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Amber Heard says she has been 'harassed, humiliated' amid defamation trial

Amber Heard says she has been 'harassed, humiliated' amid defamation trial
Amber Heard on Thursday testified that she has been "harassed" and "humiliated" since her ex-husband Johnny Depp's lawyers called her allegations of abuse against the actor a "hoax." File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- Amber Heard on Thursday said she has received death threats and other forms of harassment since her ex-husband Johnny Depp's lawyers called her allegations of abuse against the actor a "hoax."

Heard returned to the stand in the defamation trial Thursday to deliver rebuttal testimony about comments Depp's former attorney, Adam Waldman, made to the Daily Mail in 2020, saying her allegations that Depp abused her were false.

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"I am harassed, humiliated, threatened every single day, even just walking into this courtroom," Heard said.

She added that people have expressed their desire to kill her and put her baby "in the microwave," adding that Depp told her he would make her "think of him every single day that I lived" if she left him.

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"I receive hundreds of death threats regularly, if not daily," Heard said. "Thousands, since this trial has started. People mocking, mocking my testimony about being assaulted."

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Heard added she has had panic attacks in the years since she and Depp divorced and that her friends and intimate partners have had to learn "unspoken rules" about touching her in order to avoid triggering her.

She said that charity work had served as an outlet but she has been unable to have a career and people are unable to associate with her due to the threats and other attacks after the allegations that she lied about her abuse.

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"Protecting the secret that I did, for as long as I did, has taken enough of my voice," she said. "Johnny has taken enough of my voice. I have the right to tell my story. I have the right to say what happened. ... I have a right as an American to talk about what happened to me, to own my story and my truth."

Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate, who is presiding over the case, instructed jurors that they should not consider whether Waldman had free speech protections when he made the statements because they were not in response to anything Heard said or wrote.

"They have to be Heard's statements," Azcarate said.

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Depp filed the defamation lawsuit against Heard seeking $50 million in damages over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse" despite not mentioning him by name and Heard has filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp over Waldman's statements.

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On the final day of testimony, both legal teams sought to affirm prior testimony.

Dawn Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in interpersonal violence who testified for Heard's team, stood by her diagnosis that Heard suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, which contradicted testimony of Shannon Curry, an expert in intimate partner violence hired by Depp's legal team.

Hughes said that Heard tested in the moderate area of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, while Curry said that Heard had exaggerated her symptoms.

"Amber Heard scored in a moderate range," Hughes said. "She did not exaggerate on this test. She could have said no, mild moderate, severe and extreme. All of hers were either twos, ones or zeros."

Hand surgeon Dr. Richard Gilbert also told jurors it was plausible that Depp's finger was severed due to Heard throwing a vodka bottle at him, after Dr. Richard Moore, an orthopedic surgeon, called by Heard's team, said that based on his description he would have sustained more damage to his fingernail and the surrounding tissue.

"I certainly believe that a vodka bottle, thrown from a distance against a hand that was resting on a marble bar, is more than sufficient force to result in this fracture and soft tissue loss," Gilbert said.

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Closing arguments are set to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday. The jury will not deliberate on Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.

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