Amber Heard’s former personal nurse said in testimony revealed Tuesday that she once observed the actress with a “bloody lip” after an argument with Johnny Depp, marking the first time jurors heard a witness detail alleged physical abuse at the hands of the actor during their short -lived union.
By day’s end, jurors had heard from an expert witness who recently analyzed Heard, who said that Depp once grew so jealous of James Franco that he kicked his then-wife on an airplane.
In pre-recorded testimony played before the court in the defamation trial between the actors on Tuesday, nurse Erin Falati recalled “visibly bright red blood appearing at the center” of Heard’s lower lip in December 2015 after the actress said she had an altercation with Depp . Falati did not witness the injuries take place, nor did she say they were inflicted by Depp, but Heard has done so in the past.
It was “actively bleeding,” Falati wrote in a nursing log that was read aloud to the court. She added that Heard said her head was bruised and that she lost clumps of hair during an argument — though Falati did not see the hair loss during their meeting at the actress’ home.
The second-to-last witness called by Depp’s team in the actor’s $ 50 million civil defamation trial in Virginia, Falati provided new insight into Heard’s mental health during her relationship with Depp, which officially ended in 2017. Throughout the high-profile trial, Depp has argued that Heard “devastated” his career when she penned in 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she called herself a domestic violence survivor, two years after she filed for a restraining order against the actor.
Falati confirmed that Heard received surgery for a cyst on her eye, and revisited photos showing some bruising on her face. The photos were sent to Falati on May 21, 2016, when the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a 911 call after an altercation between Depp and Heard in his penthouse apartment, she testified.
Depp has long denied being abusive — and insisted it was Heard who abused him during their relationship. Heard has repeatedly shot down those claims, saying she only ever acted violently in self-defense. She has since counter-sued Depp for defamation, and a British judge who oversaw a failed Depp lawsuit against The Sun. concluded there was “overwhelming evidence” he physically abused Heard and left her in fear for her life.
On Thursday, jurors heard Falati say she never saw Depp or Heard abuse each other — nor did she see the actress throw anything at her one-time husband, as he has alleged. She did, however, say that the actress reported previous bouts with bipolar disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, codependency issues, and occasional insomnia.
In her notes read in court, Falati also recapped Heard’s feelings of jealousy and anxiety whenever Depp was away on a movie set — suggesting that these issues were a “constant theme” throughout their marriage.
“Nervous about being alone while husband is working on movie set in London and expressed she has difficulty dealing with feelings of insecurity and jealousy when not in the presence of her husband,” Falati wrote.
The nurse’s notes also showed that Heard believed Depp did not support her enough in 2014 after more than 50 of her nude photos were leaked online. According to Falati’s Sept. 22, 2014, entry, Heard was “crying and [stated] she got into a verbal argument with fiancé [Depp] after ”the actress was among a dozen female celebrities whose iClouds were hacked.
“I remember a general sense of Ms. Heard being very upset her phone was hacked, because there was very sensitive information in it, and I feel that she was having a difficult time calming after that, ”Falati said.
Depp’s legal team rested their case shortly after Falati’s testimony, concluding with a forensic accountant who estimated that the actor took a $ 40 million hit in the wake of Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse, including what would have been a $ 22.5 million payday for the sixth Pirates of the Caribbean.
Later on Tuesday, attorneys for Heard began to present their own case, beginning with Dr. Dawn Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist who told jurors she believed the actress had post-traumatic stress disorder.
Noting that Heard was not her client, Hughes said she reached the conclusion after assessing the actress for signs of intimate partner violence over the course of 29 hours.
“The main opinion is that Miss Heard’s report of intimate partner violence … is consistent with what we know in the field of intimate partner violence,” Hughes testified. “Miss Heard demonstrated very clear psychological traumatic effects.”
Hughes crucially testified that she believed the PTSD was caused at least in part by “intimate partner violence by Mr. Depp, ”as well as three statements made by the actor’s former lawyer that essentially called the actress a liar.
The forensic psychologist’s conclusion made for a marked contrast with Depp’s expert witness, Dr. Shannon Curry. Curry argued last week that Heard did not have PTSD and was “grossly exaggerating symptoms.”
Curry, who did not examine Depp, said Heard showed signs of borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
Hughes — who also testified on behalf of prosecutors against R. Kelly and NXIVM founder Keith Raniere — said Tuesday that Heard told her Depp was physically, psychologically, and sexually abused during their relationship. According to Hughes, Depp was inclined to exert “coercive control” over the actress, who told the psychologist that she was “subject to sexual violence.”
“He threw her on the bed, ripped off her nightgown, and tried to have sex with her,” Hughes testified in recalling one of Heard’s allegations. In another harrowing instance, according to Hughes, Depp allegedly violated Heard with a bottle while the couple was in Australia.
The forensic psychologist also said that Depp allegedly “pushed Heard, he shoved her, he slapped her with the front of his hand and the back of his hand, he choked her, he slammed her into the wall, he pushed her, and when she fell down, he kicked her in the back. ”
The expert witness — who was not seeing Heard at the time of the alleged incidents, and noted she did not witness any of them herself — also said Depp grew violently jealous of James Franco. Around the time Heard and Franco worked on the film The Adderall Diaries, Hughes said she was told by Heard that Depp grew jealous of the actor on a flight with his wife from Boston to Los Angeles.
“‘Hope you had fun with your escapades.'” Depp told Heard, according to Hughes, who added that the actress said Depp “kicked her on the back and she went forward.”
While both Depp and Heard’s sides have been focused on proving their client was not abusive — and that the other was — jurors will ultimately be tasked with deciding whether Heard acted with “actual malice” when she wrote the Mail editorial. That means the actress knew what she had written in the piece was false. Jurors will also have to decide whether Heard published the piece with “reckless disregard” for the truth about the Pirates star.