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03 July 2022

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Heard’s team change course on Johnny Depp testimony

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 16:29, 24 May 2022  
Heard’s team change course on Johnny Depp testimony

Amber Heard

Amber Heard's team will not call Johnny Depp to the stand, a source close to Ms Heard said, a strategic U-turn in the last days of the high-profile trial.

Heard's team had planned to call Depp for more questioning on Monday, but changed course without explanation at midday, reports BBC.

Depp, 58, sued his ex-wife for $50m (£40m) for a column she wrote in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse. Heard, 36, has countersued.

The case is expected to wrap this week.

British supermodel Kate Moss, a former girlfriend of Depp, is among witnesses expected to take the stand in the remaining days of the defamation trial.

On Monday, the court in Fairfax, Virginia, heard from several witnesses called by Heard's team, including psychologist David Spiegel.

Dr Spiegel testified that Mr Depp "has behaviours that are consistent with someone that both has substance use disorder as well as behaviours of someone who is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence".

About 40-60 percent of intimate partner violence is committed under the influence of alcohol or substance use disorders, Dr Spiegel told jurors.

Depp's lawyers sought to undermine this testimony on cross-examination, highlighting that Dr Spiegel had reached his conclusions without any direct contact with Depp.

Also on Monday, a hand surgeon testified it was unlikely that Depp's finger was cut during a fight with Heard in Australia in the way that he has described.

Depp has said the tip of his middle finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him.

The jury saw graphic images of Depp's injured finger as Dr Richard Moore said that the damage was more consistent with being pinched by a closing door.

Dr Moore did not physically examine Depp at the time of the injury.

Heard's team is expected to rest its case early this week before Depp's team takes its final chance to sway the jury.

The testimony from the two medical doctors on Monday was just the latest in a long line of competing expert testimony. One psychologist, called by Depp's team, testified that

Heard suffers from two personality disorders.

Another, called by Heard's team, rejected this finding and said instead that Heard had post-traumatic stress disorder.

Heard and Depp have each testified in the weeks-long battle, offering starkly different accounts of their brief, tempestuous marriage.

Heard claimed Depp was prone to alcohol and drug binges, easily triggered by feelings of jealousy and often consumed by violent rages.

Depp, in turn, alleged he was the victim of Heard's volatile moods, telling jurors he routinely endured her verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

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