her relationship with Depp, as Heard has claimed.

Depp’s team hopes Ms Curry’s testimony bolsters their contention that Heard was the aggressor in the couple’s troubled relationship.

Depp yesterday concluded four days on the witness stand and testified about Heard’s “need for conflict” and her tendency to hound and pursue him during arguments when he tried to walk away and disengage.

The two disorders are similar, Ms Curry said. Borderline personality is a disease of instability, she said, “driven by an underlying fear of abandonment”.

She said people with the disorder “will make desperate attempts to prevent that from happening”.

Evidence introduced earlier at the trial includes audio clips of Heard begging Depp not to leave, and to stay with her after he indicated a desire to break up or separate.

She also said borderline personality disorder “seems to be a predictive factor for women who implement violence against their partner”. Depp has said he is the one who was a victim of domestic violence, and that Heard hit him on multiple occasions and threw items like paint cans and vodka bottles at him.

Histrionic personality disorder, Ms Curry said, is associated with “drama and shallowness” and a need to be the centre of attention.

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

While the libel lawsuit is supposed to centre on whether Depp was defamed in the article, most of the trial has focused on ugly details of the couple’s brief marriage.

Depp has denied ever striking Heard. Heard’s attorneys say Depp physically and sexually abused her and that Depp’s denials lack merit because he was often drunk and high to the point of blacking out.

Depp testified yesterday that he was “broken” by the time their marriage fell apart.

His fourth day on the witness stand ended with his attorneys playing audio from a conversation that took place after Heard had secured a restraining order against him in 2016.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star said he agreed to Heard’s request to meet in a San Francisco hotel room because he thought she might retract her accusation that he had abused her.

In the recording, Depp proposed that the couple issue a joint letter saying they loved each other and the media had created a storm around them. The suggestion was an attempt to find a “peaceful settlement”, Depp said.

Heard, known for her role in Aquaman, resisted the idea and challenged him to go public with his claim that he was the one who had suffered abuse. “Tell the world, Johnny,” she said. “Tell them I, Johnny Depp – a man – I’m a victim too of domestic violence.”

Depp said he responded: “Yes, I am.”

In another audio clip from the San Francisco meeting, Depp threatened to cut himself with a knife.

“That’s psychologically, emotionally where I was,” he said. “At the end, I was broken ... I thought the only answer is here, take my blood, that’s all I’ve got left.”

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