One of the most controversial witnesses in the Johnny Depp defamation trial stepped back on the witness stand for a brief clarification on Wednesday.
For those who don’t recall, Dr. Shannon Curry originally testified that she believed Amber Heard likely had histrionic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder — but was lying about her post-traumatic stress disorder, which she had allegedly gotten from suffering intimate partner violence. The clinical psychologist said the Aquaman star was “grossly exaggerating” her symptoms — claiming in a test that she had 19 of the 20 hallmarks of the disorder, something Dr. Curry explained was “not typical of even somebody with the most disabling form of PTSD.”
Amber’s team called their own expert, Dr. Dawn Hughes, to refute the previous testimony. So we guess Johnny’s team thought they’d get the last word?
Dr. Curry returned this week to clarify her incendiary remarks about PTSD — and of course to rebut her counterpart’s testimony. She testified that Hughes had “misrepresented the tests and results” that she used to diagnose Amber with PTSD. She even remarked that simple checklists could be “easily exploited” and that “PTSD is the most frequently feigned and claimed diagnosis in civil court.” Whoa.
She said Dr. Hughes had testified Amber’s elevation on the validity scale had indicated PTSD — but that was the opposite of how she read it:
“That scale was designed and has been tested and shown to be there to show when someone is endorsing extremely unusual items that are not consistent with PTSD.”
“When you’re looking at scores as high as Ms. Heard’s and then you’re not seeing indications of PTSD in the more subtle tests where she doesn’t know what she’s endorsing, it’s good evidence that her over-endorsement on that one test is because of the reason the scale was made: to detect exaggeration and feigning of symptoms.”
OK, we think we understand. Doctors want to get an accurate diagnosis, so with questionnaires there are sort of trick questions? To prove if someone is faking? Makes sense, what with the existence of Munchausen and of course drug-seeking.
Aside from the test, Dr. Curry also noted that she personally wouldn’t assess Amber as having PTSD because there was no evidence, such as “a change in functioning.” She described the kind of debilitating PTSD Amber claimed to have, explaining why she didn’t think that’s what was going on:
“Were they able to keep a job? PTSD is an extremely disabling diagnosis. When a person has true PTSD, it is difficult for them to work, you’ll see unemployment, job loss, it causes extreme levels of distress and impairment. There’s divorce, isolation and estrangement from children, family members, extreme alcohol abuse, often a string of sudden DUIs when the person never had any before. They become home bound, they can’t go to the store.”
Seems severe, but then again, we’re talking 19 of 20 markers — more than some of the most severe PTSD cases, as Dr. Curry noted. She continued:
“They’re certainly not going to events, they’re not having success in their film career usually, they’re not exercising every day, pursuing their hobbies, being avid readers, obtaining level 3 sommelier training, having dinner parties with friends, speaking to public groups, those are just indications of very high functioning and when you’re looking for a decrease in functioning over time, that is inconsistent with that decrease.”
See the second round, complete with clinical psychology lesson (below):
[Image via Law&Crime Network/YouTube.]