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What is Provigil? Amber Heard cross exam brings up obscure medication

Filiz Mustafa May 18, 2022

Amber Heard’s previous prescription of Provigil has resurfaced following her cross-examination from Johnny Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez this week.

The Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard defamation case entered its fifth week and the Aquaman star concluded her direct testimony on Monday, 16 May.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, Heard’s friend Raquel Pennington appeared as a witness and brought up the actress’ use of Provigil.

So, what is the medication used for? Here’s what you need to know about it.

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Amber Heard’s prescription of Provigil explained

During the cross-examination of Heard’s testimony on Tuesday, her long-time friend Raquel Pennington testified that Heard had used Provigil, Good Morning America reports.

As reported by The Daily Mail in 2020, during Depp’s libel against The Sun, the court heard that the Aquaman star was prescribed Provigil when she was in her 20s. The report stated that she was “having a hard time with sleep” and it was causing problems with her work schedule.

The report further noted that the actress had taken it “to this day in the prescribed dose”.

At the time, Heard gave evidence in the libel action of her ex-husband against the news outlet The Sun over a 2018 article about him.

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Photo by ELIZABETH FRANTZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

What is Provigil?

Provigil is a medication prescribed by doctors to treat sleepiness due to narcolepsy, work sleep disorder or obstructive sleep apnea. The dosage of the medicine is based on individual medical conditions and response to treatment.

The medication is in the form of 100mg white, oblong tablets. Some of the listed side effects of using Provigil include headache, nausea, nervousness and dizziness.

Other serious side effects may include irregular heartbeat, chest pain and allergic reactions where patients must seek immediate medical help.

Before taking Provigil, patients need to alert their doctors or pharmacists of their medical history and any allergies they might think they have.

Spiderhead | Official Trailer | Netflix

Spiderhead | Official Trailer | Netflix

Meet the attorneys in the case

The lawyer who cross-examined Heard is called Camille Vasquez from the legal firm Brown Rudnick. She is an associate in the company’s litigation and arbitration practice group.

The 37-year-old specialises in plaintiff-side defamation suits and studied at the University of Southern California and Southwestern Law School.

Depp is also represented by Benjamin Chew from the same legal firm. He studied at Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law and represents clients from Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Amber Heard’s attorney is called Benjamin Rottenborn, who works at Virginia-based law firm Woods Rogers.

Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation because of an op-ed she published in the Washington Post in 2018. Heard is countersuing Depp. The trial is set to continue.

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Filiz is a film and TV journalist with a flair for everything related to showbiz and reality TV. With a Masters degree in Magazine Journalism from Cardiff University, she has specialised in finding the latest trending story to keeping up to date with new releases for a creative feature. When she's not busy creating entertainment content, she loves spending time in nature, reading non-fiction books, eating comfort food and travelling.