What did Dr. David Spiegel say about Johnny Depp’s psychological problems?

Experts testified that Depp appears to have a personality that wields violence against close partners.

Amber Heard’s team summoned Virginia’s Dr. David R. Spiegel to testify as an expert witness in the defamation trial against Depp’s ex-wife, which is ongoing on Monday. When it comes to intimate partner violence, doctors and psychiatrists described persistent drug use as “playing with fire.”

Dr. David Spiegel was introduced as an expert witness by Heard’s attorney and later interrogated by Elaine Bredehoft to support Depp’s claims, along with a psychologist’s assessment of the actress. Meanwhile, Depp’s legal team raised a number of objections to Spiegel’s comments by questioning his experience with Spiegel’s allegations.

Spiegel also testified that after examining the evidence, including Depp’s statements and other documents, he concluded that the actor’s actions were consistent with the person who perpetrated intimate partner violence with Heard. Spiegel revealed that Depp refused to rate himself.

Who is Dr. David Spiegel?

Dr. David Spiegel is a Virginia-based psychiatrist who claims to have treated and worked with thousands of patients, about 75% of whom had substance abuse problems. Spiegel is currently a professor at East Virginia Medical School (EVMS). According to his profile, he joined the institute in 2001 after ten years of private practice as a psychiatrist.

Spiegel has a medical degree from SUNY-Health Science Center in Brooklyn and completed residency in psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Hershey-Penn State. He also has a BA in Psychology from Duke University.

Spiegel is a psychiatrist with several qualifications, including a diploma from the American Psychiatric and Neurology/Psychiatric Associations. She was also named Virginia Livings’ Best Doctor of 2018.

What did Dr. David Spiegel say about Johnny Depp’s mental health problems?

Spiegel hinted through his testimony that the actor’s behavior during his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard was most likely due to substance abuse. Dr David Spiegel also said he had twice met and interviewed the Pirates of the Caribbean star to better evaluate the 58-year-old actor, but declined both times.

Based on evidence review, clinical experience, publishing experience, and educational experience, Spiegel said, Depp shows behavior consistent with both people with substance use disorder and those who are perpetrators of intimate partner violence.

Depp, 58, previously admitted to using drugs and drinking alcohol between sobriety, sometimes at the same time. According to Spiegel, “chronic and sustained use” can “affect” a person’s behavior and memory. He claims that someone is experiencing power outages as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. “It would be almost impossible to remember what happened last night,” he said.

A board-certified psychiatrist claimed to know that Johnny Depp had to speak during a screening of a film during the substance abuse phase. Dr. David Spiegel also suggested that the actor’s memory and “thinking skills” were impaired.

He claimed that Depp’s former therapist instructed him to memorize three words for five minutes and then recite them. However, it is known that the actor does not remember those words.

Ankita Khanra


Ankita Khanrah is a sophomore in the Masters Program in Communication and Journalism (Integrated) at the KIIT Deemed University School of Mass Communication in Bhubaneswar.

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