Actress Amber Heard returns to the courtroom after a break for the defamation trial. AFP
A psychologist hired by lawyers for "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp testified on Tuesday at his defamation case against his former wife Amber Heard that she suffers from twin personality disorders.
Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist, said she had examined Heard's mental health records and personally evaluated her for 12 hours over two days in December 2021.
Curry said it was her opinion that the 36-year-old actress, who had a starring role in the movie "Aquaman," has borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
"She obtained scores that were consistent with those diagnoses," Curry said.
Lawyers for Heard sought to discredit Curry's testimony during cross-examination, noting she had been hired by Depp's attorneys to testify on his behalf.
"If you did not find something that would be in favor of Mr Depp and negative to Miss Heard than you wouldn't be an expert in this case?" Elaine Bredehoft, an attorney for Heard, asked Curry.
"I present science regardless of what that science may be," Curry responded.
Curry said some of the primary characteristics of borderline personality disorder include a "lot of inner anger and hostility," a tendency to be "self-righteous" and "fluctuating moods."
"They can react violently, they can react physically," she said. "Oftentimes they will be abusive to their partners."
"It's almost play-acting," she said.
Curry, who has experience with US combat veterans, said it was her opinion that Heard did not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the result of alleged domestic abuse.
Heard had "grossly exaggerated" her symptoms of PTSD in a test she was given, she said.
The 58-year-old Depp has denied ever being physically abusive towards Heard and has claimed repeatedly at the trial that she was the one who was frequently violent.
Depp filed a defamation suit against Heard over a column she wrote for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse."
Heard never named Depp but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.
The Texas-born Heard countersued, asking for $100 million and claiming she suffered "rampant physical violence and abuse" at his hands.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, and Heard met in 2009 on the set of the film "The Rum Diary" and were married in February 2015. Their divorce was finalized two years later.
Heard's attorneys have alleged that Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive "monster" when he was drunk or on drugs, and pressed him extensively about his drug and alcohol use during his three days of cross-examination on the witness stand.
Also testifying Tuesday was Tara Roberts, who for the past 15 years has managed a private island in the Bahamas owned by Depp.
Roberts was asked by Depp's lawyers to recount details of an argument the couple had on the island one evening.
"Amber was telling him that he was a washed-up actor," Roberts said. "He was going to die a lonely old man."
She said Heard was yelling at Depp, grabbing at him and trying to pull him back into their house.
Roberts said she was "worried" about what might happen and took Depp to a cafe on the island and applied ice to an injury he had received to the bridge of his nose.
Depp filed the defamation complaint in the United States after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020 that he brought against The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater.