Doc Brown Trends as Amber Heard Expert Witness Gets Combative at Johnny Depp Trial

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard may be the ones on trial — but Christopher Lloyd was the name trending on Monday.

After a very animated cross examination of Depp’s legal team, Twitter could not help but compare psychiatrist Dr. David Spiegel with iconic “Back to the Future” character, Doc Brown.

Dr. Spiegel was called by Heard’s team to provide testimony on substance abusers and intimate partner violence (IPV); as with all expert witnesses, the summoning team pore over their qualifications to qualify them as an expert witness, which is usually just a formality.

But when Depp’s legal team objected to Spiegel being considered an expert on IPV, it kicked off what would become a very combative cross-examination.

Wayne Dennison attempted to pick apart his resume, claiming Dr. Spiegel had never written about or presented specifically on IPV — and the witness visibly bristled.

“IPV doesn’t appear on your CV at all?” Dennison queried.

“If you say its not on my CV I’ll believe you,” Spiegel shot back.

The two then sparred on the American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater Rule — named after US Senator and former presidential nominee Barry Goldwater — which says that psychiatrists should not give professional opinions about public figures that they have not examined in person… which as Dennison pointed out, Spiegel had not. Spiegel said he had requested to interview Depp twice — but had been refused.

Dennison then asked what Spiegel used as his baseline for analyzing Johnny Depp’s cognitive speed: “At deposition, didn’t you say what you did was compare Mr. Depp’s performance in lots of Pirates movies against his deposition here?”

“I apologize for what I said,” the irritated Spiegel responded. “Then I misspoke.”

“Because you can’t compare Pirates to sworn testimony, right?” Dennison challenged, before asking why he’d ignored some of Depp’s other performances

“Willy Wonka doesn’t matter to you?” which drew giggles from the gallery. “You see that movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Did you look at that one when you were comparing his processing speed?”

Spiegel, speechless for a pained few seconds, turned to the judge: “Do I have to answer that question, Your Honor?”

“You have to answer questions, yes sir,” the judge told him — and it would not be the only time she had to keep him on track.

“No you’ll be happy to know I didn’t see Willy Wonka,” the clearly frustrated doctor finally replied. “I didn’t see 21 Jump Street when it happened. No I did not.”

Dennison, who appeared to relish getting under the doctor’s skin, then took another sharp turn.

“During your deposition – what were the circumstances in which you decided to call Mr Depp ‘an idiot?'”

Scrambling to remember the context, Dr. Spiegel said he was referring to Depp taking an overnight flight from Europe the day before he was to give a video deposition.

“I didn’t call Mr. Depp an idiot — I certainly called that planning an idiot,” Spiegel insisted.

“So the words ‘So I mean he’s an idiot’ are mis-transcribed?” Dennison queried, quoting Spiegel’s previous statement. “Is ‘idiot’ a professional opinion? Is it your practice to describe people as idiots?”

“You gave me 9 hours of deposition — if I said the word idiot, it was an idiot in planning,” Spiegel insisted. “It wasn’t making him an idiot, I don’t know Mr Depp’s IQ, I don’t know his overall functioning.”

Jumping on that last admission, Dennison then questioned what he was basing his assumption that Depp was suffering from impairment of function. In response, Spiegel pointed to Depp’s agent’s testimony that he turned up late to movie sets, and that he had read that Depp uses an earpiece to be fed lines on movie sets.

Spiegel was then forced to admit that he didn’t know if that was true — nor did he know how prevalent the use of earpieces were in acting.

The wacky cross-examination was brought to close by the most bizarre Q&A of the whole session, which even caused Johnny Depp to facepalm.

“Do you know whether Marlon Brando used an earpiece?” Dennison queried.

“Isn’t he dead?” Spiegel replied. “So the answer is no, he does not use one now.”

With that, the judge mercifully brought the trial to lunch break.

The trial continues.

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