There was “mutual abuse” between Amber Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp, said Laurel Anderson, a clinical psychologist and the couple’s former marriage counselor, during testimony Thursday.
Anderson’s video deposition recorded in February — where she told lawyers that Heard and Depp admitted to her during counseling that they were physically abusive toward each other — was played in a Virginia courtroom on the third day of the defamation trial involving the two actors.
Anderson, a Los Angeles-based therapist, counseled Heard and Depp in late 2015, the same year they got married. While in counseling, Heard had a “jackhammer style of talking” and cut off Depp because he couldn’t keep a similar pace, according to Anderson.
The therapist also testified that Depp had been “well controlled” for the majority of his life but was “triggered” by Heard. She said that both of them were victims of abuse growing up.
“And then with Ms. Heard, [Depp] was triggered and they engaged as what I saw as mutual abuse,” Anderson said, during the recorded deposition played in court.
She said that when Heard was “triggered” by something Depp did, she considered it a “point of pride” to “initiate” a fight, and “if [Depp] was going to leave her to deescalate the fight, she would strike him to keep him there.”
The couple’s counselor also said that Heard started the fights with Depp on more than one occasion to “keep him with her because abandonment and having him leave was her worst nightmare.”
Anderson added, “I think [Depp] may have initiated it on occasions too. That I am less sure on.”
In December 2015, Heard called Anderson to tell her she had bruises on her face, the therapist recalled in the deposition, adding that she saw the bruises on Heard’s face in photos and in person days later.
Depp told Anderson during a session that “Amber gave as good as she got.” Anderson testified that she took that to mean that Heard “fought as hard as he did and he tried to deescalate far more than I think she did.”