Johnny Depp Trial: Forensic psychologist defends PTSD diagnosis
Dr. David Spiegel, the psychiatrist who testified for Amber Heard in the Johnny Depp v. Heard trial, has shared his thoughts on the verdict and his time on the stand, calling the backlash an "emotional concussion".
Dr. Spiegel was hired by Heard's legal team to testify to Depp's behavior which Dr. Spiegel said he found "consistent with someone that both has substance use disorder as well as behaviors of someone who is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence."
However, during cross-examination, Depp's team pointed out that Dr. Spiegel had never met with or personally evaluated Depp which violated the American Psychiatrist Association's, Goldwater Rule.
The Goldwater Rule states doctors should not diagnose the mental state of a public figure if they have not personally evaluated them.
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In his piece for Newsweek, Dr. Spiegel recounted his time on the stand in an effort to appeal to people who trash-talked and memed the Virginia psychiatrist following his testimony.
"Never in my life have I been the target of such voluminous amounts of hate, ever," Dr. Spiegel wrote.
Dr. Spiegel says he was overcome with emotion seeing so many people online doll out hate and criticisms of his expertise, calling it "an emotional concussion".
The practicing psychiatrist said he took a vacation to visit one of his children, has been offline since he testified, and asked his family to get off their personal websites and social media.
Beyond the mean comments and memes made mocking Dr. Spiegel, he explained that such harsh backlash from people who do not know him could cause damage to his career as a psychiatrist and academic. Although he explained that many patients, family, and friends offered support including, "We're With Dr. Spiegel" t-shirts.
"I would say to people who have attacked me that, just like they don't know Mr. Depp, they don't know me," Dr. Spiegel wrote in the Newsweek article. "I would ask people to remember that there are appropriate ways that you can say you are dissatisfied with my testimony or that it may have been short-sighted. I'm an expert at this. It's not like I saw one clip of Mr. Depp, and then said, "Oh, let me judge this.'"
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