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Depp’s doctor, nurse testify; actor expected to take stand on Tuesday

Johnny Depp arrives in the courtroom after a lunch break at the Fairfax County Courthouse on April 18. (Steve Helber/AFP/Getty Images)

Johnny Depp is expected to take the stand on Tuesday in his defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard, a source close to the actor has confirmed. But on Monday, attention was on Depp’s personal doctor and nurse, who testified via video for the Fairfax County jury. They detailed Depp’s attempt to detox in 2014 after he became dependent on opiates; both recalled that it came as his relationship with Heard was deteriorating.

Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 35, for $50 million for an op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post in 2018 claiming she is a survivor of domestic abuse; Heard is countersuing Depp for defamation for $100 million. (The trial is taking place in Virginia because The Post’s printing press and online server are in Fairfax County.)

David Kipper, a Beverly Hills-based physician, testified that Depp was “fearful” about stopping his use of opiates, which he took after a dental procedure. Eventually, they came up with a plan where he would travel to his private island in the Bahamas for the detoxification process in August 2014, accompanied by Heard (his fiancee at the time) and several members of his staff.

Kipper and Debbie Lloyd, a registered nurse, also traveled to the island to assist in the process and give Depp medication. Looking at her notes from the time period for recollection, Lloyd spoke about Depp experiencing muscle spasms, chills and pains — typical for anyone going through detox — and feeling frustrated. Part of his desire to give up on the treatment, Lloyd said, “was due to tension between him and [his] fiancee.”

Kipper, Lloyd, Depp and Heard came up with a plan for Heard to “take a few days for herself,” Lloyd had written in her notes. She recalled several other incidents throughout the fall where Depp appeared increasingly stressed by arguments with Heard; at one point, Heard agreed to start working with her own personal nurse and see a therapist to help with her anxiety and try a new mood stabilizer.

Both Kipper and Lloyd said they did not witness physical abuse between the couple; Lloyd said she did see arguments between the two, and once saw Depp push over one of Heard’s clothing racks while on vacation. Lloyd said she grew concerned about the couple’s arguments because they were a “trigger” for Depp, and he would become upset.

Checking her notes, Lloyd said Depp kicked in a door while filming a 2014 project, refused to speak to the director, was “verbally aggressive” and was prescribed Xanax to calm down. Several months before his marriage to Heard in February 2015, Lloyd wrote in her notes that Depp was “anxious and depressed” over his relationship issues.

About a month after Depp and Heard married, they traveled to Australia where he was filming the fifth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” During an argument between the couple, the top part of Depp’s right middle finger was sliced off. He told the emergency room doctors he cut it with a knife, Kipper said, though Lloyd testified she heard different stories: In one version, Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him, and in another, Depp slammed his hand with the phone. The tip of his finger was eventually found on the floor of the kitchen of the house, Kipper said.

Lloyd testified that at one point in Australia, she saw a bruise on Heard’s arm, but did not elaborate. She said that after the finger incident, according to her notes, Depp was advised to stay away from Heard because their relationship was “toxic.”