Amber Heard fired her PR team and switched to a new firm after jurors in the defamation trial between her and ex-husband Johnny Depp heard she was diagnosed with two personality disorders, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The actress, 36, on Monday was reported to have cut ties with her publicists ahead of this week’s trial proceedings, following days of bad press generated by explosive court testimony last week.
DailyMail.com has learned Heard made the decision to hire a new PR team after Dr. Shannon Curry – a clinical and forensic psychologist testifying for Depp – revealed she had borderline personality disorder (BPD) and histrionic personality disorder (HPD).
The two conditions are characterized by instability in relationships and being overly dramatic, manipulative, and image-obsessed.
Taking the stand last Thursday, Dr. Curry told the court that Heard’s BPD and instability was driven ‘by this underlying terror of abandonment.’
Amber Heard, pictured in court as week four of the trial kicked off Monday, fired her PR team following a week of negative press generated from bombshell testimony heard in court last week
Sources told DailyMail.com Heard has become frustrated with Depp’s team ‘painting her as crazy’
Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. Shannon Curry (left) last week revealed she was asked to conduct an evaluation of Heard, who she concluded suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder
She also explained people with BPD could resort to ‘very extreme behaviors’ as they make desperate attempts to prevent abandonment.
A communications expert who has been following the trial told DailyMail.com: ‘As I understand it, Dr. Curry’s testimony was the final straw.
‘Depp’s team aren’t just painting Heard as hitting him back – they are painting her as crazy.
‘That was too much for her and she fired her PRs,’ the source added.
Heard is said to have ditched her PR firm Precision Strategies in favor of LA-based consulting firm Shane Communications.
She made the move in the apparent hope that she might receive more favorable coverage this week – during which time she is expected to take to the stand and testify.
‘She doesn’t like bad headlines,’ an unnamed source told the New York Post, which first reported the news.
Another source told the newspaper that Heard, a mom-of-one, is ‘frustrated with her story not being told effectively.
Legions of fans have come to Depp’s defense after hearing his testimony last week, with a petition calling for his ex-wife to be axed from upcoming superhero film Aquaman 2 reaching three million signatures Monday.
Supporters of the actor are pleading with filmmakers DC and Warner Bros to ditch the actress from the sequel following the shocking domestic abuse allegations that have emerged in court over the last few weeks.
The psychology expert went on to explain the hallmarks of HPD in a person, which include an ‘overly dramatic presentation’ and ‘quick shifts between emotions’ such as going from very animated to sad
What is Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)?
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a ‘dramatic’ personality disorder.
People with HPD have an overwhelming desire for attention and often exhibit dramatic behavior in order to be noticed.
They also might have rapid-shifting emotions, be excessively sensitive to criticism, and have difficulty maintaining relationships.
People with HPD tend to be charming and have good social skills but are said to use these traits to manipulate others and steal the spotlight.
HPD is more common in women than men.
Potential causes include:
- Lack of criticism or punishment as a child
- positive reinforcement for specific behavior
- Unpredictable attention given to a child by a parent
What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) – also known as Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) – is a disorder of mood and how a person interacts with others.
It’s the most commonly recognized personality disorder.
In general, someone with a personality disorder will differ significantly from an average person in terms of how he or she thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others.
People with BPD are often uncertain about their identity and therefore tend to change interests and values rapidly.
They also tend to view things in extremes and are known to change their feelings towards people quickly.
Risk factors for BPD include:
- Abandonment in childhood or adolescence
- Disrupted family life
- Poor communication in the family
- Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
Heard starred as Mera in the original film in 2018 alongside Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman.
Now, Depp fans are calling for Heard to be axed from Aquaman 2, which is due to be released next March.
Critics believe she should suffer the same fate Depp did when he was dropped by Disney in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the sixth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean – after Heard alleged he had domestically abused her.
‘I will not be going to view Aquaman 2 movie if Amber is playing the role,’ one fan tweeted. ‘I love Jason Momoa, I can’t support a project that fires the victim and kept the abuser in their films.’
Another said: ‘I don’t care if Amber Heard’s Aquaman 2 screen time is reduced to 10min. I won’t watch it until they reduce it to 0.’
Depp is suing Heard for $50million, claiming she defamed him and ruined his career after a 2018 Washington Post article in which she described herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’, without naming him.
Heard is countersuing for $100million. Up until now she has watched on as the actor has made multiple allegations about her alleged behavior during their tumultuous relationship.
If the petition, which is already rapidly rising, reaches 4,500,000 signatures it will become one of the top signed on Charge.org.
A petition calling for Amber Heard to be axed from the upcoming Aquaman 2 film has passed three million signatures
Heard featured as Mera in the 2018 movie Aquaman, and is set to reprise her role in the sequel
Depp and Heard are seen in September 2015 in Venice, Italy – the same year a blowout fight in Australia took place
It states: ‘Amber Heard has been exposed as a domestic abuser by Johnny Depp.
‘In his lawsuit, Johnny Depp describes many incidents of domestic abuse that he suffered at the hands of his (then) wife Amber Heard, including one incident where she punched him twice in the face and another where she shattered his finger with a vodka bottle, and his finger had to be surgically reattached.
‘He will bear the scar from that for the rest of his life.’
It continues: ‘Men are victims of domestic abuse, just like women. This must be recognized, and action must be taken to prevent a known abuser from being celebrated within the entertainment industry.
‘Do the right thing. Remove Amber Heard from Aquaman 2.’
The A-list trial in Virginia, which started on April 11 and is set to last another three weeks, has so far seen Depp claim he was the victim of domestic abuse during his four days of testimony – with his bodyguard on Thursday even describing in detail the wounds on the actor’s face allegedly sustained during a confrontation with Heard.
The PR firm switch came following several days of court testimony from Depp witnesses that saw the social-media mob suddenly turn against Heard.
Heard’s credibility as a philanthropist also took a battering when it was claimed she had not donated $3.5million of her divorce settlement to charity – something she had promised publicly to do.
Just says before she is scheduled to give testimony against ex-husband Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, pictured, reportedly fired her PR team and hired a new public relations firm
Heard, 36,was using Precision Strategies but has now switched to the services of LA-based Shane Communications, an organization with a bevy of Hollywood experience
Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’
She had apparently donated only $1.3 million — and much of that appeared to have come from her ex-boyfriend, billionaire Elon Musk.
According to Terence Dougherty, the chief operating officer of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the recipient of Amber’s ‘largesse’, $500,000 came from a Vanguard fund connected to Musk.
Her contributions dried up by 2019, and Dougherty told the court the ACLU ‘learned that she was having financial difficulties’.
Heard’s lawyer is arguing Depp abused the her both physically and sexually and she hopes to make her point once she takes the stand early this week.
Shane Communications is led by its CEO David Shane, who has briefed against Depp in the past.
In 2017, the firm highlighted accusations made by Depp’s former business managers, The Management Group, alleging that the Pirates of the Caribbean star needed to hire a shrink for his ‘compulsive spending’ habit of spending $2 million per month.
Depp then launched a $25 million lawsuit last month against his business managers, The Mandel Company, claiming ‘gross mismanagement’ of his affairs.
One crisis communications expert told the Post that they believed the new PR company would have its work cut out in order to change the narrative.
‘It’s crazy to change teams in the middle of a trial like this because you don’t like the headlines,’ said Lis Smith, a senior communications director for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk, 50, donated $500,000 to the ACLU on behalf of Amber Heard when the two were dating in 2016, the actress’s defamation trial heard Thursday. The two are pictured together in 2017
Heard and Depp, who were married for just 15 months from 2015, are halfway through the explosive trial, which is expected to end on May 19. The pair are pictured in November 2011
‘After years of narrative building, you can’t change the public’s opinion in the three weeks when someone is suing you in a case.’
Heard never wanted cameras to be allowed in the courtroom at all, but Depp’s team pushed for it, and won.
It means that the entirety of the trial could be heard by the public instead of the media simply cherry-picking what made it outside.
The trial has so far covered all manner of bizarre behavior with shocking allegations levied by both sides.
Depp has even accused his ex of defecating on their bed in an act of aggression.
Testimony so far has also included photos of severed fingers, pictures of feces, videos of explosive arguments and temper tantrums, and even a discussion about the Hollywood star’s penis.
Depp denies the allegations of abuse noting how he brought the lawsuit in order to clear his name.
Lawyers for Heard say such denials are not credible because the actor was too drunk and high to remember what occurred.
The trial in the Fairfax County Courthouse runs Monday to Thursday from 10am to 5pm, and is set to conclude on May 19. Judge Penny Azcarate has a prescheduled conference from May 9 to 12 when the trial will pause for a week.