Amber Heard takes the stand in civil trial over suit filed by Johnny Depp

Actor Amber Heard took the stand Wednesday afternoon, following cross-examination of the first witness called by her attorneys. She is being sued by ex-husband and Hollywood star Johnny Depp, who spent four days on the stand earlier in the libel trial.

Psychologist Dawn Hughes testified Tuesday that Heard suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from violence she suffered at the hands of Depp, including multiple acts of sexual assault. 

Depp has said he never physically attacked Heard, and that she was the aggressor who routinely hit him and threw things at him through the course of their relationship. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in Fairfax County Circuit Court after Heard wrote a December 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article never mentions Depp by name, but Depp’s lawyers say he was defamed nevertheless because it’s a clear reference to abuse allegations Heard levied in 2016, in the midst of the couple’s divorce proceedings.

Hughes’ testimony contradicted that of a psychologist hired by Depp’s lawyers, who said Heard was faking her symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and suffered from borderline and histrionic personality disorders. Hughes disputed that Heard suffers from any personality disorder.

Hughes, in her testimony, said Heard acknowledged that she did at times push and shove Depp, call him names and insult his parenting. Hughes said she based her testimony on 29 hours of interviews with Heard, as well as interviews with her therapists and a review of court documents. She will be cross-examined on Wednesday. 

The trial, now in its fourth week, continues to capture public attention. More than 100 people, mostly Depp supporters and fans, were lined up Wednesday before 7 a.m. outside the courthouse for the 100 seats made available in the courtroom.

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