Experts say Amber Heard's emotions during trial don't translate as lying

Experts say Amber Heard's emotions during trial don't translate as lying
Amber Heard thinks key piece of evidence could have changed defamation trial ...

Trauma experts have suggested Amber Heard's behaviour during the highly publicised trial does not translate as lying.

After a six-week defamation trial in Fairfax, Virginia, the jury handed an overwhelming victory to Johnny Depp, 59. The actor argued that Heard, 36, defamed him in a 2018 article. Despite not explicitly stating his name, his legal team argued it contained a “clear implication that Mr Depp is a domestic abuser”, which they said was “categorically and demonstrably false”.

One member of the jury, who remained anonymous, revealed to Good Morning America that she lost the case because she wasn't "believable."

"The crying, the facial expressions that she had, the staring at the jury — all of us were very uncomfortable," the juror said. "She would answer one question, and she would be crying, and two seconds later, she would turn ice cold. It didn't seem natural."

"Some of us used the expression 'crocodile tears,'" the juror added.

Juror in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial speaks out for 1st time about verdict l GMAwww.youtube.com

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Well now, trauma experts have spoken out.

Dr Kate Porterfield, a clinical psychologist at the Bellevue Hospital Program for Survivors of Torture in New York City, told Insider, that a rapid change in behaviour can be seen as an attempt to calm the agitation after recounting a horrific experience.

"The person can then appear flat, detached, and disconnected," said Porterfield, who works with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University. "All of this is difficult for juries to understand because it seems counterintuitive that a person could look flat or maybe even bored, or that a person would have difficulty remembering details of something horrific that she suffered."

A clinical psychologist expert on psychological trauma also added that the human instinct to make judgements on how someone expresses their emotions is natural.

"You're only human, so you can't help it," said Hopper, a teaching associate at Harvard Medical School. "The question is what knowledge base do you have? ... If they were someone who was traumatised, then are you capable of empathising with someone who might express that trauma in a variety of different ways?"

He later told the outlet that the courtroom "was packed with Johnny Depp fans who were constantly directing massive hostility at Amber Heard and all of her witnesses."

Hopper added: "So it's not just, was a person really traumatised, and what would that look like? But, also, what is it like to remember your trauma in public with a bunch of hostile people staring you down and giving you dirty looks the whole time?"

Depp was awarded $10.35m (£8.8m) in damages in total because Virginia state law caps punitive damages at $350,000 (£288,000). Heard was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages because of comments made by Depp’s previous lawyer.

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