Entertainment

Psychiatrist who said Johnny Depp exhibited ‘narcissistic’ traits on the stand says he has ‘concussion’ following trial backlash


A psychiatrist talks about his experience as an expert witness in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial. (Photo: JIM WATSON/POOL/TSWT)

An expert witness in the defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard by her ex-husband Johnny Depp is speaking out about the backlash he received as a result of his testimony.

Dr. David R. Spiegel, a psychiatrist who testified that the Pirates of the Caribbean star exhibited ‘narcissistic traits’ on the stand, wrote an essay for Newsweek in which he spoke of the “staggering” personal attacks that followed his testimony. He shared that in addition to receiving “despicable” comments on YouTube videos of his testimonial and “four or five lovely editorials” of his work on his email, his WebMD page was flooded with negative comments.

“I’m an adult, not the first time I’ve been criticized, but never like this,” he wrote. “On Monday and Tuesday, I had what I would describe as a concussion. It wasn’t physical, I didn’t get hit on the head, it was emotional because the reactions that followed left me a bit numb and dazed.

Spiegel, who is currently the subject of a Change.org petition to have him removed from psychiatric organizations due to what the authors claim is unethical behavior on the stand, also called out Depp and Heard for not not having spoken to their followers about these types of messages. .

“If I had groupies and I saw them attacking and harassing someone they didn’t know, I would have said what I said during the trial; that there are ways to express displeasure, and there are ways not to,” he noted. “I think when Mr. Depp first noticed this behavior from his fans, he should have redirected their emotions. While I still think this intervention would be welcome, his fans may be ‘disarmed’ by the verdict in his favor.Although since the verdict, I received a derogatory letter to my work address and a rude phone call that was sent by my staff.

Depp brought defamation charges against Heard following his 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post titled “I spoke out against sexual violence – and faced the wrath of our culture. This must change. Although Heard didn’t mention Depp by name, the former couple’s public divorce named Depp as the subject. The Sweeney Todd star claimed the article cost him acting work.

Ultimately, the jury agreed that Depp had been defamed in the play, and he was awarded $15 million. This includes $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punishment. (Because punitive damages in Virginia are capped at $350,000, the judge reduced the amount to $10.35 million in total.)

In a statement posted on Instagram after the verdict, he said: “False, very serious and criminal allegations were made to me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no accusations were made. has ever been brought against me. It had already circled the world twice in a nanosecond and had a seismic impact on my life and career. And six years later, the jury gave me back my life. I’m really humble.

Heard was also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages. In her own statement, she shared that she was “heartbroken” by the results of the trial.

“It’s a setback,” said the Aquaman actress, who plans to appeal the decision. “It takes the clock back to a time when a woman who spoke out and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It pushes back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously.”

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