Since the beginning of the highly publicised Depp versus Heard trial, the Virginia court—along with the rest of the world—has heard many testimonies about Heard’s behaviour while she was married to the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. And it’s now Heard’s defence team’s turn to bring people onto the witness stand and testify about Depp’s behaviour from her perspective.
That’s when Dr Dawn Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist as well as an expert in domestic violence, revealed to the court what Heard told her in regards to Depp’s alleged “drug-fuelled rages.”
“When Mr Depp was drunk or high, he’d throw her on the bed, rip off her nightgown, and try to have sex with her. There were times when he forced her to give him oral sex when he was angry,” Dr Hughes stated. “These weren’t in loving moments. These were angry moments,” she added.
It should also be noted that the expert interviewed Heard for 29 hours, according to Insider, and reviewed court transcripts, notes taken by Heard’s previous therapists, interviews with therapists and reams of other records.
Dr Hughes also spoke about one alleged incident where Depp performed a cavity search on his ex-wife to find cocaine. “He felt it acceptable to rip off her nightgown and stick his fingers up her vagina to look for cocaine,” she said. “He thought that maybe she was hiding them there.”
These accusations, on top of the documents mentioned previously, are what make the expert believe that Heard’s recollection of her relationship with Depp as an abusive one was accurate. Hughes said she diagnosed the Aquaman actress with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on “intimate partner violence” suffered at Depp’s hands.
“Even though she yelled and hit him and said some terrible things to him, it was never able to shift the balance of power in the relationship,” Dr Hughes said, adding that “if he was not able to perform he would get more angry at her and blame her.”
She went on to say that Depp was the true abuser in the relationship through the control he had over her career and life, and because he perpetrated “a high degree of serious violence.” Depp chastised Heard when she considered roles that involved nudity and made remarks about her male co-stars in movies, according to Dr Hughes. He would also call “almost every actor she worked with” and accused her of infidelity so often to the point where she decided it was rarely worthwhile to even go on auditions.
While the psychologist gave her testimony, it has been reported that Depp was often seen smirking at things she said. Dr Hughes’ testimony also rebuts the one from Shannon Curry, a clinical psychologist hired by Depp’s lawyers, who also evaluated Heard. Curry said the actress exaggerated her PTSD symptoms and had personality disorders linked to violence and “making up stories.”
But Dr Hughes said Curry misapplied psychological evaluations, and that she subjected Heard to an array of different psychological tests that turned up no such results. “She truly, truly believed she could fix Mr Depp and rid him of his substance abuse problems,” Hughes testified. “But that did not work.”