Amber Heard takes the stand in defamation trial against Johnny Depp: Live updates

Heard recalls first meeting with Depp

While on the stand, Heard recounted her first meeting with Depp.

She described a meeting she had with him for his film “The Rum Diary” in the late 2000s. She said she thought it might be an audition, but turned out to be a meeting. Heard said they clicked in a way she hadn’t anticipated.

“We talked about books and music, poetry. We like a lot of the same stuff. Obscure writers and interesting books and pieces of poetry I haven’t heard anyone else know or reference or like,” she recalled.

She described Depp as “very well read and charismatic.” Heard said she may have left his office with a few books he’d lent her.

“I knew who he was. I wasn’t a fan of his work. I wasn’t familiar with him, but I knew who he was. I knew he was one of the most famous people in the world,” she said. “It was weird because he’s twice my age and this famous actor and here we are getting along about old books and the blues. I thought it was unusual and remarkable. I left there feeling like ‘wow.'”

Eventually, Heard said Depp called her and told her, “You’re it. You’re the dream, kid.”

In his testimony, Depp recalled that he and Heard were “perfect partners” when they first met. He also felt wowed by her knowledge of what he called obscure blues music and called her “sweet” and “funny.”

Heard takes the stand: ‘This is horrible for me’

Amber Heard takes the stand at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., on May 4, 2022
Amber Heard takes the stand at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., on May 4, 2022Court TV

Heard took the stand to begin her witness statement once the court returned from a lunch break Wednesday afternoon.

In her opening statements, Heard said she struggled to find the words for the pain of sitting through the last three and a half weeks of trial. She called it “the most painful and difficult thing I’ve ever gone through.”

“This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything,” Heard saiid. “Hear people that I knew — some well, some not — my ex-husband with whom I shared a life, speak about our lives in the way that they have.”

Court about to hear testimony from Amber Heard

Amber Heard is expected to take the witness stand when jurors return from their lunch break at 2 p.m. ET. 

The defense’s first witness, clinical psychologist Dawn Hughes, completed her testimony, leading up to Heard’s much-anticipated testimony.

Heard expert witness acknowledges Depp experienced physical and verbal trauma

Clinical psychologist Dawn Hughes acknowledged during her testimony that Johnny Depp experienced physical violence and verbal trauma during his relationship with Amber Heard.

“I can testify that he had physical acts of violence perpetrated on him as well as psychological aggressive acts perpetrated upon him,” Hughes said while on the stand.

Some of that verbal trauma was displayed on Wednesday, when multiple audio recordings of Depp and Heard were played, showing even more evidence of volatility in the relationship.

“I need to know what we do different if I have a problem. You need to tell me how to tell you different if I’m hurting you … sometimes you’re going to make me mad. I’m a human,” Heard can be heard saying.

Depp then replies, “Well, the same thing goes for me then. You’re going to have to allow me to get mad.”

“Yes, exactly,” Heard replies.

The couple then talks about how Heard begins to yell when they fight, which she can be heard saying only happens when their argument reaches “hour 11.”

In another audio, Depp can be heard saying he doesn’t want to leave Heard, but he doesn’t want the toxicity of their relationship to continue.

“I love you and I do not want to leave you … I just want peace,” Depp says in a muffled audio.

Heard expert witness defends PTSD diagnosis

Clinical psychologist Dawn Hughes defended her conclusion that Heard has post-traumatic stress disorder after Depp’s legal team attempted to undermine her examinations.

In her testimony, Hughes explained the two clinical tests she administered while examining Heard: the DSM-5 and CAPS-5 testing. The first, from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, looks at a patients self-reported answers to diagnose a variety of potential disorders.

The second, the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, derives from the DSM-5 testing to make an accurate diagnosis.

Hughes testified that she administered both tests over years and attempted to discern what symptoms Heard expressed as a result of her relationship with Depp and which symptoms were from her childhood experience with abuse.

“So there are multiple measures that are consistent across time that she meets the criteria for PTSD,” Hughes said.

Hughes spent roughly 29 hours with Heard, not administering treatment but offering a forensic examination based on interviews, prior medical records, and prior examinations by other psychologists.

She contradicted prior testimony made by Shannon Curry, an expert witness for Depp, who diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Curry, who spent 12 hours with Heard, told the court she had “exaggerated” symptoms of PTSD.

Hughes testified Wednesday that the results of her tests were “valid and reportable, there were no signs of exaggeration.”

Depp’s team cross-examines Heard’s first witness

Johnny Depp’s attorneys began Wednesday with their cross-examination of Amber Heard’s first witness, Dawn Hughes, a clinical psychologist.

Hughes told the court Tuesday that she had diagnosed Heard with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of what she described as intimate partner violence she experienced during her relationship with Depp. 

Psychologist Shannon Curry, an expert witness presented by Depp’s legal team, previously rejected the idea that Heard had post-traumatic stress disorder. Curry diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, which Hughes disagreed with. 

Depp’s team pushed Hughes on her descriptions of victims of intimate partner violence Tuesday using primarily she and her pronouns and descriptions of perpetrators as primarily male. They also pushed Hughes on being paid to testify.

Hughes rejected characterizations that she makes her income primarily off testifying in court cases, saying many of her cases never go to trial. She also said that she did in fact work with many male clients of sexual abuse or intimate partner violence.

The Depp-Heard defamation trial: Summary and timeline

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s relationship began more than a decade ago, and eventually devolved into what appears to have been a toxic marriage.

The couple split in 2016, but have continued to battle in court over an op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she described surviving domestic violence — without mentioning Depp by name.

The trial, which is being held in Fairfax County, Virginia, is expected to take weeks. Here’s a timeline of Depp and Heard’s relationship leading up to the court case.

Heard’s attorneys argued for a motion to dismiss Tuesday

Heard’s attorneys argued for a motion to dismiss Tuesday on the basis that Depp’s attorneys failed to meet their burden of proof, calling it undisputed that Heard was physically and verbally abused. They also argued that Depp’s attorneys have questioned the headline for the essay’s online version. But the headline was written by The Washington Post, not Heard, according to one of Heard’s attorneys. 

Depp’s attorneys argued that Heard cosigned the headline as her own when she tweeted the article in December 2018, but his legal team has not submitted the tweet to the court as evidence.

Judge Penney Azcarate said Tuesday that it will be up to the jury to determine whether the weight of the evidence presented by Depp’s team has met the burden, dismissing those arguments.

But as for whether or not Heard’s tweet constituted an adoption of The Washington Post’s headline, Azcarate said she’d continue to take it under advisement.

“There seems to be an agreement that the tweet of Ms Heard is part of the plaintiff’s evidence, which is not in evidence at this point,” Azcarate said Tuesday. “So I can’t rule on that statement whether or not it is just a tweet or if it’s some sort of republication … I don’t know because I haven’t seen it yet.”

WebMd profile of Amber Heard witness flooded with negative reviews

A WebMD profile of a clinical psychologist was flooded with negative comments on Tuesday after she testified as the first defense witness for Amber Heard.

Dr. Dawn Hughes, who was called to the stand by Heard’s legal team, testified that she diagnosed Heard with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of what she described as intimate partner violence experienced during her relationship with Depp.

As Hughes was on the stand, a WebMD physician profile with her name and practice information was hit with a barrage of negative reviews.

WebMD did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The reviews appeared to be removed from the website after NBC News reached out to WebMD.

It’s unclear if Hughes created the profile herself. She did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment regarding the page and its reviews.

In many of the reviews, commenters accused Hughes of being biased against men in cases of domestic abuse, calling her sexist and unprofessional.

“bad energy, vicious and hates men. … this review was created by a woman,” one review read.

Read the full story here.

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