Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Trial: Forensic Psychologist Is Challenged On Domestic Abuse Claims

A day after a forensic psychologist testified about instances in which Amber Heard was subject to domestic and sexual violence by Johnny Depp, Depp’s attorneys attempted to undermine her knowledge of the couple’s relationship.

In a sometimes contentious cross examination, attorney Wayne Dennison pointed out to Dr. Dawn Hughes that even though she spent 30 hours interviewing Heard, she did not speak to Depp. Hughes defended her analysis, though, telling Dennison that she watched deposition testimony, read transcripts and reviewed text messages.

Dennison also highlighted that Hughes was a paid witness for Heard’s legal team, as Hughes said she was being paid $500 per hour. She also said that it was correct that everything that Heard reported to her came after she was sued by Depp in 2019.

Depp’s attorney also played audio heard earlier in the trial, an argument in which Heard tells her then-husband, “I am sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you.” Hughes said that Heard admitted to hitting Depp “a number of times in a number of instances.”

Depp has denied the abuse claims, and is suing Heard in a $50 million defamation suit over a 2018 Washington Post op ed in which his ex wife wrote that “two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” Heard has counter sued.

Dennison also tried to highlight nuances in Hughes’ testimony. She said that she “formed the opinion that Heard’s reporting is consistent with what we know of intimate partner violence.” But Hughes also agreed that she “did not render judgment on whether Depp engaged in intimate partner violence.”

Heard is expected to take the stand on Wednesday afternoon.

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