The ongoing defamation trial against Amber Heard by her ex-husband Johnny Depp has caused many people to question their understanding of abuse in relationships. Depp has accused Heard of destroying his career after she wrote an op-ed in 2018 for The Washington Post. Although Heard didn’t mention Depp by name, she stated she dealt with “domestic abuse.”

Depp claims that Heard implied that the abuse was from him and that it cost him many high-paying film roles, including one of his most-famous roles as Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. In addition to coverage of attorney fees and court costs, Depp is suing Heard for a minimum of $50 million for compensatory damages. He’s also suing for a $350,000 punitive award.

New Details Chart Potential Mutual Abuse

Many revelations have come to light during the trial, including the extent of Depp’s repeated abuse of drugs and alcohol. Heard’s attorney provided proof that Depp went on benders that involved angry cabinet slamming, vile language in texts, audio and video in which he talked about hurting Heard and loss of time. Yet, new evidence from Depp’s legal team and witnesses implies that Heard may have been conflict-seeking and forced Depp into codependency and reactive abuse. A clinical psychologist, Laurel Anderson, testified earlier this month via video that she saw the couple previously and considered their relationship one of mutual abuse.

Depp claims that he learned to walk away from arguments after witnessing abuse from his mother against his father as a child and watching his father walk away instead of fight back. Several witnesses claim that Heard would verbally and physically pursue Depp seemingly with the intention of triggering him to respond in negative reactionary ways. A nurse, Debbie Lloyd, said that Heard would follow Depp from one room to another attempting to instigate a fight even after he asked her to leave him alone and attempted to physically separate himself from Heard.

In an audio recording played for the court, Heard can be heard claiming that she hit Depp. She implied that it didn’t matter because she didn’t “punch” him. Depp also alleges that he suffered a severed finger after Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, and that he told everyone he did it because he didn’t want Heard to get into trouble for her actions.

Viewers Notice Strange Happenings

Accusations by both Depp and Heard aside, many viewers of the trial have noticed odd behaviors on Heard’s part that also seem to support Depp’s claims that he was abused in the relationship. Heard smiled and winked at times during serious and triggering parts of the trial and copied Depp physically.

Many who have experienced abuse have commented about how some abusers who believe they can get away with anything often display abnormal emotional and facial cues and behaviors. Heard has also seemingly worn outfits and hairstyles to match Depp’s appearance from each previous day, including almost matching shirts, ties, suit jacket colors and designs and even a tie pin. They have noted that abusers often play mind games with those they target using visual and physical triggers in addition to verbal ones to force a person to respond to them.

Whatever the truth behind the previous Depp and Heard relationship, a Virginia jury must decide if Heard’s article contained untrue statements and if Depp’s defamation claim has any truth to it. The trial picks up again on Monday, April 25, 2022.