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Who is Dr David Spiegel, Amber Heard’s Witness?

The latest on the Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp trial is that Amber Heard’s legal team called psychiatrist David Spiegel to the stand as a defence witness on Monday (23 May 2022) 

But who is Dr David Spiegel, and what is his area of expertise and what is his connection to the case, and his career to date?

Dr David R Spiegel MD is a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences. He completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Duke University and earned his medical degree at the State University of New York’s Health Science Centre in Brooklyn.

He developed an interest in cognitive therapy for anxiety disorders while studying in New York according to his professional biography on the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) website.

After several years in private practice, Dr Spiegel joined EVMS 21 years ago, in 2001. He has since published numerous academic articles on anxiety disorders and psychological ailments such as schizophrenia, peripartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychosis, and paramnesia, as well as patients who have suffered sexual or child abuse.

His practice is based in Norfolk, Virginia which is about 200 miles south of Fairfax, where the Depp Heard case is taking place.

The majority of Dr Spiegel’s patients have substance abuse problems and this is according to the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper. He has apparently treated “thousands” of patients. Half of his patients suffer from trauma, and between a quarter and a fifth of those suffer from IPV. 

In his testimony (according to Newsweek) Dr Spiegel said that he has studied the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain, and the causes and effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) during his career.

 Dr David Spiegel is a board-certificated psychiatrist licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine, and “in good standing” according to court documents relating to previous legal proceedings between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp,

Dr Spiegel took the stand on the 23rd of May 2022 when Heard’s team called him up.

His testimony according to the Daily Mail is as follows: “Mr Depp has behaviours that are consistent with someone that both has substance use disorder as well as behaviours of someone who is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence.”

Dr Spiegel also said he was “not here to impeach Mr Depp’s acting skills or his persona. He has way greater skills than I do in that.”

Nevertheless, he said, for a man of his age, Depp showed an “unusual” inability to complete memory tests.

Read Also: What Caused the Death of Desmond Tutu?

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