As Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard continues to get ugly in court legally, in the court of public opinion and social media, things appear even more toxic as fans of the actor go on the attack of anyone defending Heard, most recently psychiatrist Dr. David R. Spiegel, MD, who appeared on Monday.
During Spiegel’s testimony, he said that basing his findings on the actor and other’s testimony, that the way Depp’s behaved appeared consistent with someone who has a substance use disorder and someone who is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence, per NBC News. Depp’s legal team countered, questioning the psychiatrist’s ability to assume that without having spoken to Depp. Spiegel responded that he asked to speak with Depp twice and was denied.
Spiegel’s appearance and testimony in court spurred an immediate backlash from scores of toxic people, seeming Depp fans and possible abusers, who inundated social media with negative reviews about a doctor whom they likely know zero about, save for his appearance at the trial, as NBC News’ tech and culture reporter Kat Tenbarge highlighted on Twitter.
The unhinged review posts Tenbarge shared ranged from calling him “terrible” to accusing him of misdiagnoses. “Terrible doctor! I do not recommend this man to anyone,” one wrote in a post Tenbarge shared. Another writes: “He has been unprofessional unpleasant to work with he has mis diagnosed [sic] multiple people with the slightest hint of regret and acts like he know everything he should be avoided at all times.” At press time, on WebMD’s review page, the psychiatrist has been flooded with 1-star reviews that all appear to have been posted following his testimony.
Alongside the deeply troubling consequences the defamation trial has brought on for survivors of domestic abuse, those who testify are also facing undue consequences for speaking their truths in a courtroom while anyone with an opinion can attempt to damage their reputations unfettered via social media and the internet.