America watches the defamation case which is taking place in Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard in
Fairfax, Virginia, and America appears to be utterly in a state of confusion by it. Vanity Fair
reports that Court TV broadcasts the trial and has doubled its ratings for daytime. The trial’s
hashtags have been trending on Twitter while viewers watch and discuss the biggest celebrity
trial of the year the muckiness, the controversy, its glamorous film that is at the center, and the
issue of which one to believe is the truth – Depp v. Heard
It’s a murky and complicated trial. It’s technically a defamation case, the issue is an article
published in a newspaper — and Depp taking on Heard at its heart is a huge conflict. Amber
Heard says Johnny Depp has abused her. Depp affirms that Heard was abusive to him. What’s
Astonishingly in our post-MeToo world, it appears like the loudest opinions on social media have
agreed with Depp. There is evidence convincing to suggest that violence occurred both on and off the other side of the marriage however, it’s not so obvious that the evidence supports the
story of Depp, or suggests that he’s got the best chance of winning the case.
What Depp has is greater public recognition. Although it’s been more than 10 years since he put
out a truly critical smash, he’s put out an impressive amount of acclaimed work during his
lengthy career to garner an impressive amount of respect.
The main character in hits such as Edward Scissorhands, Donnie Brasco, and the numerous
and many Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, Depp has been nominated for three Oscars and
has been named People’s Most Sexy Man alive twice. At most, he was of those individuals who
are so financially secure that they can do almost anything: a white guy who is also an A-list sex
figure. He was in the top echelon of society: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and
In the course of Depp’s declining film career during the decade His personal and financial
problems started. In the year 2017 Depp filed a lawsuit against both his long-time business
partners as well as the Entertainment lawyer in a claim that they’d manipulated his finances.
An infamous Rolling Stone profile from the time of this profile portrays Depp as a dying and
deluded figure isolated from reality by his wealth as well as his fame and the copious amount of
cocaine. Depp is, as Rolling Stone declared brutally, “a punchline: bankrupt, isolated, and one
more mistake away from being blackballed from his industry.”
Heard, On the other hand, was only getting close to the level of becoming an international star
when she first came across Depp in the filming of The Rum Diary in the year 2009. (At the time
both of them were involved with different people.) More than 20 years younger than Depp and
she was the first to be offered a major role as a character supporting in Judd Apatow’s 2008
rocker comedy Pineapple Express. In 2011, when the film The Rum Diary came out 2011 it
indicated that she was about to enter an entirely new stage of her career. She was playing her
love interests of the A-listers.
Then, Heard went on to have a major role on The Adderall Diaries in 2015 Magic Mike XXL and
The Adderall Diaries. In 2017 she was given her most prestigious part to date in the role of Mera
the queen of DC Comics’ Aquaman franchise.
This is to say that when the two actors got together and through the course of their relationship,
Johnny Depp was a well-known name to the American public. Amber Heard was very much not.
Additionally, their relationship coincided with Depp’s extensive and open downwards spiral.
In 2012. Depp as well as Heard had separated from their respective partners and started dating
one another. They got engaged in 2014 and in 2015 they tied the knot.
In the year 2016, Heard sought a divorce. A few days later she made a motion for a restraining
warrant. The rest would come from the point.
This is the guide you need to follow for this trial: Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard What we know,
and what we do not know, how each involved is spinning their story, and what it could mean to
the direction of the way we talk about gender-based violence in the post-MeToo world.
Who is who using whom, and why?
Johnny Depp is suing Amber Heard for defamation over an op-ed article she published in The
Washington Post in 2018. The op-ed is headlined “I have spoken out against sexual assault and
I faced the wrath of society. It’s time to change that,” Heard never mentions Depp however she
describes herself in the article as “a public figure who speaks out against domestic violence.”
Depp as well as his attorneys have claimed and a judge confirmed that Heard is clearly
suggesting that Depp had abused her throughout his long marriage.
Heard first came out publicly accusing Depp of domestic abuse in the month of May 2016, when
just days after filing the divorce papers, she sought and was granted an interim restraining order
in connection with domestic violence. The lawyer for Depp immediately released an apology
declaring that Heard had been lying and “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution
by alleging abuse.”
After the couple came to an out-of-court divorce agreement in August of 2016, Heard withdrew
her request for a permanent restraining injunction. The two also issued an official statement that
bizarrely claimed to assert that none of the contradictory assertions they made about the other
was factual. On one hand “There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm” (so Depp
wasn’t abusive) On the other hand “Neither party has made false accusations for financial
gains” (so Heard wasn’t lying for an improved deal in the financial realm).
In what seemed to be a plan to support the second part of that jointly issued statement Heard
out that she was awarded $7 million as part of the deal, and declared that she would give her
settlement to charities by dividing it among her ACLU as well as the Children’s Hospital of Los
Angeles. (This is a topic that will be discussed in the future.)
The statement was interpreted as the message: Heard couldn’t have been lying about Depp
using her for money, as she didn’t receive any money from the divorce. What reason for her
claim in the event that it was authentic?
But, gossip outlets like TMZ swiftly joined with Depp and said that Heard was a liar. In her
opinion piece, Heard asserts that she was ejected from a film and fashion-related campaign
following her allegations. Depp, meanwhile, kept working. In December of 2016, it was revealed
that Depp would play an important part in The Harry Potter spinoff franchise Fantastic Beasts
and Where to Find Them.
It’s worth noting that the initial wave of accusations and denials all occurred early in the year
2016, a just a few months prior to the election of Donald Trump and more than an entire year
before the charges of Harvey Weinstein that would send the nation into a new method of discussing the sexual assaults of celebrities. Certain feminist pop culture commentators (myself
included) were furious over the incident but, overall, there was not much energy. After the
divorce settlement was finalized, it looked like it was about to go into cultural ephemera, an
elusive memory that America mostly agrees to shudder away from and never to talk about
loudly as Rob Lowe’s sexual tape. Depp would continue working but Heard most likely won’t,
and that will simply be the way things played out.
In October 2017 the first charges against Harvey Weinstein dropped, and the world was
changed. The world was shocked over the notion that powerful men across Hollywood were
sexually assaulting women, and getting away from the practice. The notion that his ex-wife,
Johnny Depp, was forced to seek an injunction against the actor was sudden and significant.
In that environment, Heard was appointed the women’s rights ambassador for the ACLU and it
was in this capacity, that she published her opinion piece in December of 2018. A few months
later, in March 2019, Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against her, seeking $50 million. Then, in
January of 2021 Heard filed a countersuit for the sum of 100 million. Heard’s countersuit is likely
to be heard in the coming months as well, in Virginia. The current trial is Depp’s suit against
Perhaps even more unclearly, this case appears to be similar to a do-over. In the year 2018,
Depp sued the executive editor and publisher of British tabloid The Sun for libel after it made
reference to Depp as”a “wife-beater” in an article. He then brought the matter to the famously
more litigious British court.
The lawsuit brought by Depp against the Sun was argued in London at the end of 2020, it was
the onus lay on Sun to prove that its claim regarding Depp was accurate. Despite the odds
against the Sun, the publication, that urged Heard to provide 14 instances in which she claimed
Depp was abusive to her and her family, was successful. The judge ruled the fact that “Mr. Depp
placed her in danger for her safety,” then shortly after, Depp declared that he’d been asked to
leave his position as the head of the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Since Depp filed a lawsuit against the Sun However, and not Heard the verdict was not sufficient
to end the suit against Heard. It’s going to go on in Virginia.
Do you think this is a case of “mutual abuse?” Or is it DARVO?
If there’s one thing evident in the case of Depp and Heard is that not much is apparent. The
case is very complex and messy.
There is evidence to suggest that Depp was violent towards Heard. In the UK court, Heard
submitted witness testimony, emails, text messages, and diary entries as well as photographs
showing her bruises. In all, they revealed an obvious pattern of abuse, particularly frequently
when Depp was intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. To fake these, Heard would have had to work
for years attempting to discredit Depp’s reputation. (He claims she did.)
While the details are way too vast to be a complete list in this article, here’s an outline of some
of the most talked-about incidents that are in question.
A few months ago, one of her close female acquaintances embraced her. In the words of Heard,
Depp, drunk and drunk, went into an angry rage and grasped the woman’s wrists, and
threatened to harm her. He then allegedly destroyed the cabin in which he and Heard resided,
slapped Heard, and threw glasses at the woman. Numerous witnesses confirm that Depp was
certainly angry and destroyed the cabin. Further investigation also revealed texts written at the
time of the incident between Depp and actor Paul Bettany in which they dream of burning Heard
as a witch. “Let’s drown her before burning her! !” Depp texts at an earlier time. “I will fuck her
burnt corpse afterward to make sure she’s dead.”
In March 2015, on holiday in Australia, Heard says that Depp was on an intense tear in which
she was repeatedly assaulted by him. Two Heard and Depp both agree that the tip of Depp’s
finger was cut off during the time (Depp claims Heard hit a bottle with him and cut off the tip and
Heard claims Depp cut off the finger himself after he punched the wall as well as a wall-mounted
phone) He then used his injured finger to write demeaning graffiti about Heard over a mirror as
well as a lampshade. The Heard’s sister and acquaintance Rocky Pennington testified that they
observed her suffering from cuts and bruises just a few minutes after the incident that was in
question as well as they also testified that Heard informed them at the time that Depp had
slapped her. The text messages show the staff of Depp agreeing to claim that they did not know
what caused him to lose the fingertip.
“I accept that she [Heard] was the victim of sustained and multiple assaults by Mr. Depp in
Australia,” wrote UK Judge Andrew Nicol in his judgment. “It is an indication of his fury that he
admitted to writing graffiti with blood on his finger that was injured and later when that was not
enough to heal his injured finger with paint and writing messages on other things. I believe that
she has evidence of the severity of the attack he carried out against her. They must have been
frightening. I am sure that Mr. Depp made her fearful of her own life.”
There is also strong evidence to suggest that Heard was violent towards Depp throughout the
course of their relationship.
Depp has released audio recordings of his conversations with Heard throughout their
relationship. In the audio recordings that were first made public in The Daily Mail shortly before
the UK trial that began in January of 2020 Heard mentions hitting Depp. She states “I’m sorry I
did not … strike you on the forehead with an appropriate slap But I was hitting you, but I wasn’t
me who was punching you. You’re not being punched. I’m not sure what the movement of my
hand actually was, but I didn’t injure you. I didn’t hit you. I was hitting you.”
Depp says “I just couldn’t take the idea of more physicality, more physical abuse on each other,”
warning Heard that “I’m scared to death we are a fucking crime scene right now.” Heard
responds, “I can’t promise you that I will not get physically abused again. God, I sometimes
become so angry, I lose it.”
In a second audio recording in a discussion about what happened in the Australian situation,
Heard appears to mock the notion that Depp could present himself as the victim.
“I lost a fucking finger, man,” says Depp. “I had a can of mineral spirits thrown at my face.”
“You can tell people it was a fair fight, and then see what the jury and judge think,” Heard
declares. “Tell everyone around you, Johnny. Say to them: ‘Johnny Depp, I’m as a man, am an
individual victim of domestic violence. It’s an equal fight and then sees how many people are
convinced or agree with you.”
On April 20, 2022, Depp’s crew made this tape available at the hearing in Fairfax during their
testimony of Depp. The lawyer Depp asked him what his response was to the suggestion that
Heard suggested that he reveal to the world that he was victimized by domestic violence and
Depp said, “I said, ‘Yes, I am.'”
Team Depp relies on the distinction between his reported past and that of Heard’s. Although
Depp has been previously accused of damage to property and threats verbally he’s never had a
case of violence like the sort of violence Heard says she experienced in her account that other
girlfriends have stated as unusual for the actor. Heard, however, does have a few minor
accusations of assault to answer for.
The year 2009 was when Heard was involved in a fight at the air terminal along with
then-girlfriend Tasya van Ree. Police were able to arrest Heard for allegedly striking van Ree’s
arm. However, charges were never brought. Van Ree released an apology to Heard and
claimed that the incident was dismissed over the top she attributes it to the police’s misogyny
The former assistant of Heard, Kate James, testified in the court in April that when she
requested Heard a raise in pay, Heard spat in her face.
Depp is asserting that Heard did not actually donate her entire divorce settlement to a charity
like she stated she would. (I said that the money would be returned!) Although Heard stated that
she would donate to her ACLU $3.5 million, it appears that ACLU has verified that she gave
only $1.3 million. The ACLU also said that it believes that at most $500,000 was directly from
Elon Musk, who Heard briefly dated shortly after the divorce of Depp. The team of Depp
appears to be trying to suggest that Heard is actually in need of cash, and this was the reason
she came up with to pursue Depp.
What do to do about these two conflicting versions of the story?
On April 14 the team Depp invited wedding counselor Laurel Anderson to the stand during the
Fairfax trial. Anderson who was the counselor to Depp and Heard throughout their marriage,
claimed she believed their relationship to constitute “mutual abuse.”
Anderson said she witnessed Heard injured after fights with Depp Heard was bruised, and
Heard claimed that she’d started combative fights against Depp several times. She claimed, however, that she was not sure that Depp had also started violent fights against Heard. Both
Depp, as well as Heard, have stated that they suffered physical violence as children, and
Anderson believes that their relationship led them back into unhealthy childhood habits, both of
them committing abuse to the other, and neither being as responsible for the other.
Yet, domestic violence experts define the notion of “mutual abuse” as divisive.
“I do not believe in mutual abuse. I don’t think two parties agree to gather in the kitchen and
then seal it up,” Ruth Glenn is the chief executive officer of the National Coalition Against
Domestic Violence told NBC News. Glenn insists that each fight between two individuals
includes the distinction of a “primary aggressor,” and that even if one person responds in
self-defense it is not considered a case of mutual abuse.
Another notion in research on domestic violence which could prove to be more valuable in our
understanding of the situation is the DARVO.
“DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrongdoing, particularly sexual offenders, may
display in response to being held accountable for their behavior,” writes Jennifer J. Freyd, an
emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Oregon. “DARVO” is a reference to Deny
or Attack and Reverse the Victim and Offender. The offender or perpetrator can deny the
behavior, attack the person who is in confrontation, and reverse the roles of the Victim and
Offender so that the perpetrator assumes the victim’s role and makes the real person who is the
victim whistleblower into an accused offender.”
In this instance, both Depp and Heard affirm they’re being accused of being abusers by the
actual abuser. If both of them are honest and the other one is engaging in typical DARVO.
Which one is it?
This isn’t an issue that could be answered to the complete satisfaction of a court that is
enforcing criminal law without a shadow of a doubt. However, here’s what we know.
Johnny Depp is 23 years older than Amber Heard, exponentially more well-known, and for the
duration of their relationship, he was more wealthy than Amber Heard. (Neither either of them
appears to have a lot of liquid money at the moment.) Of the two He was the one who was in a
position to be the one to exercise power. In the UK where it’s impossible to demonstrate a
situation such as this, a court was able to determine that Depp was likely to be the aggressor
If that’s true and it’s true, what is the reason why there are so many online users certain that
Depp is innocently a person and Heard is a victim of abuse?
Why is it that the majority of people on the internet are supporting Johnny
The huge amount of support online for Depp is now one of the most bizarre aspects of this
particular case. Through Reddit, Twitter, and TikTok users have been loudly expressing their
love for Depp and their confidence that Heard is a fraud.
“Posters on Twitter and TikTok have overwhelmingly backed Depp, with hashtags like
‘JusticeForJohnnyDepp’ racking up nearly 3 billion views on TikTok. The same hashtags were
shared thousands of times,” reported NBC News before the trial began.
“Why does it seem like the entire internet is Team Johnny Depp?” said Vice by citing memes
that speak of Heard as”a “liar,” a “gold digger,” and “Amber Turd,” in addition to the viral TikTok
which calls out Heard by saying, “He could have killed you, he had every right.”
“To read the posts, you’d think Heard was on trial for a slew of violent crimes against Depp, not
being sued over a newspaper column,” adds Mel Magazine.
The reason for all this rage could be due to the two actors’ different positions in certain
distinctively dangerous internet subgroups. In his monthly newsletter tech reporter, Ryan
Broderick put together a simple overview of the overlap. “Basically a lot of boring men think
Johnny Depp is cool, [Zack] Snyder fans think Amber Heard’s issues with Depp have impacted
the release of DC movies, Harry Potter adults are mad that Depp was removed from the
Fantastic Beasts franchise after he was accused of domestic violence, and a lot of TERFs
viciously defend anything online about Harry Potter because of J.K. Rowling’s increasingly
public transphobia,” Broderick wrote.
There’s evidence that their team of Depp has utilized social media bots previously to incite
outrage toward Heard. in 2020 The team that Heard was working with commissioned an
investigation by Bot Sentinel, a company that makes use of artificial intelligence to identify bots
that troll. The report found a variety of Twitter accounts it deemed suspicious, such as one
which wrote, “Fire her from all her rolls blacklist this crazy liar,” and one that wrote, “I am starting
a petition. In order to have Amber Heard blacklisted from Hollywood!”
The report doesn’t mean each Johnny Depp supporter on the web is actually a fake. It does
indicate that the Depp team has a long history of strategically amplifying conversations about
him in order to appear that the public is more with him than it really is.
Depp is also an icon for those who wish to engage in a discussion about the male victims of
domestic violence In good faith and bad.
On Twitter, genuine tweets about Depp abound, using a hashtag that reads BelieveMaleVictims. A National Domestic Violence Hotline estimates that one out of seven adult males within the US has been victimized by domestic violence. However, if they say that
men are less susceptible than women publicly report their abuse or seek assistance. People
who support Depp believe that his choice to admit that he is the person who has been a victim
of violence in the home is a significant move towards removing the stigma.
“One can only hope that public attention surrounding the Depp trial will impart the importance of
protecting oneself and believing male victims, too,” states The Washington Examiner.
In the meantime, Mel magazine reports that in the manosphere, where men’s rights activists
speak out against the evils of feminism, Depp has become a hero. “His trial fits neatly into a
tapestry of claims that men are under attack, woven alongside clumsy narratives about false
rape accusations and mothers lying to block children from their fathers,” Mel states by citing
remarks that Depp supporters complain about our society’s “disproportional focus on female
‘suffering'” and demand the abolition of “the believe all women with no evidence narrative.”
In this case, the ambiguity of this situation is in essence providing the cover needed for the
possibility of a Me Too backlash. If someone feels that I Too was a step too far, the Me Too
movement was too far, embracing Depp over Heard is a way to frame their disapproval of Me
Too as principled solidarity with male victims of sexual abuse instead of a reactionary
It’s also important to note it’s worth noting that Depp is the only genuine A-list sex icon to have
to endure the anger of Me too. In the midst of numerous very well-known and well-known males
being accused of doing a lot of horrible things to women between 2017 and 2018, Depp was the
only person who was a three-time Oscar nominee as well as a two-time People’s Most Sexy
The public has been admiring Depp’s talent, charisma, and beauty, and all the admiration
doesn’t simply disappear any time soon. Depp’s fans have formed an emotionally powerful
investment in his character, and a lot of them are ready to jump at any hint of doubt, in this case,
to prove that Depp is innocent. In a trial like this, it’s not easy to find a number of doubts.
Perhaps this is the most troubling aspect of the wider discussion surrounding this case that is
the inability to deal with the uncertainties. In the face of a marriage in which there is a
compelling instance of violence as well as a toxic attitude on both sides, our society cannot
accept that we’re viewing a story with no heroes. Instead, we want an organized narrative that
has the arc of a heroic redemption the hero is a beloved charismatic, dazzling, and powerful
white man, it’s all the better.
It’s not likely that Depp will prevail in the case. US laws on libel place on the plaintiff to prove
upon the person accusing and not the person accused and that means it’s up to Depp to show
his jury that they did not commit a crime against Heard. If he loses an appeal in the UK in a
country where the laws on libel laws had a higher chance of favoring him, then it’s tough to
imagine him winning an outcome when he’s in the US.
It’s also hard to imagine his reputation completely recuperating from his recent series of
lawsuits. Even when Heard accuses him of abuse in the home, Hollywood had plenty of
protection to go on like normal, since it cooperated with Depp until he brought the battle to court.
Depp was not removed from Fantastic Beasts in the end and he won the UK case. Another setback in US courts could cause him to be a source of film producer’s liability for quite a while.
And Heard is a woman with little of a reputation to safeguard her and could be at a higher risk.
If this story has been to prove anything is that Johnny Depp is still a celebrity, and is capable of
drawing the attention of the nation. If you’re a movie star whose star is dimming rapidly, maybe
this is enough.