It seems like it’s a bad thing when a guy who admits to drunken rages, threats, and “jokes” about defiling his wife’s corpse wins a defamation suit against an op-ed alluding to him being…. domestically violent.
How to untangle this effed up skein of Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard?
Is this a case about a man who is wrongly accused of abuse from a manipulative, disordered woman? Because that is a thing. (Read this blog.)
Is this a case about a less-powerful, much younger woman standing up to an abusive, older, more-powerful ex and speaking her truth? And then being vilified for it? That is also a thing. (Read this blog.)
Or is this “mutual abuse” — of the “we both brought flaming cauldrons of dysfunction to the relationship, I’m-a-shit-you’re-a-shit” our therapists cancel each other out in the court of public opinion thing?
Wait! I’ve got more spin!
Or is this a public service announcement about winning the pick-me-dance? Schmoopie twu luv goes awry. Depp had a 14-year relationship and two kids with Vanessa Paradis when he met co-star Amber Heard in The Rum Diary. How’d that work out? Your dream boat turns out to be a litigious fuckwit who dresses like the love child of Tyler Perry and a Mexican drug lord.
I can’t pretend to understand it all. But I’ll tell you what I’m struck with — that Depp sued Heard for defamation. For an op-ed that didn’t even mention him by name, but clearly alluded to him. And that #MeToo newsprint wounded his ego so much, that he sued her for $50 million.
The impression management was THAT important.
But, but! His career!
Do you really expect me to believe that wife-beating hurts your career in Hollywood? Or ANYWHERE? A self-professed pussy grabber became president. Harvey Weinstein was an open secret for decades. Robert Wagner was suspected of murdering Natalie Wood, didn’t seem to hurt his prospects.
I could go on and on and on and on. Abusing women is ticketyboo. Talking about it? Not so much.
And that’s the lens that I see this craziness through. He SUED her. He did not have to sue her. The man cultivates a rogue image. Slapping women around doesn’t offend him. Heck, he made jokes about stuffing Amber Heard into the trunk of a Honda Civic and fucking her corpse. He isn’t the Marquess of Queensbury.
People tittering that he hits his wife in drunken rages was not going to keep him from work, in my opinion. Being an erratic spray-tanned pirate with a substance abuse problem was going to keep him from work. Being a has-been pushing 60 was going to keep him from work.
A messy divorce and an op-ed was not going to hurt his employment prospects. He wanted to punish her. And if he had to flip through the rage, charm and self-pity channels in public to win the narrative, he’d do it.
Beware the narcissist’s ego.