A Los Angeles Police Department officer testified Tuesday in Johnny Depp’s defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard, saying she responded to a 911 call at the couple’s penthouse in downtown L.A. on May 21, 2016, but saw no signs that Heard had suffered physical abuse.
“I did a sweep of the location for a suspect,” Officer Melissa Saenz said in a videotaped deposition. Saenz told the court she and her partner searched two penthouses but found no suspect. Nor were there any signs of property damage.
When asked by attorneys about red marks on Heard’s face, Saenz said Heard looked “flushed” like she’d been crying, but the officer didn’t see any injuries.
Saenz, a 12-year LAPD veteran, added that she did not file a report and cited the incident as “closed” because there was, in her opinion, no crime.
“We met with the victim. We checked the location, the husband wasn’t there, and the victim advised us that she’d just had an argument and that she wasn’t going to give us any further information. Because we didn’t identify a crime, we issued her a business card, letting her know that she could reach out to us later if she wanted to cooperate,” Saenz said.
Also Tuesday, Dr. Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist, took the stand.
Curry told the court about her evaluations after being asked by Depp’s lawyers to review the case materials and provide her opinion on whether there was intimate partner violence in the relationship between Heard and Depp, defined as physical or psychological abuse from one partner to another.
Curry insisted Heard does not suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from her relationship with Depp as Heard has said.
“Ms. Heard did not have PTSD and there was also pretty significant indications that she was grossly exaggerating symptoms of PTSD when asked about them,” Curry told the court.
Curry was also asked to provide a psychological evaluation of Heard, whom the doctor met with and talked to on two separate occasions. She told the Fairfax, Virginia, courtroom that she assessed Heard as having a borderline personality disorder, defined by the Mayo Clinic as a mental disorder impacting the way a person thinks or feels about themselves and others causing self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions, behavior and relationships.
Heard was also assessed by Curry as having histrionic personality disorder, which is characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking behaviors, usually beginning in early childhood, including inappropriate seduction and excessive desire for approval, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Curry said people with borderline personality disorder are often afraid of being abandoned and make desperate attempts to avoid it, show physical aggression, are threatening, may harm themselves and are seen as extreme and concerning to people around them. Curry said, they can react with bizarre, violent, and aggressive behavior. “They will often physically prevent their partner from trying to leave and often times they’ll be abusive to their partners” and will make “threats using the legal system” by “filing restraining orders” or “claiming abuse.”
During cross-examination, Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft called attention to abuse the “Aquaman” actress reported to her therapists through texts.
“Johnny beat me up pretty good last night,” read one text. In another Heard, wrote: “Johnny did a number on me tonight. I’m safe in my support tonight but I need some real help.” Bredehoft said Heard’s psychologist believed the actress “in her reporting of abuse by Depp,” that the couple’s relationship was “toxic” and that he was concerned for Heard’s physical well-being.
Curry was asked about testimony given by Dr. Hughes, a forensic psychologist hired by Amber Heard to conduct an evaluation. During an interview with Dr. Hughes, Heard said she’d cut her arm in the past.
Day 9 of the trial began with testimony by Tara Roberts, the estate manager on Depp’s private island in the Bahamas, who described the contentious relationship between Depp and Heard.
Roberts, who worked on the island for 15 years, told the court she witnessed the aftermath of a fight between the couple while they were there for Christmas in 2015. Roberts said Depp came to her office one evening agitated and pacing the floor. Roberts recalled Heard coming in and apologizing to Depp, begging him to come back to their house. Depp tried to drive away but Heard blocked the car and after arguing with Heard hopped in the car and the couple drove off.
Roberts drove with another staff member to the couple’s house and said Heard was yelling at Depp, calling him “a washed-up actor” and saying he “was going to die a fat lonely old man.” Roberts overheard Depp tell Heard, “You hit me with a can.” Roberts said she got in between the couple but Heard was “viciously trying to pull him back in the house and yelling at him.”
Roberts said she was concerned so she removed Depp from the situation to a nearby café where she noticed he had a mark across the bridge of his nose. Roberts put ice on Depp’s face and ordered a staff member to stay with him that night. Roberts said she didn’t notice any marks or bruises on Heard the next day.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million claiming she libeled him in the 2018 op-ed piece in The Washington Post. Heard filed a $100 million counterclaim for defamation for Depp’s attorney calling her a “liar.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor spent four days on the witness stand. Heard is also expected to testify.
Jenyne Donaldson contributed to this report.