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Untangling Depp vs. Heard

Johnny Depp
Source: Wikipedia

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.

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  • I don’t know… if I could have sued my ex and smeared him on the world’s stage for what he did to me, I would have done it. In a heartbeat. I don’t think I”m a narcissist for it but there was definitely a burning need for justice there. If I had the means, I might have pursued a slander case.

    I went into that trial thinking they were both shitty people and had a lower opinion of him because he was a dirty old man with a young woman. But her performance… My mother has a personality disorder. I’m sorry if it hurts feelings but after years of abuse I see the personality disordered as evil. They have to be self aware of their “personality” and actively working very hard not to be evil to everyone around them. Watching that trial was like having flashbacks to my mother’s terrible acting. He might be a total piece of shit, I wouldn’t know but I know she’s a monster.

    • They might both be monsters. I don’t deny that. But I’m still struck that he sued her. He kept engaging. She might be a gold-digging monster, but he still had the power and money and could’ve walked away.

      • CL – exactly! The lawsuit was unnecessary. It was just to punish her. And that’s where his supposed “nice guy innocence” is lost. And he wanted it on a public stage. Just gross

        • I disagree about the law suit being unnecessary in Depp’s point of view. Depp lost his leading role in the Secrets of Dumbledore movie trilogy. He was being blacklisted because of the accusations. While he may not have needed the $, his ego and art wanted to complete that role.

          • I agree with Skunkcabbage. Furthermore, the actual evidence shows that HE was seriously abused, by her, not vice versa.

            In addition to losing the role in Secrets of Dumbledore, which has more sequels planned, he was also dropped from Pirates of the Carribean, which was also likely to have more sequels. I do think that he lost both roles because of Heard’s allegations of violence, NOT because of drug use, because there are plenty of stars who keep getting roles despite drug use, simply they are box office draws! Morton Downey Jr. is an example. So is Depp.

            In my line of work, I have seen a lot of couples where abuse is a factor. Depp behaves like the ones who were being abused–Heard behaves like the abusers. Like many abused people, his mental health and drug use became worse during the marriage, I think in response to her verbal abuse and belittlement (she called him a fat old has-been, etc) . Drug use does not make him an abuser of women–the British court was wrong to equate the two, as an abused person may increase drug use simply because of the humiliation and pain they are experiencing from being abused by their partner.

            He is awkward and honest even when it doesn’t put him in a great light–she is polished, smooth, and gets caught in a lot of lies during the trial. She has an actual documented history of violence toward at least one of her past partners; he does not. Furthermore, decades of his past partners, including his ex wife Paradis, have all been lining up to give witness that he was never violent or abusive with them. Amber Heard also has a reputation for entitled and abusive treatment of the people who work for her, confirmed by several of them. Depp has a reputation of treating everyone “like a gentleman”, confirmed not only by his employees but also by his ex-employees.

            Finally, if you follow the actual evidence, Depp is the one with the serious injuries (like her cutting off the top of his finger (doctor had to reattach it); like the bruising and scratching on his face documented by his security guard (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnfrv2z9uD4) Meanwhile, her claim that he bruised her face, was refuted by the police who actually examined her at the time and saw NO bruising or redness; AND there is film footage of her in the elevator during the period she says it happened, getting cosy with another man late at night in her bathrobe; the footage shows no bruising on her face. She is the unfaithful one in that marriage, not Depp; infidelity is also abuse!!

            Also, Heard spreads demonstrably false rumors about Dep to excuse her cutting the top of his finger off–for example she was trying to get the jury to believe that he pushed a previous girlfriend, Kate Moss, down the stairs. Kate Moss was luckily called to testify, and said under oath that Heard was slandering him–that in fact, he had already gone down the stairs before Moss, the stairs were wet and Moss slipped while following him down, and that he them picked her up and carried her to her room and got her medical attention.

            I am normally some one who says, “if there is no evidence other than “he says/she says”, believe the woman”. But in this case, there IS a ton of evidence, but it is against Heard, not Depp. There IS evidence that Heard was violent toward Depp, verbally abusive AND seriously injured him more than once–witnessed by people around them and by medical professionals–and in this case, it is Heard that has the HISTORY of violent behavior in a past relationship; Depp does not.

            In my opinion, Heard began as a verbal abuser who wore him down emotionally, then became physically abusive–the evidence from witnesses and medical reports shows that. I believe that is because she felt entitled to do it–in any case, there is a taped phone call where she taunts him saying that no one one will believe that a man can be physically abused by a woman, so he has no recourse. It is pretty chilling.

      • I understand where you’re coming from. At the same time, with histrionic and borderline personality disorders (my mom’s combo too) it can be impossible to walk away. She wasn’t letting up on talking about him or trying to contact him. Depending upon how severe her disorders are, she may STILL keep trying, even after this. If I had power and money I would not have walked away from my entire life, I’d have smeared my ex into a spot on the ground. And I’m not even a cheater who threw away my family for some young ho. So I kind of expect him to act worse than I would have in the situation.

        • She was diagnosed with BPD and histrionic PD by the non-board-certified Shannon Curry (who could not remember how much JD had paid her, but it sounded north of $300k) after 12 hours of interviews. The board-certified forensic psychologist Dawn Hughes testified she found no personality disorders after 29 hours of interviews, which was consistent with the non-diagnoses of two prior long-time therapists. So please stop asserting that Heard has personality disorders, when three out of four mental-health professionals said she doesn’t, and the one that does has been generously compensated by Johnny Depp to do so.

          I’m also very tired of the “they’re both awful,” “mutual abuse” line of babble. Self defense is NOT abuse. Abused spouses do not always react to their abuse in civilized, meek, deferential manners. If you listened at all to the testimony about “mutual abuse,” you would know it is not a widely accepted concept. IPV always involves some sort of power imbalance, with the more powerful partner abusing and attempting to control the less powerful. Between Heard and Depp, let’s see, who seems to be the more powerful–physically, financially, in terms of age and experience, success, and acclaim. There’s your abuser.

          • I listened just fine. As I said I have an abusive personality disorder mother. I see Amber Heard for what she is. I know her type all too well. I was one of their victims.

            • I grew up with someone just like Amber as well. Listening to the private recordings of her taunting, laughing at and belittling Johnny was all too familiar. My mom could go on for hours with what I can only describe as “rage rants”. Maybe someone who has been luckily not to experience this type of abuse can see her as the “less powerful” victim, but this woman is vile and after many years of abusive, knowing one of them feels like knowing them all.

              • Yep, exactly. They’ll go on for hours and hours and hours. My mom would stop mid rage to fill up a 2 liter bottle of water at the sink and chuck it at me. You know how long that takes to fully fill up? Long enough for any sane person to calm down and stop raging. But not these less than human monsters.

                Oh, unless someone “important” walks in, then they can flip it on and off like a switch. Oh, the telephone rings, now she’s sweet and nice for her 10 minute convo with her friend. The second she hangs up, RAGE! Like it never was interrupted.

                My mom is such a poor victim too, everybody feels so bad for her. She’s so little and weak and could never hurt anybody. poor, poor woman. People who haven’t experienced it will just never understand it. Because it doesn’t make any sense. But those of us who were their victims? Oh, we get it and we can identify it. That’s why they try so hard to shut us up by claiming if we dare talk and speak the truth we’re hurting all abused women. Abused women won’t be believed because we spoke about our abuse instead of shutting the hell up. As if we aren’t real women and real people and our abuse doesn’t count.

                Nope, they hurt abused women by being abusive and hiding behind their fake abused women personas. They’re why so many abused women aren’t believed. I hope they all rot.

              • well. I was recorded many times by my horribly violent ex after days of mental physical and emotional abuse. He would finally let me have a voice (invite me to speak after being silenced) and i would talk and ramble discordantly, calmly… then retrigger and be hysterical. i was in what i know understand is a trauma bond, my killer offers to hang me with a softer rope so it won’t hurt so much and i’m so broken and small i think he loves me…even though he is going to murder me. i did not watch the train wreck, i lived my own. just in case he is a narc who made her the villian, and her actions were those of someone who is having a hard time self regulating…show some grace and CL is right. Hollywood cherishes their monsters and he has all the signs of nasty.

            • My daughter has BPD and even she noted the behaviors in Amber during the trial. She noted the ease and belief others will simply buy your lies, the doubling down on those lies despite proof right in front of your face, etc. Sadly my daughter still does this same thing when spiraling, the effects are awful.

            • that’s the problem, people like you are projecting their experiences on Amber heard. You see Amber heard for what YOUR MOTHER is. This is not about you.

          • Will have to disagree with you. There are plenty of abusive women who are less powerful and make less money. I have run into this after my divorce.. “I didn’t think women can be abusers” is what I heard from women when I was telling my story. And remember, a lot of times the abuser is the one acting calm and collective. My ex was an expert of abusing me and in an instant acting all normal. My roommates saw it once and said it was the scariest thing they had ever seen. Don’t you think women have figured out that all they have to say is “He is a abuser” to ruin a man’s life? I know from experience. My ex has my kids convinced I am a narcissist when she is the one who has been diagnosed with it.

            • I’m very sorry it happened to you—but your personal experience has absolutely zilch to do with the fact that three mental-health professionals with collective years’ worth of direct contact with Amber Heard in a clinical-treatment setting diagnosed her as having no personality disorders (other than PTSD and battered-wife syndrome).

              • And your comment means zilch to me. I know a monster when I see one. She was so obvious it was disgusting.

              • Classic “appeal to authority” fallacy. You’re also implying that the personality disordered also aren’t extremely good at hoodwinking even professionals.
                I only had to watch about two minutes worth of content of Heard in court to be able to conclude that she has a combined BPD and histrionic personality disorder.

      • That’s a great point. They’re both coo coo but yes, why did we need to waste time and money did either of them NEED money? I dont know the situation but saw them talking of the verdict on court tv
        I’ve buried myself in math and computer classes for the summer summer and feel so detached!
        🤓Not exactly a bad thing

        • He might need the money. He hasn’t worked much in many years and has a lavish lifestyle. Don’t underestimate how quickly a celebrity can throw away money on lux living and drugs. If he wins this judgement, he can keep jet-setting and partying and not have to scrounge for work.

        • I didn’t watch any of it! As CL said he was a married man when she met him therefore both are guilty of being disordered. It ended as it usually does with cheater and woman that thinks she’s getting a bargain by cheating with a married man. Neither deserved anything ! Both should have just moved on! They are both 2 petty narcissistic people!

          • He and Vanessa weren’t legally married but were together 14 years and had two children together. And he turned over half his fortune to her when they parted – without any drama – 100 million dollars! And he stayed in the lives of his children. I know, bitch cookie, but he’s been a strange but present father. He’s taken very good care of people around him, including his sister, his mother, etc., and not just with money, but with his time, attention and energy.

            • He called Vanessa an “extortionist cunt” in a text to Elton John. He paid her may millions to silence her about his rages and abuse. He was not a good father; rarely there, often wasted. His daughter’s godfather is Marilyn Manson.

      • Hmmm, sadly, I think the Me Too movement has emboldened some women. Could it be that JD has made a statement that helps to protect men (innocent men)? I think the Me Too movement has treated men as being guilty because of stories from women who may be telling untruths. In this case, there is no doubt about dysfunction ,but, when one has pooped on another’s bed, it may be wise to not put yourself in the limelight. Sadly, cases like this may deter actual victims from coming forward.

        • Haven’t followed all of the story, but from limited college classes in ethics and legal issues, and reading a little online about the couple, if what she said is true how is it defamation? She was telling her story without using his name, right? Freedoms of speech allow us to speak our truths. How did he win that verdict?
          Witnesses are sometimes afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation. This verdict will have major impacts on victims out there!

            • That phrase, “my truth” as opposed to *truth* just enrages me. Such bullshit crap.

              Something that is true is susceptible to *proof*, evidence, you know, that boring shit that anyone with an agenda doesn’t have to submit themselves to.

              That phrase ‘my truth’ should be treated with the contempt it deserves, what it actually means is ‘my point of view’, ‘my perception’. It’s not *truth*. 👿👿

      • This case is uncomfortable.

        I’m roughly the same height and weight as Amber Heard and encountered Depp when I was a student and involved in advocacy, probably around the Donnie Brasco/Moss era. He didn’t used to look it on screen because of his former baby face but he’s a bruiser– not that tall but surprisingly imposing and stocky, bull neck and ham fists. I had a curious flash that he could probably snap my neck with one gesture. That’s not something I typically think about when meeting men but he had a malevolent vibe which I’m sure he could turn on and off. I thought the raspy, exaggeratedly “masculine” voice was pretentious and creepy and like he was acting off screen which is something really off-putting some actors do. It seems nutty and like an attempt to ooze sex, though I couldn’t imagine the type of woman who’d be turned on by the trailer park “traficante” act. Ew. Smells like unlicensed guns, unwashed pits and crotch rot. Regarding women he acted like Yertle the Turtle and the master of all he surveyed (with a sneery leer). Would someone like that cheat on partners? Erm. Or worse? Erm. I think Kate Moss should have gotten combat pay and probably anyone before or since but most defend him.

        Otherwise I hardly know what to think of the case even if it’s invaded my feed despite the fact I wasn’t searching for anything related. My kids’ classical music professor never searches Hollywood crap but said his news feed was non-stop Depp/Heard coverage too and he asked me about the case because I used to work in a related biz. I told him my guess is that the undue attention it’s getting and the way coverage is being foisted on the public expresses the collective will of every creep in media who ever coerced and terrorized women and who trembled guiltily in a corner during the #MeToo movement to say, “See everybody!! Wimmins ask for it! Wimmins is aggressive too! Stop listening to those MeToo testimonials! They’re all crazy liars!” to the extent the case doesn’t seem like the statistical norm in DV. Maybe the intensity of coverage is just a backlash against #MeToo.

        The battering of nonaggressive men by women exists, it’s incontestable even if to a statistically lesser degree. And there are personality disordered women who will falsely frame men. It happens– not that often but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Women like this tend to have a history of prevaricating and triangulating against anyone who crosses them, including other women. And, like many with personality disorders, they’re frustratingly better at garnering immediate bystander sympathy while actual victims are often disbelieved and pilloried (go figure. Do the personality disordered cry prettier?). But the cases in which women are busted for fabricating or are accused of being highly aggressive tend to get disproportionate coverage despite not being representative. Maybe it’s the novelty of it or, again, maybe it expresses this collective need of the creep cabal in media to frame these cases as typical as group self-exculpation. Because there’s no common denominator predicting which women will or won’t become victims of DV– not by background, “level of self esteem,” psychology, etc.– victims come in every stripe and tend to reflect the general population (not true of perps who have predictable backgrounds, psychology, etc.). The general population can include highly aggressive women but age-old crime stats make it clear this is to a vastly lesser degree than men who commit the vast majority of the violent crimes and cause most of the serious injuries and deaths in domestic assault. Entrapped women do fight back and will sometimes injure or even kill men but generally not to the same extent. Women who kill tend to be disproportionately punished for it as well. That trend was rolled back for a short time but apparently is ramping up again.

        Men, for better or worse, are more aggressive. Call it evolution. They commit more violence but also do more daring deeds of rescue like the men who tried to block bullets in the Aurora massacre. Because I worked in DV advocacy, I’ve noticed the discomfort of a lot of normal men in dealing with the crime stats. I just suggest they start thinking of these perps as a different species or third sex– “abuso-sexuals”– and stop thinking they have to identify with them. Without intense “kill training,” 40% of men won’t even fire their guns in combat. Most men will not be violent to partners. Most men won’t commit murder. And men are more likely to be victims since men kill men at 8 times the rate they kill women and are vastly more likely to injure or kill male children when children are entrapped in dv circumstances. Out of sheer self interest, normal men should not circle the political wagons around the types of perps who are more likely to victimize *them* in other words.

        Maybe the whole Depp/Heard thing could be a study of mate-poacher relationship dynamics– you know, the tendency of mate poaches and poachees to be high in dark triad traits and resulting relationships to be high in dysfunction. Heard reportedly had an aggressive track record too. But I think I can attest she was still no physical match for that meat-fisted goon.

        • I was wondering if you would comment on this given your professional experience and really appreciate you sharing your perspective.

          • Thanks LC! I hope any of it helpful. Since most of my research and experience happened back when dinosaurs roamed, I’ve been trying to update myself on what’s going on to keep my thumb on the pulse for he sake of my kids. I wanted to see if there are any new developments.

            I’d love to have discovered I was seriously out of date because so much had advanced in the interim but sadly much has remained stagnant or has gone backwards. I’m heartened by the fact that coercive control is now being considered as an addendum to dv legislation, at least in a few places. This even has the potential to give chumps legal tools to file criminal complaints against abusers for things like financial abuse and control, for robbing victims of agency, for physical endangerment without consent, etc. Though I’m concerned that CC legislation could be doubled back on victims like, say the battering victim who, like most, is also being cheated on and checks the abuser’s phone could be cast as guilty of coercive control. Like the misapplication of “duel arrest” laws of yore that were used on the discretion of police (who have pretty high rates of abusers in their ranks like all rescuing professions), I worry those legal loopholes in CC legislation won’t be closed up and this could be used as another tool to silence or punish victims who try to speak out. To quote GK “If you let loose a law, it will do as a dog does. It will obey its own nature, not yours. Such sense as you have put into the law (or the dog) will be fulfilled. But you will not be able to fulfill a fragment of anything you have forgotten to put into it.”

        • I’d be interested in reading up on DV perpetrator profiles – it sounds like there is a type or at least some warning signs? If you have any resources, I’d appreciate it.

          • Check out Lundy Bankroft’s “Why does he DO that?” It has the warning signs, the types, everything. Also the Gift of Fear, I forget the author’s name.

            • After watching some of the trial (especially Camille Vasquez’s brilliant cross examinations of Amber Heard), Ms. Heard did not come across to me as a victim. As a former victim (now survivor) of DV, IMHO she didn’t appear to be anxious, nervous, or anything but angry, at least to me. I did not pursue the felony DV charge against my X because I was so afraid of what he would do if he had to do some prison time. He spent 4 days in jail waiting for his buddies to come up with the bail money. No one (except for the amazing law enforcement officers who came to my house that awful night) believed me, including our children. My X, by all accounts, was a “good guy”, and I was a liar. My bruises had disappeared by the time he was charged, but the police didn’t like the fact that he held a knife to my throat that night. I even defended him in an effort to avoid his arrest. “Officers – it’s just a steak knife that I used to make grilled cheese for the kid’s dinner. See? There’s even cheese still stuck to it!!! Please don’t arrest him!” (Insert face palm).

              Ms. Heard was way too calm and collected in that courtroom sitting across from her so-called “abuser” to have been subjected to actual abuse, IMHO. She didn’t shake, she didn’t cry actual tears, or even stutter.

              If there was a setback for actual DV victims as a result of that trial, as Ms. Heard claims, it was women.

      • Why should he? Yeah, he got what he deserved for messing around on his children’s mother. The OW turns out to be a big steaming pile of molten crazy. It’s not unusual. I’ll agree with that he what he got what he asked for with her. But that’s a much different thing than going down as a wife-beater. I think it’s just too easy to smear a man with this “abuser” label and get away with it. Certainly, Depp didn’t get away unscathed on his behavior as a whole. He had to put ALL his crap out there in public; his drug use, his alcoholism, his moody temperament. The alternative to not responding to her smear campaign, however, was allowing it to stand as the truth. It would be nice if the vast majority would recognize “walking away” as the high road, but in some circumstances, it’s just viewed as confirmation of wrongdoing.

      • 10000% agree with you, CL.

        Plus, he was willing to re-amplify all those heinous stories about himself just to drag her through some more mud, which is clear proof that he was aware she would suffer more than he would from whatever was shared.

        Plus, he was the only one of the two of them, smirking, trying to appear charming, openly laughing, doodling cartoons, and generally treating the court process like his personal playground. Even if we assume they are both actors and could be effectively deceptive, his technique was to treat domestic abuse, substance abuse, death threats, rape threats, womens’ pain, and the other party, the lawyers, the judge, the jury, and the world like it’s all a big effing joke.

        Plus, as aforementioned, whatever folks may believe she implied, she only stated her own lived experience, and the precedent it sets to legally punish such a person, when she does not name an abuser, for defamation, should terrify us all. If it doesn’t, we’re not paying attention.

        As you said, it isn’t as if he’s some innocent party who didn’t clearly misbehave. If he was, concerns about his well being and reputation might make sense.

        As it stands, he claims to remember things that happened when he was, by his own admission, clearly significantly intoxicated — he laughed at all of us, repeatedly — and he legitimately thinks it is funny to discuss killing a human being and fucking her corpse. There is no innocence to protect.

        And he’s a proud card-carrying cheater, whether she is or not. Her also being a cheater absolves him of nothing, and all the rest of this is just added on top of all of that.

        He pushed this in front of the world because he knew it would end up like this, and it has. It isn’t really about her, for all of us, it’s about how every word we type here is potential slander. We don’t name our abusers, but many of them are identifiable because of what we share. We are all in the shoes of Heard here. And we should worry about all we have shared.

      • And I suspect that with respect to his career and public image, he would have been better off to walk away. I suspect that his publicist (assuming he has one) and his lawyers told him to let it go, but he still pursued it.

        Yes, he ‘won’, but this was a very ugly proceeding that brought a lot of dirt into public view, including his substance abuse problems.

        Hope you’re OK with never working for a big studio again, Mr. Depp.

      • I’m very confident that Johnny Depp is hard, hard work, that he is a nightmare to live with and all that. Totally. What struck me most was that Amber Heard was absolutely determined to use the relationship for her own ends. I mean, clearly she didn’t hook up with him on account of True Love. She didn’t need to either marry or stay with him. She really, really didn’t, unlike so many other DV victims. She could simply have left and done the ”we’ll be buds 4 eva” schtick and that would have been that. But no. She went after him and he lost work because of it. She conveniently happened to film him repeatedly and over time – despite being in terror for her life, remember – and then played the victim. It was a shame she got caught out lying endlessly and repeatedly (how’s that donation coming along then Amber? Managed to do it yet?). He has literally never pretended anything, ever. His previous relationships seem to have been quite long-standing and none of the (wealthy, quite powerful) women ever have had any suggestion that he was violent towards them. Yes I know people are different in different relationships, but literally never. His kids seem extremely fond of him. Appearances can be deceiving of course, but it’s all pretty consistent with him. He is exactly what he says he is: a complete nightmare to live with, substance abuse issues of note, quite a talented actor.

        He lost out a lot when she did that article and wouldn’t let it stand. Good for him.

        • “He has literally never pretended anything, ever.”

          Literally, his entire paycheck depends on him pretending. He’s a verifiable pro at it. It’s tough to defend Amber Heard but its absolutely painful to see so many people swingin off Johnny Depp’s dick. He’s disgusting. He abuses drugs and alcohol around his kids, says terrible things about women–including the mother of his children, surrounds himself with “yes people” on his payroll and fires those who dare give him a reality check (like his manager of two decades, who secured him the Pirates franchise, when she told him he’s losing opportunities because of his behavior), throws fits like a toddler, is a cheater, and by all accounts is a pretty controlling guy. If this guy weren’t famous he’d be that creepy uncle that everyone avoids. And, one of his past lovers (Ellen Barkin) in fact testified that he was controlling and emotionally abusive. He dismissed it as sour grapes…sure pal, decades later she’s prepared to perjure herself cause sour grapes. Or, and hear me out, it actually happened and all these years later it behooved her to finally tell her truth.

          But, I doubt there’s anything that could be said to a Johnny Depp fan to convince them. There’s this starfucker cult mentality that seems to follow him.

    • I also want to add, I don’t follow celebrity news so I didn’t know if they started out with him cheating on his partner. If that’s the case, then he deserved everything he got. LOL I only started watching the trial because I kept hearing about it. This being a cheater and his OW makes everything that went on even more funny.

      • Trust that they both suck. Depp was sued for assault and battery in 2017 by a film crew member, Mr. Gregg “Rocky” Brooks. Threw a wine bottle at Ellen Barkin. The spackle some of y’all keep applying to Depp!

        • And Amber was arrested in Seattle in Sept. 2009 for assaulting her then partner. Charges were dismissed and her partner stood by her, but still.

          • Yep, she’s an other whore and a woman beater. So weird that people here defend her so hard. Would they defend her if she was the whore fucking their husbands? I doubt it.

      • I would argue that even a nonviolent cheater would not deserve to be beaten up. There’s no statute legalizing assault against embezzlers who steal little old ladies’ pensions either. The US justice system doesn’t officially authorize beatings as punishment for prisoners even where the death penalty exists. I would say that it’s more “biblical irony” than “biblical tragedy” when a bad person runs into misfortune but it’s still not “justice.”

        That said, as Jo wrote, it appears Depp was not nonviolent. He allegedly had a long history of terrorizing and assaulting women as well as men.

      • Yes, he is a cheater. So is she. She was married to another woman when they met. A woman who Heard was arrested for assaulting. The charges were later dropped. The arresting officer did testify briefly in this trial.
        She also engaged in relationships with James Franco and Elon Musk while married to Johnny Depp.
        Does that mean she deserves everything she got too?
        I really don’t get how so many people on this site are so willing to believe Heard. Especially when so many of them admit they didn’t even watch the trial.
        It smacks of misandry to me. As I stated in another post, my SO was the victim of DV. He was roughed up and handcuffed by the police because they, like so many others, believe the woman first. Then they realized he had been stabbed.
        If anything, I think it is a good thing to bring attention to the fact that men are abused too. Something I’m sure many of the male chumps here can attest to.

        • They’re probably willing to believe her because they didn’t watch the trial.

          How anybody could watch her William Shatner acting “My. Dog. STEPPED… on a. BEE.” *pull bizarre face* jerk head to the side, cry!* and her insistence that pledging money was the same as paying it and her literally saying she used a bruise kit, oops, I mean a makeup palette that hadn’t been invented yet to cover that bruise, not create it which is what you would use a bruise kit for. Oh, and the bizarre insistence to ignore the attorneys and talk directly to the jury the entire time, which is like personality disorder 101. How anybody could actually watch all that and believe her…

          But they all believe my mom too and she acts exactly the same way. I’ve never understood that either.

    • I have the same feelings, having grown up with a personality disordered woman. Heard rang all the bells. I too have felt a need for justice with narc exes and pursued it through legal means. While I prevailed, I had regret bc court with a narc is just more abuse.

    • I love the CL perspective on the Depp-Heard trial. To me this was more about the first amendment and the limits of free speech. I actually agree with KatiePig though. My ex has a personality disorder, substance abuse, and several other mental health issues fully diagnosed and being treated for with counseling and medication. Yet she has the uncanny ability to screw herself up tight like a ball and come across as perfectly normal when she is not at home. My counselor says it is from 40 years of practice in masking her true self to the public even though she has worn out her family, children and has no real friends. I fell for the mask and wound up in a surreal chain of events that still has my head spinning. Out in public and at work where she talks to people I know too she comes across as “normal” and spins these tall tales to those who listen about our 2 year relationship that included 10 months of marriage while I just eat the shit sandwich. Her audience is limited but if I could sue her to balance out the story I would. The problem is that such a suit would just play into her victimhood even though she is the one that ran away from home, took drugs and fucked an old boyfriend for 5 days while her entire family, kids from a 1st marriage and all, plus me, were worried sick about her. Would a lawsuit teach her a lesson? No. She doesn’t have the capacity to learn. But it sure would feel good. For me, the impact of a lawsuit on her children keeps me in line and quiet. I do not like the taste of the sandwich but I love her kids and they’ve already been through enough. For Depp, it is the reverse because his kids are grown and they can read the newspapers.

    • Beentheredonethat – that’s a terrifying comment. She didn’t name him but she spoke about her abuse. Whether or not you believe her is up to you… it was an op ed. Depp was found guilty of abuse in UK courts. But what you’re saying is that victims should not speak up unless they want to be punished. They already fear retaliation. You’re saying they deserve it?

      • Spot on response, MS. That is exactly why every abused spouse should be alarmed by the outcome of this case. Whatever her own issues may be, she should have had the right to speak her truth out loud. She did. not. use. his. name. in her OPINION piece. From a legal perspective, I find this case horrifying. He is being awarded for retaliatory behavior against a victim of abuse. Regardless of how heinous she may be as a person, she should still be entitled to speak out loud about what happened to her. Isn’t that what we’ve been fighting for all these years?

        • Beth, while I agree with 90% of what you said, She may not have used his name but she certainly implied it. But don’t forget she did admit in court that she wrote the piece about him. Or did you miss that as part of her rebuttal? So there is that. Just because an abuser isn’t named, doesn’t mean folks won’t figure it out, specially if they are public figures.

          • She (and the ACLU publicity team) wrote the op ed in 2018 and in it stated in part, “…Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” The TRO against Depp was filed May 27, 2016. The timeline couldn’t have been clearer. And she admitted it on the stand on cross, testifying that she wrote the Wa Po op-ed because Depp is a powerful man. “I know how many people will come out in support of him, that’s his power. That’s why I wrote the op-ed,” Heard said.

              • Not true. The communications team at the ACLU wrote the drafts. Terence Dougherty, general counsel and COO of the ACLU testified under oath that they did, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/06/01/arts/johnny-depp-amber-heard-verdict
                Deep in the article is this (sorry for the length), “…During a video deposition played to the jury during the trial, a lawyer for Mr. Depp read emails from the A.C.L.U. explaining how the op-ed came to be. An email from a communications department employee there suggested that Ms. Heard write an article about how victims of gender-based violence “have been made less safe under Trump and how people can take action,” and noted that Ms. Heard could weave in her personal story.
                Another A.C.L.U employee sent a first draft of the op-ed to Ms. Heard, and during the editing process with her lawyers, mention of her marriage and successful application for a temporary restraining order were excised, Mr. Dougherty testified. In the end, Ms. Heard referred to herself in the op-ed as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” — a phrase at the center of Mr. Depp’s lawsuit.
                In an email from one A.C.L.U. employee to another, which a lawyer for Mr. Depp read during questioning of Mr. Dougherty, the employee noted that Ms. Heard’s lawyers had taken out “some of the stuff that made it really powerful.”
                “I think that Amber’s contributions to the portion of the op-ed that talks about personal experiences is part of what informed the view that this was a strong op-ed,” Mr. Dougherty testified.
                Mr. Dougherty said that the publication of the op-ed was timed to coincide with the release of the movie “Aquaman,” in which Ms. Heard had a starring role. Ms. Heard said this timing was not to promote “Aquaman” but to use the movie to promote the issues discussed in the article, which included advocating a bolstered Violence Against Women Act and against the Trump administration’s policies around adjudicating sexual assault on college campuses.

                Ms. Heard’s lawyers argued that Ms. Heard had a right to discuss her experiences with spousal abuse and that it was undisputed that, in 2016, she became a “public figure representing domestic abuse” when she was granted a temporary restraining order against Mr. Depp after reporting assaults by him to a court.

                Mr. Depp’s lawyers asserted that the article made clear allusions to Ms. Heard’s prior accusations — which Mr. Depp denied — and that they were central to the piece’s relevance. The three portions of the op-ed that were at issue in the defamation case included the headline, which Ms. Heard and the A.C.L.U. said they were not involved in; the sentence about her being a “public figure representing domestic abuse”; and a later passage about seeing “how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”

                “The A.C.L.U. and Ms. Heard were conspiring to make it very clear that those three statements were related to Mr. Depp because otherwise nobody had any interest in the article,” a lawyer for Mr. Depp, Benjamin Chew, argued in court.

            • But what she wrote was true. She was a public figure (a relatively known actress). The accusations of domestic abuse were also public (she got a restraining order). She did receive backlash (at the time and even more so now). Nothing she said was false and wasn’t even an actual accusation of abuse against Depp, just a restatement of her experience. Quoting Jill Filopovic: The question in this trial was whether a very specific set of clearly very lawyered words met the very high bar for defamation. Unfortunately the jurors addressed a totally different question, which was: “who do we like better, Johnny Depp or Amber Heard?”

              • He was accused by her, a court issued a TRO, but he was neither criminally charged nor convicted. Both the UK trial and the Virginia trial are civil cases, with different burdens of proof. She’s saying he’s GUILTY but the two court cases discuss LIABILITY, not guilt.

        • My ex threatened completely false accusations in order to get divorce concessions. In my relationship the only abuse flowed from her to me but that wouldn’t have mattered.

          I despise Depp as a person. I don’t care about him or his obscene wealth and credit life style.

          But Heard had admitted to hitting him, throwing things at him, and dared him to tell his truth that he was abused and no one would believe him. These are recordings.

          The graphic stories Amber heard told would have made so much physical evidence it would have been easy to not only defend her claim but enough to conduct him of abuse criminally.

          The article was obviously about him, that’s a simple legal matter that was admitted over and over in the trial. It doesn’t need to name him by name when it was about who she was referring to, that’s a open and shut legal issue

          Actions have consequences. As an former abused spouse I’m glad an abuser, Amber heard, was held at least somewhat accountable for her evil actions, at least some of them with this partner.

          I could care less about Depp. I don’t care about rich actors. But you have swallowed lies about the toxic abuser amber heard and that is unfortunate especially because her cheating, abuse, threats, violence,band lies are what we should be fighting against.

        • Heard? A victim of abuse? Quite the contrary, given the things she’s thrown at people before.
          I only had to watch her body language and demeanor for two minutes to conclude that she’s personality disordered.

      • I was actually surprised he won his case to tell you the truth. But after watching and listening to these two disordered individuals, she did herself no favors writing that op-ed. Do I think survivors of abuse (men or women) should keep quiet, NO. But I wouldn’t have stuck around after the first blow landed. My eldest sister was a battered woman and I learned I would NEVER put myself in her position in my life. It also sounds like there was a lot of “evidence” on his behalf that wasn’t allowed in the courtroom in the UK. Either way, two toxic individuals who both should have stayed the hell out of each other’ lives from the get go.

        • “But I wouldn’t have stuck around after the first blow landed. My eldest sister was a battered woman and I learned I would NEVER put myself in her position in my life.”

          “She should have walked away after the first blow or insult landed.”

          Hmm….where have I heard that line of “reasoning” before? Oh yeah, from every smug blameshifter who ever put the responsibility on an abuse victim rather than the perp.

          You must on the wrong blog. None of us walked away after the first abusive thing the FW did. Since you apparently did, you’re not a chump, are you.

        • Women “sticking around” for abuse statistically has more to do with the tactics used by abusers than the pre-abuse mindset of victims. DV expert Donald Dutton describes how any abusers operate on a “beat-by-need” basis, only becoming violent with victims who rebel or appear to have resources to escape. Abusers tailor their abuse to flatten prey. It’s a Skinner box.

          For those who haven’t yet been physically threatened and assaulted in a relationship, our pre-violence mindsets tell us that *we* would have left and *we* would never take it because we’re not really able to imagine what victims are subjected to and how “tailored” that abuse is to the victim. The more independent and confident the victim, the potentially more terrifying the coercion that’s required to paralyze them.

          It makes us feel safer to set ourselves apart from victims, though unfortunately the same mechanism of self defense and cognitive self-reassurance that’s generally positive (without the functional denial that we could end up dying in a fiery fifteen car pileup on the freeway, we’d never be able to drive to work) can turn into to victim blaming of others. But it really can happen to anyone, even those who know how captor bonding works. Captor bonding is so predictable that even veteran intelligence operatives are never given whole parcels of state secrets because, if captured and subjected to the right stressors, they’ll all crack and spill the beans. Deprogramming of intelligence agents after release is standard.

          Part of the reason captor bonding/Stockholm syndrome is so common is that it’s highly effective. If the victim can “play possum” down to a cellular level and express loyalty to the captor with their whole soul, the captor is simply less likely to subject them to extreme cruelty or kill them because most are not completely immune to bonding with victims in turn. But abusers/captors tend to be almost uncannily attuned to the merest hint of rebellion in victims. If the victim has even one “disloyal” thought, this compromises their ability to survive. So captor bonding is adaptive. Where it becomes maladaptive is when the captor turns their backs and the gates are left ajar but the victim still does not leave or even criticize the captor once released because of aversive training and learned helplessness. That’s when victims need deprogramming. DV expert Richard Gelles (I think) stated that the methods used by professional interrogators to collapse the egos of captives are identical to the tactics used by domestic abusers.

          I was once trying to get rape charges added to the charge list for a client of the advocacy network I worked with. Previous to working as an advocate, I’d been in a similar situation myself as the victim of workplace stalking and didn’t have that much hope of upping the charges but tried anyway. The young ADA then started to tell me how the client was so unusual because she was standing up for herself and most victims didn’t. I said, “Well, you know, Stockholm syndrome.” The ADA looked annoyed and said “Yeah sure, whatever.” Then he marched off to the DA’s office to bring up the issue of adding rape charges. We could hear the DA shrieking abuse at this guy from 30 feet away. A moment later he scuttles back looking all pale and shaken and said, well, he didn’t think the charges could be added. I said, “Yeah, she (the DA) didn’t sound too happy about it.” The ADA then goes on to vociferously and lavishly defend the DA.

          Yeah, sure, Stockholm Syndrome, whatever. The ADA was pooh-poohing captor bonding WHILE IN THE THROES OF IT. I took that as a major life lesson that this tendency to go into boxer’s clinches with the scariest monkey in the room may be hard wired in all of us. I think knowing this can be protective to an extent. Not always but it’s useful.

        • “But I wouldn’t have stuck around after the first blow landed. My eldest sister was a battered woman and I learned I would NEVER put myself in her position in my life.”

          Yikes. Holy victim blaming, Batman!

          I spoke out against my ex multiple times. I said it to several of ex’s flying monkeys over the years. Ex even came after me with angry texts messages about it recently and accused me of “isolating someone in recovery” because I told a handful of people.

          Want to know why I spoke out against it? Which btw I did use ex’s name. Because of the immense guilt I feel for not speaking up WHILE it was happening, not just to me, but to ex’s teenage cousins and multiple others. My silence protected ex and enabled her to sexually assault her teenage cousins. I didn’t fully recognize what was happening at the time. But still. I did not protect them and my inaction allowed it to happen. I can barely live with the guilt. I will never again be silent. I will never again let that happen. Judge me all you want and tell me I deserved it when ex comes after me after I tell the story again. Maybe I do deserve it, but I won’t let that happen to another child again.

        • Never say never. Having grown up with a cheater dad and witnessed the impact that had on my mum, I swore I would NEVER let a man treat me that way.

          And yet I did.

      • Depp was not found guilty of abuse in UK court. He lost a civil case for defamation against the Sun newspaper when they published an article calling him a “wife beater.”
        According to testimony, he was originally named in the Amber Heard op ed, but his name was taken out by lawyers to try to avoid defamation.
        I could care less about Hollywood stars, but I watched a lot of the trial while my mother was having surgery and I had a lot of time on my hands.
        Johnny Depp may be an addict and a cheater but the audio tapes of Amber Heard admitting to hitting him, taunting him and laughing maniacally were chilling. I found her testimony to lack credibility.
        I am a DV survivor, as is my Significant Other. My SO was roughed up and handcuffed when his ex called the police on him for DV, until they saw the stab wound on him and realized he was the victim. This happens all too frequently to men.
        I don’t want Amber Heard representing me or my SO as a so called victim.

      • My ex claimed I was verbally abusive. (He did so to justify leaving – and to hide very expensive habits) and deflect and gaslight. If he was able to publish his narrative, my career would be destroyed. My child would be humiliated. It just wouldn’t be right.
        With freedom of speech comes responsibility.
        I know it’s an op Ed but why couldn’t Washington post publish anonymously? They wanted readers at the expense of someone’s livelihood and I think should have been more responsible as well.

      • He wasn’t found guilty. He hasn’t been tried for abuse here – the judge found that The Sun Newspaper had reasonable reason to print her Op-Ed which find my name him but I think strongly implied he was abusive.

        He has never (as far as I know) been criminally tried or convicted of being abusive.

    • Yes. Domestic violence survivors should just keep their mouths shut to stay safe from their abusers. Noted. It’s okay. We’re used to suffering in silence. How else are some (most?) of us still alive?

      • She should have walked away after the first blow or insult landed. But from what I saw that was entered into evidence, she was no innocent miss.

        • Hey, a bifecta. Victim blaming PLUS “no angel.”

          Yet…this comment at least acknowledges abuse happened. “The first blow” IS domestic violence.

          I didn’t follow the trial and don’t know the details, let alone the jury’s reasoning. But you know, victims don’t have to be angels, or even NICE PEOPLE, to deserve justice under the law. It is not supposed to be a likeability contest played out on “reality” TV for our vicarious satisfaction.

          Though in fact, given the crabbed nature of the law sometimes, and the nature of the jury system, it’s not so rare for it to turn out that way.

          • She was not abused, she was lying. If you had listened to the trial and the tapes you would know.

            The deflection happening here is trying to paint the man as always being the abuser even when the evidence shows otherwise…I don’t care if you think that way about some adulterers, but it concerns me if that is the way you are going to always going to think in such cases. There is no “victim blaming” because she wasn’t a victim to begin with…she is the abuser….and people just seem to want to gloss over that to support the narrative that the man is always the abuser despite the fact that she herself mentioned, in the tapes, that she was the one abusing him.

            We at least need to have some honesty.

            • @Brenda99. I’m very concerned that most defending Amber is blindly doing so.

              Most has admittedly not even heard the trial or the audiotapes.

              The audiotapes alone are very telling. Bone chilling!!

              My ex and my grandmother is very much like Amber.

              I would have loved to exposed them for who they are, but also very frightened to take that on.

        • A lot of us think we should have walked away after the first incident. But most of us didn’t. Abuse is insidious. It’s easy to judge when you aren’t living it.

        • Despite my moniker, I didn’t walk away when my cheating ex dragged me by my hair across the floor. Or when he punched me in the throat. Or when he threatened my life.
          Being no physical match for this former USAF soldier who had killed while active duty, I still attempted to physically fight back.
          I suppose that makes me “no innocent miss.” In the toxic soup I called a relationship, it still made me feel better/stronger to know that at least I had landed a few blows.
          I’m four years out. And only in the past year has the trauma bonding subsided. Abuse fucks with your head in myriad ways.

  • I completely agree. The internet has been participating in Amber’s abuse during this whole thing. This makes me terrified my ex will sue me once we’re out of family court in a few years. God help us all.

    • For what it is worth, the UK libel laws are much more tilted to the plaintiff’s advantage than in the U.S.

      • I am not sure I follow what you are trying to say here, it is worth knowing Depp lost the libel case in the UK despite having the advantage?

  • Thank you!!!!!!!! All of this. And now I fear for all the victims who feel more silenced. Afraid to speak up. Because Johnny Depp was able to win this. How sickening. And WTF with all the “Team Johnny” throughout? Both of them are fucked up… but this lawsuit alone proved Johnny to be the worst of the image-managing smirky narcissists.

    • Domestic violence advocates have been beating this drum hard during the entire trial. This will absolutely have a silencing effect on victims.

      The social media support for Depp is insane. I’m not saying that having a clean image is proof of your innocence (look at Cosby) but I would never describe JD as “the last person I would ever think was capable of this.” He’s always seemed slightly off the rails. And people are downright giddy about the humiliation of Heard.

    • He won because the tapes proves she was lying…what’s goin on with this comment section…she wasn’t a victim. She was the abuser…you wanted the abuser to win?

      • You mean the tape where she talks about hitting him? After hearing it, by chance only, I was sold on “she was the abuser”.
        I would recommend listening the full recording, it sure did change my perception. Whoever is behind the edited version is banking on people not bothering with the long version.

        The edited, out of context tape got me, even though I fancied myself not an easy prey for online manipulation. I don’t anymore, I am as vulnerable as anyone. One of the most uncomfortable takeaways for me personally.

        If the propaganda machine didn’t go overboard with the sheer number of posts, I would not have bothered to look at them. Once I did, I noticed there are lots of elements of an orchestrated campaign (eliciting emotional response, omitting the context etc). And someone has something to gain by inserting their narrative while at the same time pushing out any attempts to have an informed public discourse.

      • I agree. She has done a disservice to those of us who have been abused by lying about it. There is a lot to criticize Johnny Depp for, abuse of Amber Heard isn’t it.

  • I have not followed extensively or much at all, but they both seem like pretty sucky human beings and I am not sad that I will never meet either of them.

  • How about: They’re both awful, but he won because he had more money and better lawyers in the US?

    We’ll never get to the bottom of this one. But we watch the movies that created monsters like this.

    If we didn’t, Johnny Depp would run a garage somewhere, and Amber Heard would be a beautician in a mall.

      • Totally agree. And this Amber must be sorta stupid to go around teasing this rattlesnake with such a short stick…

    • Great point. It’s not just chumps but humanity in general that need to fix their pickers. Look at the horror shows we elect to office too. A long time ago a model I knew who’d seen the really ugly sides of a lot of famous people (as a lot of models tend to if you follow the Weinstein and Gerald Marie scandals. So much for “pretty privilege”) said she thought that abusers should never be cast in protagonists in films because this trains children to associate that “vibe” and general demeanor with “good guys” and sets kids up to trust the wrong people throughout their lives. With mass media, we have whole populations trained to associate dark triad cues with “safe” and “cuddly.”

  • Without knowing the exact meaning of ‘zero sum game’, I’d surmise it seems to apply nearly to this case.

    Both came off as deeply troubled and narcissistic. We were over-exposed to both of their lives, their faults. I’m not into voyeurism, let alone ‘celebrity’ voyeurism – people who have no relevance to my life.

    Still, the case was unavoidable. Aside from Depp’s substance abuse and seemingly struggling cognitive ability, what I was left with was the dangerous manipulative behaviour of Heard.

    Depp is damaged; Heard is toxic.

        • So he gets a pass because he’s “damaged”? So what if she’s a narc, borderline disorder or whatever might make her toxic. That does not excuse his violent abusive past. Rape is rape. His comments about raping her dead corpse are more than enough for me to see who he is.

          • Actually, I said a lot worse than he did about my ex and his schmoopie. Does this make me a bad person as well?
            Yes, Rape is rape, it should have been reported or she should have sought medical assistance if she thought she had glass in her vagina.

          • There’s a thing in DV research called “misapplication of contingency” when therapists and other onlookers assume the messed-up, convoluted, disordered state of victims *following* abuse means that they were messed-up and disordered prior. I don’t know if it applies here but just that I’ve seen it in cases where victims had no prior history of mental disability, “confusion,” etc. As an advocate, I’d get to see many bounce back into their original forms to underscore the point.

            Maybe Heard had some issues prior. But I agree with the point that this doesn’t make it legal to assault her. If someone’s running down the street naked and shouting “Lost in space” while wearing a luncheonette cap, you call emergency responders to protect the person and don’t assume it’s an invitation to rape them.

            • Wow, you’ve replied to my comment saying – it’s not ok to assault her and just because someone is behaving unhinged it’s not an invitation to rape as if I said anything to the contrary…. Please can you state clearly with quotes where my post said or even implied that I thought Heard deserved any of what came out in court? Please outline where I was defending Depp? The entire point of my post was they both came across badly… zero sum game.

              Why have you intentionally misinterpreted my post and implied I’ve said something disgusting?

          • Of course he doesn’t get a pass. That wasn’t implied in my post in the slightest. My point was – they both revealed distinctly unpleasant aspects of themselves; no-one ‘won’. Both demonstrated disturbing behaviours- and Depp comes across as damaged – including self-induced damage from substance abuse, and Heard as potentially personality disordered & toxic to others.

    • Long term Depp fan here. He probably is damaged, but also he was a controlling and abusive partner. I heard the tapes, watched the videos. Who didn’t? He tried to own her. And when he couldn’t, he lashed out. I’ve know a dozen of these guys. Forever victims in their own minds.

      Perhaps Amber Heard was abusive too. But that doesn’t make her not a victim of his abuse. He could have written his own op ed. He didn’t because it seems ludicrous. Rich powerful famous middle aged man with nothing but options and resources and a penchant for joking about killing a person and fucking their corpse is abused by 20 something yo relative nobody? I don’t buy it.

  • Thank you for putting this so succinctly.

    He bragged on the stand about drugging a person who talked too much; he claimed excessive alcohol use as well as illegal and excessive drug use; he cheerfully admitted to various forms of vicious and violent language toward his EX, but we as a society are asked to believe that his wife hurt his reputation.

    The case wasn’t supposed to be about whether Amber Heard was a saint. It was supposed to be an exploration of whether she could say in public that he was abusive.

    The answer turned out to be that she cannot say he is abusive, but he can brag about all kinds of abuse, because he is powerful and she isn’t a saint.

  • Exactly. I was so waiting for you to speak to this spectacle…holding me breath…hoping…

    I’m a teacher and this has sadly dominated the news at the expense of far more worthy topics of discussion like gun violence and war. My students all have strong opinions on the subject and sympathize overwhelmingly with Depp. I ask them why and they launch into a regurgitation of all the sound-bites and out-of-context quotes from the trial, her team of lawyers, etc. I follow with three questions. Question #1: Why is this news? I kid you not, nobody has answered correctly without me having to explain that the reason it is news if because Depp sued Heard and she counter-sued. They all think of her as the aggressor. Question #2: What if she is telling the truth? What if Depp raped her with a bottle? What if he is exactly who she says he is. Question #3: What does his quote about fucking her dead corpse suggest about his character? (I don’t use the f word with them mind you.) These questions make them very uncomfortable.

    I’m sure I have little in common with Amber Heard, but I know enough about Depp to say with certainty that he is not a person I would ever want as a friend or colleague.

    We live in an age of hero-worship and personality cults and I’m so sick of them. I’m sorry she lost.

    • What a great class discussion. They don’t have to believe Depp or Heard, but they ought to understand what the implications of their beliefs are. Thanks for leading your students toward more thoughtful lives.

    • What if he’s telling the truth? Why just her?
      Your question number 3: If I think of murdering my ex, does that make me a murderer? You may think it’s extreem, inappropriate or simply disgusting. Wat people think or say, doesn’t tell you anything about their character. It can be said in the moment, maybe even under the influence of whatever substance, but that doesn.t mean it’s someones intention or whatever.

      Most comments here seem (at least to me) be written under the guise that ‘all men are suspect’.
      I havent followed the whole thing, but what I’ve seen, makes me conclude that Heard is a fucked up person and completely nuts.
      But hey, I’m a man.

      • I’m a man too. Single father of three with a beautiful daughter. I am responsible for what I say as it reflects on my character.

      • I do agree …. I once called my ex fish food saying that I d like to take him fishing and cast him overboard ….my aunt who I said it to Said ….be careful what you say someone could overhear you and think you’re serious. She was right ….but I didn’t mean a word of it ….I don’t like boats or fishing ….and nor would I have the heart to actually push him into the water ….it was just letting off steam! ….my frustration at being powerless ….and I have said worse about him ….none of those I meant either …it’s not just men who say things ….and nor is it just abusers who say things that they have any intention of doing!

        • Eh, there’s a difference between jokes about making your ex fish food and jokes about raping their corpse. The sexualized violence of it makes my skin crawl.

      • When I hear about Aileen Wuornos, I don’t get threatened that these assumptions are being made of all women. But maybe that’s harder for people who grew up in environments where all the women they closely related with were criminally aggressive. I just didn’t happen to know any women like that growing up. And on hearing about more female aggressors and murderers since, I still don’t feel threatened by generalizations. I don’t Tweet #notallwomen. That’s because I think of aggressors as almost a third sex– “abusosexuals.” I don’t identify. If someone were to tar me with the same brush, I might worry for the perceptions of the person casting me this way, like maybe wondering if their radar was off or they had a history of trusting the wrong people, but I wouldn’t reactionarily defend Wuornos et al thinking I was defending myself.

    • “We live in an age of hero-worship and personality cults…”. Yes we do and it boggles the mind that it is still that way after all the celebrities who have proven the logical fallacy of fame = character.

      • IMO it also seems like the experience of being a celebrity is not terribly good for people’s character, and/or can cause existing flaws to worsen.

        At the same time, part of the entertainment business involves providing images in which audience members can emotionally invest themselves. Freud had a name for this sort of emotional investment: cathexis. Feeling like there is a personal relationship with someone you don’t really know, or being so identified with the celebrity that a criticism of the celebrity is like an attack on the self, is just one example of how cathexis can go very wrong.

  • I believe he sued her for $50,000,000, and she countersued him for $100,000,000. And it seems to me neither of them really won (their reputations are both trashed and she likely doesn’t have millions to pay him). Seems like both of them could’ve benefitted from the advise I was given growing up in the country: “Son, it never pays to kick a skunk.”

    • I know you’re a lawyer yourself, sir, but I think this is one of the many cases when the only winners were the lawyers.

      • Lawyers are almost always the winners, but in this case JD likely knew he would never collect, but he wanted to cough “clear his name”.

        To be fair, I didn’t really follow it, I am not a JD fan, and I never heard of the woman. I only watched one JD movie with my grandson, (years ago) the original pirate one. It was entertaining, but meh.

        • I did watch the entire trial and he was genuine in his desire to clear his name. His ex wife lied, defamed him, committed perjury, and is now being investigated for crimes in LA and Australia, maybe UK too. She threw a bottle and severed his finger. I think it’s best not to make sweeping comments like CL did unless you have ALL the facts. I’ve never disagreed with CL before this, but in my opinion, she’s totally wrong.

          • The Kate Moss testimony was pretty revealing too. Heard accused Depp of pushing Moss down the stairs where she seriously injured her back. Moss was very clear that she tripped on her own and that Depp rushed down and carried her to a bed and called the doctor.

            Don’t get me wrong, Depp is clearly a flamboyant narcissist, and is responsible for reprehensible language and actions. But Heard also is a piece of work. Neither is completely innocent here.

          • Thank you! I 100% agree with you auroracruz. I respectfully disagree with CL.

            I watched most of the trial and can say without hesitation that she set him up repeatedly and conducted a very public smear campaign. Multiple witnesses and sources debunked “her truth” as total lies. He never raped her with a bottle or in any way. She abused him financially, emotionally, physically and in every way. She had a coterie of flying monkeys. She was even sloppy about it. Sound familiar? Narc 101.

            Unfortunately, the media is not covering this case properly. I’ve found great resources on YouTube such as Emily D. Baker, a former prosecutor. There are many others too who watched live and commented as well as provided videos explaining the evidence and the law.

            I’m a proud member of CN and support victims regardless of their gender.

            • I watched most of the trial and I totally agree with you. Legacy media has not done a good job of covering the case. From what was presented in court, it was apparent that Amber Heard was lying about a lot of what happened. Johnny was not a perfect victim, but he was the victim of physical abuse. She was not.

        • Haha the only JD show I really liked was when he was young and still kind of innocent. 21 Jump Street!

    • ““Son, it never pays to kick a skunk.””

      I love this. I think without thinking about it, this is why I didn’t spill the beans about all the shit my fw did to me while still married. I am talking verbal abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse. I knew it didn’t matter what I said in the short run he would win as he had way more power than I did, and way less scruples. Good news is he didn’t win in the long run, and I wasn’t even near him when someone with more power than him took him down. As he deserved.

    • We say “Don’t poke the bear.”

      And I am a DV survivor who got a permanent protective order, sole custody, and a 55-45 split in my no-fault state. I know I have the right to speak publicly about my abuse but it comes at such a high cost that I don’t. It triggers uncontrollable rage in my XH and he retaliates against me and the children. We deal with it in therapy and private conversations but the court gave him all his guns back, so 🙁

        • Too bad he’d already run through all the money. The real consequence for him is that all three of our children have been rock solid no contact with him since the Night of the Guns. It’s been 7 years and the four of us are tight as ticks.

          I will say this about about the DV: no one believed me except the cops, the judge and my parents. I tried to show the court documents, with the attached exhibits, to one of our old college friends. He looked down at his feet and mumbled, “Yeah, he’s explained all that.” Okay, then. People believe what they have an investment in believing.

          • Oh Eve, how terrifying for you. I once had a boyfriend who attacked me and was in the fortunate position of having my own home and no children then. I ended the relationship and he still stalked me for a few years.

            I overheard someone say ‘apparently she says she was beaten up. I thought she was nice but you never know what she’s like at home’

            Implying I was somehow responsible for what happened, I drove him to it

  • I work in a high school and the students were talking about this for weeks. All through school shooting in Texas , the shooting in Buffalo, the War in Ukraine, the infant formula shortage. Amber and Johnny, Johnny and Amber. I finally spoke up about the whole thing. This was relationship between two people in the pinnacle of Hollywood and they were both miserable in their choice of partner and miserable with themselves thank goodness they are no longer married. That this is being aired so publicly with everything else going on in the world , is to distract you to what is really going on in the world . I have no opinion about what was the travesty of their relationship it should not be discussed in the classroom

    • It’s relatable, and especially useful for young people to discuss. The odds of any one of us being involved in a shooting or a war are small but the possibility of any of us getting involved in a troubling relationship is quite large. We should examine our attitudes toward what is acceptable, why we think what we think, what are strategies to identify abuse and how can we respond healthily and appropriately. Why do we fixate on the extraneous bullshit that makes this case ‘the other’ and minimize the problematic dynamics that can affect us all?
      The middle and high school ages are perfect times to discuss these topics.

      • Not at the expense of getting other work completed . We live in NY state close to the area where the accused Buffalo shooter lived . We have had a full plate this year just with absences due to COVID, and getting the students used to school again. Do you know of any of challenges teachers had to address this year ? We also should not be expected to teach them about dating and relationships . Teachers are not social workers or therapists we have enough on our plate as it is M. Please don’t put anymore on us

        • I hear you, Maisie. I don’t think it’s up to teachers; you’re already amazing. That’s why I’m glad the Depp v. Heard case is viral. There’s a lot of truly important stuff underneath the fluff.
          By the way, I think we should have a series of online short courses available asynchronously that every student should (not must) take and pass nationwide. Basic civics, sex education, relationships (parent/child, romantic, friendships, etc.), and personal finance to start. Like Schoolhouse Rock or CLEP. Kids could get credit and avoid the ugly local curriculum dog fights.
          Please stay safe and strong, Maisie. You have my very best wishes!!

      • M, I agree with you about the need for middle/high school kids to discuss these types of cases, but I recommend they do it in the presence of responsible, level-headed, non-partisan moderators. My high school Humanities teacher from 1976 (still alive and quite active) was a very engaged educator, and I certainly remember the lessons he taught us about being a discerning audience and considering both sides of an issue.

        • Sending much love and appreciation to responsible, level-headed, non-partisan teachers everywhere! You are instrumental in making us who we are, both individually and as a society!!

    • I would not have had a problem with it discussed briefly with the aim of teaching teenagers media literacy. My teen was getting information off of YouTube and TikTok and? It was all very heavily slanted pro Depp. As others have mentioned, there will be repercussions for people wanting to come forward with allegations of abuse. AH basically became a laughing stock, and Johnny Depp is the victor. His behaviour does not merit him being portrayed as a good guy or “winner.”

      As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, people like sparkly, shiny, narcissistic, charismatic people. Even though AH may be a *^[]{…~|§€, Depp is not your good guy next door. He’s at the least a FW – something chump nation doesn’t seem to mind this time.

      Their actions say it all – both FW’s. But neither deserved abuse (nor did his partner of 14 yrs).
      Teenagers need to be walked through this, think critically and not just believe the hype.

  • I paid absolutely NO attention to this shitshow, even when it was thrust at me in every media outlet I frequent. Strifestyles of the Rich and Famous hold no interest for me whatsoever.

    With that said . . . we all have our lenses, CL. I unfortunately fall into the “man who is wrongly accused of abuse from a manipulative, disordered woman” category. And once the “may have possibly abused” tag has been hung on you, it’s stuck there forever, even if there’s a recant, even if you sue and win. Friends, family members, potential employers, everyone will associate you with that kernel that may or may not be completely or partially true.

    So with all of the Hollywood bullshit stripped away, I cannot fault a lawsuit in concept. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t verbally float the idea during The Troubles.

    • “And once the “may have possibly abused” tag has been hung on you, it’s stuck there forever, even if there’s a recant, even if you sue and win. Friends, family members, potential employers, everyone will associate you with that kernel that may or may not be completely or partially true.”

      This is absolutely true.

      • What?! Sean Connery gave an interview where he openly discussed regularly hitting his wife. He continued to have a prosperous career and I bet most people don’t even know about any of it.

    • I understand your point – but feel awful about the implications that one person’s reputation is worth more than another person’s safety.

      The burden of “proof” protects so many dangerous people in situations where it is one person’s word against another. In the Chumplady facebook group there is a woman who has a backup of her husbands hard drive with very young looking girls and daddy/daughter memes, and she hasn’t been able to stop overnight visitation with their daughter because 1. It’s questionable if she had the right to back up his hard drive so the courts won’t look at it 2. The police told her it’s not pictures of HIS daughter or anyone they know and there is no way to prove the girls in the images are underage.

      It is the same with almost all child sexual abuse – there is almost never a way to “prove” it happened. And with rape, even with DNA evidence the man can just say it was consensual, and then turn around and sue the person accusing him.

      Heck, as a kid I got the snot beaten out of me by a group of kids and they all made up an elaborate story about how I fell and they all ran over to help me, and then I fell again! Their story against mine and 5 against 1.

      I don’t know the answer, short of everyone being videotaped for 100% of their lives. Surely the answer isn’t victims continuing to stay silent knowing that at best no one will believe them anyway, and at worst they will be sued and financially destroyed.

      • There is no answer, and yes the powerful and patriarchal benefit from a system designed by and for them. I’m the father of 2 daughters — believe me, I don’t relish the fact that I now automatically default into “question the accuser” mode whenever this type of situation arises, especially in this day and age. But a society in which accusation is presumptively given deference, where the default reaction is that the accused must prove her/her own innocence, is one that will not long survive.

    • UX…DUDE I’m with you all the way. The ONLY tidbit I heard was that the trial was held in Fairfax VA.
      That’s in my backyard. I consider it an extension of DC.and seeping corruption. But don’t fuck with the soccer mom honey badgers or what they want their kids taught in school.

      I’m like WhyTF is Jack sparrow bringing suit in Virginia? Va is an at fault state in divorce law,…”puritanical law”
      The USA started here…just think about all that legacy laws on the books to be misinterpreted as defamation.

      Frankly, my ass has been glued to the Ukraine sitreps and prepping for a bad moonarising (CCR🎶).

      Verse
      Spar-row, he kept his shit to-gether
      Am-ber took hers upon his poof…
      Law-yers, they pointed to the do do,
      15 mill will cover all the Poo…..
      (#youfinishit we can co-author this one Bro)

      Chorus
      ?

      Marcus out.

      • “Editor heal thyself.”

        Lol
        That’s two people complaining about that typo.
        Lots of cranky people today.

        • I chose to pin the blame on Autocorrect. I was concerned about coming across as being pedantic (my unfortunate reputation as a grammarian irks many people), but the misuse did not go unnoticed. Whew…thanks for bringing it up, KA, and thanks also to CL for her ready admission. No gaslighting there!

  • The story should have been called “When Two Troubled Narcissists Marry”. I thought they both came off horribly, what a toxic marriage. She lost the case when she tried to make this ALL him and that she had no hand in the dysfunction, she lied on the stand where she would have come off better just saying “ due to his abusive treatment of me I responded in kind in ways I shouldn’t have, I lowered myself into a battle of bad treatment when I should have just left”. Instead she tried to play completely innocent. I mean, she defalcated on his bed!? Like, what?

    I do believe he was abusive to her, maybe he didn’t hit her, but some of that audio of him screaming at her gave me serious PTSD back to my own marriage. But she gave as good as she got. This whole thing did a disservice to abused women everywhere. And at the end of the day, two privileged white celebrities arguing over millions of dollars just left me cold.

    • “… two privileged white celebrities…”

      What does the colour of their skins have to do with it?

      Absolutely *nothing*.

      • Chumpnomore6, this was very triggering for me. Why you felt the need to “correct” me I dont know. We all come to this forum as a safe place to have opinions, share our viewpoints. I spent years living with an abusive man that belittled my opinions, told me I was stupid, ugly and unworthy, I come here where I can have a voice amongst other survivors. There are plenty of forums on Reddit where you can attack other people for their opinions. To answer your question the word “white” is descriptive, they are both white, and they both displayed some of the worst behavior that entitled folks partake in. I don’t know your story, if antagonizing me made you feel better then I’ll leave it at that. All you had to do was keep scrolling and ignore my comment if it was somehow offensive to you. I send you nothing but love and support in your journey but next time you feel like making someone here feel “wrong” for what they post maybe think twice and remember what brought us all here.

  • This is timely. I made the mistake of engaging with a few people on Twitter (I know, I know).

    I’ll be the first to admit I have not closely followed this trial (I don’t have that much free time, and it’s triggering). But I think this is a scary precedent to set.

    Regardless of the particulars of this case, the responses I have seen that boil down to 1) He’s a “great guy” (“I like his movies”, whatever), 2) Her evidence wasn’t “perfect”, 3) “if she were a ‘real’ victim, she would have/wouldn’t have…” (documented everything, told people, called the cops, gone to the hospital, cried, not cried, not used makeup, not smiled, etc., etc., etc.), 4) She wasn’t a perfect victim, 5) if he was an abuser there would be others coming forward, are frankly frightening. The venomous hate poured out on Amber Heard is disturbing. Even if she did some of the things she’s accused of, the public death threats and vicious hate is staggering. From people who don’t know the whole story. Who are inclined to believe their beloved idol. There is so much talk of mutual abuse with no acknowledgement of the power imbalance present in the relationship. I don’t feel qualified to weigh in on the specifics of the trial, but the outcome is dangerous, I think. Beside the fact that this was a defamation civil suit. He should not have won if ANY of the abuse she accused him of actually occurred. And I believe that at least some of it did.

    I didn’t photograph every injury, every piece of damaged furniture or my any of my damaged belongings, didn’t record him doing those things (I live in a 2-party consent state, so it’s illegal to record without his knowledge, and if I’d told him I was going to record him he would have changed his behavior on a dime, because he was fully capable of that), and never called the police. He threatened to tell the cops I was the abuser. He threated to get me fired from my job (I have a security clearance – getting arrested could result in that being revoked; I also knew that if I got him fired, we’d be up a creek, because at that point in time I couldn’t support us on my own). And he was a skilled liar/actor. If the cops didn’t believe me and did nothing, then I would have been left with a man who would have been doubly angry because I embarrassed him. He accused me of abuse whenever I tried to escape (he’d often corner me, and when I’d try and push him away so I could get out, he’d scream “how dare you lay hands on me!”). I’m socially awkward. I’m autistic and so get flustered under stress or don’t always display “normal” emotional reactions. He was charming and charismatic. He could look you in the eye and lie with perfect sincerity. He painted himself as a male victim of abuse, posting things during domestic violence awareness month about how men are victims to (neglecting to mention that what he considered abuse was 1) I didn’t have sex with him every day, 2) I didn’t earn enough money for him to quit his day job, 3) I didn’t sing his praises all day long, 4) I had the audacity to sometimes prioritize our child (especially as an infant) over his immediate desires, 6) I had the audacity to have a birth injury and post partum depression (so I couldn’t have sex with him every day), and 7) I had the audacity to come down with a potentially fatal illness which required me to stop working for three months on doctor’s orders, so, you know, I didn’t die. Oh, and I dared call him out on his behavior. If I’d just done what he wanted, he wouldn’t “have to” yell at me, insult me, degrade and demean me, cheat on me, throw furniture at me, shove me so hard I fell, mock me, the list goes on. He didn’t hit me. He didn’t have to. Slamming a door so hard it splintered, or punching a wall so hard his knuckles sprayed blood all over my kitchen, or simply swinging a fist just up to my face (stopping short of an actual punch) was enough to cow me into submission. I didn’t fight back. I fawned. I apologized for *making him angry*. I took the blame. He had gaslit me so badly I did start to think it was all my fault (after all, I was the only one he mistreated). I was 6″ shorter, 60 lb lighter (maybe 100 lb soaking wet), and weak from being sick for several years. I knew I couldn’t possibly win a physical altercation with him. And I (thought I) loved him. I would make excuses, minimize, ignore and hope it would go away. He was nearly always drunk when one of these incidents occurred, so I convinced myself he was a good person with a problem (though he’d promise to stop drinking and then did not stop). He would also claim to have blacked out from alcohol and have no memory of the things he said or did. I don’t know if that was true or not. But I remembered. It made me distant with him. And then he turned around and abused me worse because I had become “cold and unloving”.

    I also, one time (and only one) dared put a meme about domestic violence (specifically emotional abuse) on my (private) Facebook. No names. We were separated and living apart, and he was blocked on all my social media. However, some of my “friends” were spying on me for him and sending him screenshots of anything I posted. He called me screaming that he was going to “take me for everything I had” for ruining his reputation. If he had had access to me, I don’t doubt it would have gone beyond verbal abuse and threats. Another time he had OW join a Facebook divorce support group (lie her way in) for the express purpose of screenshotting everything I wrote. He then tried to blackmail me with it so I would give him custody of our son. His friends (who I thought were also my friends) would talk to me for the express purpose of finding ways to paint me as crazy. Specifically I spoke to one woman who is autistic about her experiences, because I suspected that I was also autistic. She determined from a 20 minute conversation that because my experiences didn’t match hers (she had it “worse”) I was making it all up for attention and as an excuse. And then she told him all about her opinion of me. I could go on. No one was safe. I still have trouble trusting people.

    My ex was a big fish in a small pond (a filmmaker/writer). If he’d had the notoriety and clout of a true celebrity, I have no doubt he would have leveraged that to destroy me in any way he could.

    Image was EVERYTHING to him. He didn’t abuse me in public. He didn’t abuse everyone he knew. To this day, I think the majority of our (his) friends STILL wouldn’t believe me if I said anything about it, even though OW also left him for abusing her. He did CHARITY WORK. He was such a GREAT DAD. He was SO SMART. He was SO TALENTED. He was SO FUN. He was SO CHARMING. He was such a NICE GUY. But when the doors closed…. The only other person who witnessed my abuse was my mom, because one time while I was living with her I put him on speaker phone (without his knowledge). When he was truly angry, he didn’t scream. His voice would go low, dead, and cold. In those moments, I truly believe that he could have killed me and not felt bad about it. It was like I ceased to become human to him. My mom said his voice was the scariest thing she’s ever heard.

    I’m lucky I escaped alive. It took years of therapy to recover from my PTSD. And frankly, the only reason I comment on here as freely as I do (even though it is anonymous), or dare to say anything on social media about anything, is because he is dead and can’t hurt me anymore. I finally have peace. I can finally breathe. I realize I’m one of the fortunate ones.

    • I will add that OW DID fight back. My ex, in his suicide letter, detailed all the things she did to him, including cutting him with a broken glass, punching him, verbally abusing him, self-harming and blaming him for her bruises, etc. They were both toxic. They both abused each other.

      Yet I would never say that she shouldn’t talk about being abused by him. Because she was. He was certainly public about her abuse of him (his “last word” was a song he wrote and put on youtube about how she was an abusive alcoholic who was slandering him).

      And honestly, I take everything he wrote about her abuse with a grain of salt, even though I dislike the woman and do believe her fully capable of all of the things he accused her of. Because I was in her shoes, because I know how he tried to paint me and my reactions to his abuse.

      I will never know the whole truth about what happened in my ex’s relationship with OW. We will never know the whole truth about the situation behind this very public trial.

      My main point (in my very lengthy post – on rereading it, it is clear that this trial and the surrounding discussion is more than a little triggering for me, so I apologize) is that some of the commentary surrounding the trial is damaging to victims, particularly the precedent of being able to sue someone for writing something that doesn’t even contain names.

      I have no doubt that if my ex were alive, he’d be cheering for JD’s win.

      • Thank you for sharing your story, ISTLight. I’m so glad you’re free, and am so sorry you endured what you did. I can well imagine that the trial has been triggering for you. You clearly have done a lot of important work, and you are mighty! What a contrast with the disorder on display in the sordid tale of JD and AH.

      • I was also married to a “great guy” my story is similar to yours. Unfortunately mine is still alive.

    • “He should not have won if ANY of the abuse she accused him of actually occurred. And I believe that at least some of it did.”

      I think legally that if part of it was not true, and that part alone is sufficient to ruin one’s reputation, it’s defamation.
      Otherwise, we could, for example, say that our FWs molested children as well as cheating on us and get away with it.

      • The lawsuit was limited to the op/ed in WaPo where she called herself a victim of domestic violence. She did not detail the domestic violence in any way or name names. Depp’s lawsuit was that it was obviously about him given the high profile nature of their relationship. For him to win, then any abuse allegations (physical, emotional, sexual, whatever) would need to be false since she then wouldn’t be a domestic abuse victim. Doesn’t matter if it’s mutual abuse. Any abuse = the op/ed was not a falsehood.

  • I tend to think that if you’re willing to bare all in front of the entire world, live streamed and all that goes with it, you’ve got some truth to tell. I remember how the gaslighting, the lies and manipulation forced me into something I wasn’t. Quite a few parallels of how ugly and dysfunctional a relationship can be, the mirage I was in. Johnny Depp and his statement of “after 50 years I am now an abuser” She had a way of pushing buttons, chasing him into bathrooms when he wanted to get away. I was in such a blender, I sadly admit that I did all of the above, short of cutting off a finger with a thrown bottle. I hid, I fought, I was out of my own mind. Never in my life was I as screwed up mentally as I was with the turd I was married to for 15 years, the last 5 filled with Jerry Springer. Not proud of my behavior, which is far behind me since he left. I became a product of my environment, that’s not a cop out, it’s called maladaptive behavior in order to survive. He was always the good guy, I was the crazy. Will I have column in the paper displaying my survival of a horrible marriage after discovering I was a chump and pretend it’s without malice. Absolutely not, why? Because there’s no point to continue the drama. I see it from both sides having lived both for over 5 years. Relationship endings are never pretty, black or white. The turd I was with said to everyone that would listen that I was bi- polar, had anger management issues, needed to be medicated… used everything I told him about the sexual abuse I suffered from my brother against me in his image management. I kept my mouth shut, those that wanted to know the truth asked, the ones that didn’t saw him as a victim, hence, Switzerland friends. I listened to what you said, actions- watch what they do, not what they say. He is now on f***buddy number 3, it’s been less than 2 years since he left. Me, I spent yesterday cleaning up 15 years worth of his shit that he couldn’t be bothered to take care of to the dump because he was too busy texting and watching and jerking off on porn and having his tattooed fantasy giving him attention. Please understand I’m not bitter, I am so happy now that I’m on my own. I just know there are two sides to the story and the truth in the middle. I don’t feel the need to get even because I now understand he is incapable of having a relationship unless it fills his needs. I know if I had been sexually assaulted with a bottle, my ass would have gone directly to the ER and I would have ended the relationship, pressed charges and I have zero millions to my name. Just so we’re clear, he is 10 years older, established in the community so I had everything to lose.

    It’s not always as simple as we’d like it to be.

    • I feel that CL is absolutely wrong about this one and maybe she really doesn’t have all the details, so she should not have commented until she did.

      • Does anyone have ALL the details? What standard is that? I think they’re both appalling people, but what struck me is that he SUED her for defamation. Zooming out, big picture, that was the issue. IMO — even if he was honestly being defamed by a nutter — he should not have gone after her for $50 million trying to shut her up.

        • As I said in another comment, I really know nothing, since I haven’t followed it, but as to why he sued her, I would think for the *publicity* – oxygen for a failing actor.

        • You still believe she’s the victim… to say to go after her for 50 million, she doubled up and went for 100 million. To sue her for defamation, shame on him. Chump Lady, he called her out and we should feel badly for her? Not… again, if I was assaulted with a bottle… game over. She lied

        • I don’t think it was about “shutting her up” she already ran her mouth and people formed their own opinions. The law suit was about putting out his version of the whole hot mess, the money is irrelevant, she can’t pay it anyhow

          • Nope. He wanted to punish her. That’s what people like him do when they lose control over another person. And he is clearly a controlling man.

        • The suing was required to clear his name – the only way – by putting it out there for the public to decide. The public overwhelmingly supported the jury’s decision.

          Heard was not believable and increasingly became more unbelievable as the trial went on. Her overacting was apparent to any reasonable person. The evidence did not support her testimony.

          It was a victory for the many who are smeared and damaged socially, financially and professionally by disordered ex partners.

          • I don’t think this was the only way to clear his name. I have a friend who actually won a $750,000 verdict in a defamation lawsuit. A nut job went after her business, called her vendors, her clients, trolled her on social media. She did not sue him. He sued HER. And she countersued and won.

            I wish both Heard and Depp got $0. Their punishment is having all of this drama out there. But I come back to the point of the lawsuit — was Johnny Depp abusive and did she have the right of free speech to say so in an op-ed that didn’t name him directly.

            Was Amber Heard abusive, is she a lousy spokesperson for #MeToo, is she loathsome, etc. etc. isn’t the issue. The issue is can she claim, in a public forum, to have been a victim of domestic abuse?

            I think the answer is yes. EVEN if she’s a shit person.

            • 100% yes. I would just qualify this by clarifying she actually said “I became a public figure representing domestic abuse”. She did not specifically state she was a *victim* in the article at the root of all this or a victim of him, just that her accusations put her in the public eye two years prior. I know some people think this distinction is splitting hairs, but words matter in defamation cases where the bar is so high, especially for public figures. This case became about misogyny, not (nonexistent) defamation. And, as someone posted earlier, we should all now be afraid that the stories we share here will be found by our abusive cheaters and used against us.
              Ill put myself out there: I can’t prove my ex-husband choked me or punched me when I would try to stop him from drunkenly urinating in our closet, in the corner of our friends’ guest rooms if we were visiting others, on our modem (!) or even in my *babies’ cribs* in the middle of the night. He did though. And those behaviours are so distinctive (I hope!) that he’d know it was me writing this if he saw it. Will I lose in court if he sues me because I didn’t tell anyone when it happened but shared these details publicly now? He’s a “pillar of the community” type. I’d probably get treated like Amber Heard.

            • “The issue is can she claim, in a public forum, to have been a victim of domestic abuse?

              I think the answer is yes. EVEN if she’s a shit person.”

              Sorry, CL, I disagree. Anyone can claim anything. The issue is whether her claim was *true*, or a lie.

          • He could have written his own op ed. could have issued a well written public statement. Could have done all kinds of stuff. He is rich and famous and full of choices and resources. He chose this to punish her.

    • “It’s not always as simple as we’d like it to be.”

      This is so true. Honestly, had my fw accused me of something as dire as physical abuse, I would have wanted to clear my name.

      I didn’t publicly accuse him, and he was guilty of a lot of abuse against me. So you can bet your bottom dollar I would not let false abuse charges stand against me.

      I don’t know if they were false or not, but he declared they were and he won the case.

      Having said that, they do both seem like very messed up people; much like the adultery partners many of our messed up fw’s chose.

  • I think you’re totally wrong about this one, which is a complete surprise to me. (Also, in your first paragraph, it should say “alluded” to, not “eluded” which has a whole different meaning.) Court ordered psychologist Dr. Curry diagnosed AH as borderline with histrionic personality disorders. I have known of other women just like this who are violent toward their partner and then falsely accuse THEM of abuse. Just like this. Maybe that’s why it resonated so much with millions of us. Did you watch the entire trial? I did, and followed a few attorneys on YouTube. How can we all be wrong? Yes, JD was using drugs and he’s eccentric and you might not like his fashion choices (low blow, really not your business) but he didn’t sue her first, SHE did. Please learn the whole story before you judge. I stand with Johnny Depp and I HAVE been a true victim. Like he said, Never Fear Truth.

    • How on earth did SHE sue HIM first? He filed the suit. She counter-claimed. The British lawsuit was on behalf of a newspaper, she wasn’t even a party to it.

    • The only people with all the facts are Amber, Johnny, and any witnesses to the events.

      Everyone else gets to decide who they believe.

      • This was a defamation suit. The facts that matter in this lawsuit are what was said in the editorial, whether it was false, and whether he lost income as a result.

        • Deciding whether to believe Kate Moss’ testimony for the defense is one example of what I’m talking about above…..

    • “Yes, JD was using drugs and he’s eccentric and you might not like his fashion choices (low blow, really not your business)”

      FFS, now she can’t snark about a cheating celebrity douchebag? I think most of us come here for the snark as much as anything else. Why should he be exempt? He’s a cheater. That is not in doubt, whatever else he may or may not have done.

      “I stand with Johnny Depp”

      What is this, a sociopolitical issue now? It’s two assholes being assholes.

      “Like he said, Never Fear Truth.”

      Except when he’s lying to the mother of his children and cheating on her with a much younger woman, of course. Then his motto is Always Fear Truth.

      But seriously, Aurora. This guy is nobody to stand for or to quote. He’s a hypocritical, degenerate celebrity. Was he abused? Probably. Who can sort this shit out? Which abusive asshole was the bigger abusive asshole? Who really knows? Does him being abused somehow make him a hero and wipe out all his shitty character defects? Lots of crap people get abused. They shouldn’t be treated like heroes just because they were abused.

      BTW, “how can we all be wrong?” is fallacious logic. I’m not saying you are wrong, but lots of people believing something does not establish that it is true.

    • Aurora, it appears you have the wrong end of the stick. Heard was found to have been abused in the UK Court System. She won the case. The UK court concluded Depp is an abuser. Heard IS a victim. Then Heard wrote an Op-Ed for an American publication not naming Depp but commenting on her experience as a public figure of DV and standing up to someone with more power than her in a litigious setting. As a result of the article Depp then sued her for defamation in the United States. Then she counter-sued. Those are facts.
      Seems you have a case of confirmation bias which is on full display here. Heard’s mental health diagnosis or otherwise is not the issue.
      Depp’s addiction status or substance abuse is likewise not the issue. Heard’s right to speak of her experience as a victim of domestic violence in a public forum is the issue.
      And that’s what this case was *supposed* to be about.
      Defamation of character. Defamation is notoriously one of the most difficult areas of law to litigate.
      You ask “How can we all be wrong?” You can be. It’s possible. You are more than likely not all lawyers and you also very clearly do not understand what was really on trial here.

      PS… admonishing CL that she has “no business” commenting on something on her own blog is some next level hubris on your part. Just saying.

    • ‘you might not like his fashion choices (low blow, really not your business)’
      Oh please!
      CL’s comment about JD’s look was the only funny thing about any of this!

      CL is beloved for her snark!

  • I did not follow this trial, although it was hard to avoid being bombarded with it. The fascination people had with it was way more interesting than Depp, Heard and the trial.
    It got me thinking that you could have a mega-hit TV series if you did a mash up of Judge Judy and Jerry Springer. People just seem to eat this stuff up!

  • I highly recommend the article I’ll link to at the bottom of my post. Hope it’s not paywalled!

    I am firmly of the belief that there was enough physical evidence that Amber Heard could characterize herself as a victim of “domestic abuse”. All but one of her claims was found to be substantially true in a British court, which places a much higher burden on the defendant to prove their claim (in that case it was a British newspaper that called Depp a wife beater) than in the US (where the burden is on the plaintiff to prove the defendant lied maliciously). His texts alone are abusive. Him stumbling around the kitchen drunk and smashing things was abusive. But regardless of whether you agree with me, the decision in this case is appalling.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jun/02/the-depp-defamation-suit-should-outrage-and-appall-you?CMP=twt_gu&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium#Echobox=1654169248-1

  • I tried to avoid this shitshow. However, it’s an example of why CL’s “trust they suck” is so on point. JD cheated on the mother of his children and long-time partner with Heard. They both suck.

  • “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.”

    Bingo. But he figures maybe the media frenzy it caused will make him a household name again and get him enough attention and sympathy for somebody to take him seriously as actor again.

    Definitely a case of FW and AP dysfunction coming home to roost.

  • Thank you for this post.

    I couldn’t watch the trial. I’m already overwhelmed with reasons to be angry and depressed, and I couldn’t bring myself to wallow in even more.

    I’m a lawyer, and most of my friends want me to weigh in … but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to look.

    But you’ve hit on the exact issue that is the most obvious thing in the world, to a lawyer’s mind: with all the information that was already in the public sphere about Depp, who on earth believes his character was besmirched by an editorial that never even mentioned him by name, addressing the backlash faced by women who report abuse????

    His character was to be wildly jealous of a wife who apparently wasn’t even cheating. His character was being an out-of-control raging alcoholic and drug addict who writes on the wall with his partially-severed finger all the things he hated about his wife. The British courts had determined in 2000 that he was a wife-beater, long before this editorial.
    And yet, his public image suffered for none of those things? All the damage was done by an editorial addressing the backlash faced by women who report abuse?

    Everything about this case was pretty much public, long before that editorial. I’m absolutely mystified at the rationale that supported the notion that somehow the editorial was the cause of his woes. Because I’m left with the only obvious answer, that we’re punishing Amber Heard for writing an editorial about the backlash women face when they report abuse.

    That I can believe.

  • I think what most creeped me out is that Amber secretly videotaped him to almost back to when they met that shows him yelling and slamming stuff around and her with the smile into the camera. I wondered did she purposely start fights? My ex used to do that to me and then use my anger against me. I also caught him smirking after some inflammatory trigger comment to start a fight so he could get out of the house in a huff so he could weekend with his ho. I also despised the poor little ol me poses to get money, drugs and sperm from males but she lives in a lesbian relationship. It’s like a scam to live high on others’ money with a bit of video back up for blackmail. Look, Johnny has more red flags than the Daytona 500. His drinking and drugging gives me the willies. But he didn’t beat his women and that accusation sent him into lala land. He lost his libel case for false allegations against a UK paper because Amber testified against him. So he sued her here directly for that. He wasn’t convicted criminally in the UK of abusing her. Apparently Johnny has lines you can’t cross. Go figure. Amber is just cray cray. The secret videotaping sent be over the edge. Major indicator of premeditation.

  • Amber Heard had BPD and HPD – two conditions that make a person irrational and extremely destructive when unregulated. And it often IS unregulated; these are people who are so resistant to change that most therapists refuse to have more than one BPD patient.

    Depp had severe co-dependency and addictions. He’s riddled with unaddressed mummy issues.

    I don’t think you can really take sides here, they’re just two damaged people replicating familiar patterns instead of seeking and engaging in any programme for self improvement. If anybody can get help, it’s these two.

    Might go a way towards explaining why Depp didn’t commit fully to Vanessa Paradis even after fourteen years and two kids but married the mummy figure after two years and zero kids. You see this shit constantly. If nothing else, just realise that, ‘marriage is a piece of paper’ is an excuse and that your loyalty and love don’t mean anything. Don’t give your life to be a stepping stone.

    • I believe it was the psychologist hired and paid by JD that said she had BPD and HPD. Expert witnesses generally will say whatever the person who hires them wants them to say.

      • Or in other words, you hire and put on the stand only the expert witness(es) whose testimony will support your point of view.

    • I take your point. However, marriage is a legally binding contract which, when broken, has many financial and legal consequences. It does serve some protection for the betrayed spouse vs. just living together. Even if it may often be inadequate.

      • It does, which is why a woman should never accept, ‘marriage is a piece of paper’ from a man who should have a vested interest in protecting them both. You’ll realise that the argument never works when reversed; if you tell a man, ‘if it’s just a piece of paper, you’ll have no problem giving it to me’, suddenly it goes from being meaningless to being of huge significance.

        I can’t claim to be an expert but it feels like Vanessa Paradis gave wife privileges for girlfriend title and got screwed over. Amber Heard, for whatever faults she may or may not have, held her ground and insisted on the ring.

        ‘Marriage is just a piece of paper’ generally means, ‘I won’t commit to you but you’re useful for now’.

  • This whole case is so confusing because many different people whose judgment I respect all have wildly different opinions. Even different people whom I know both take abuse and misogyny very seriously and have personal experience with it.

  • it’s weird that he sued but he’s not a well person. i mean, he’s fully in the thrall of his addictions, so he’s not making fulsome decisions.

    what i think is how damaged his kids must be by his assorted behaviours. vanessa paradis is the sane parent here; can you imagine the level of parenting she faces each and every day? gah. first, dad has an open affair and leaves the family, then that relationship goes so sideways that they’re in court suing and countersuing one another for gazillions of dollars. the full disclosure is eye watering. it’s bizarre.

    intergenerational damage is nothing to sneeze at. those kids are fucked.

    • Well, I have seen that he paid Vanessa Paradis $150,000,000 so I bet that funded all the therapy they needed.

  • I think he had to sue her. She was being pushed by powerful people (ACLU) to be some sort of poster child for domestic abuse. The real shame is that they used her and now they throw her under the bus. Not like the ACLU is paying the bill.

    • Any evidence that “powerful people” ever “pushed” Heard to do anything? We can all make up scenarios. Without some factual background, this sounds like conspiracy theory, frankly.

      • Read that carefully. They didn’t say they didn’t write it, they said they don’t write op-eds IN EXCHANGE FOR DONATIONS. The piece then goes on to say they were worried about issues including sexual assault and domestic violence in relation to the Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court, but nowhere is it stated they didn’t approach Amber or write the piece for her. (They did and they did).
        I’m kinda disappointed in their parsing of the truth here, tbh. The ACLU’s General Counsel was very clear on the stand that they did write the drafts.

        “…some have claimed that the ACLU made Ms. Heard an ambassador for gender justice and wrote an op-ed on her behalf in exchange for her pledge to donate money to the ACLU. This is wrong. We do not write op-eds or offer ambassadorships in exchange for donations. Period…”

  • I was never abused in the manner I’ve gleaned from the news that these two abused each other, so I don’t know how that would influence me. I also hate to see trials in a particular state due to particular laws where having the most expensive legal team wins the day. The story here goes beyond these two creepy people. Personally, I do not believe you can find justice for this type of psycho/physical/verbal abuse in a court of law. Most of the time it’s he said, she said. “Witnesses” have a dog in the race.

    If I had “defamed” my Ex, his children would have paid the price. I was happy to get out as intact as I did. The courts, and the public would not care — we were not celebrities. Your story is important to you — but there is no “closure” from public exposure in this manner.

    Personally, I believe media should be excluded, and this type of trial should not be in front of a jury. Celebrities love all types of media exposure. Cut that off, and there is no oxygen in the situation for them.

    We need to learn to stop worshiping celebrities as if they were some kind of demi-gods. They are not the person in the part they portray. They present entertaining fantasy for our enjoyment. Personally, the more I know about their personal lives the less likely I am to like any of them.

    If I were on a jury for this trial I would find both guilty, and award “0” dollars. Another way to get this crap out of the courts and media is to not make it fun or lucrative.

    • “Personally, I believe media should be excluded, and this type of trial should not be in front of a jury. Celebrities love all types of media exposure. Cut that off, and there is no oxygen in the situation for them.”

      Brava! Totally agree with you Portia.

      I know nothing about it, except what CL wrote, so probably I shouldn’t opine, but it seems what we have here are two really horrible people who deserved each other.

      With reference to the alleged abuse by Depp, sounds to me as if Heard gave as good as she got, and vice versa. I don’t see either one as victims.

    • You couldn’t find both guilty in that courtroom because only Heard was on trial. I appreciate your other points, however. 🙂

      • Wasn’t she awarded on a countersuit? I only saw what I had to on the news, because you could not avoid it. I thought they were both awarded $ , neither got what they asked for. Maybe guilty is not the right term, either. I am not a lawyer, but if it was just a judge deciding on legal merits, without all the posturing and media attention, and if nobody made a dime, it would not be so big of a deal. Wonder what the attorneys made?

        I just find such public displays disgusting. There was a phrase on this site the other day that I really liked. “I have seen enough.” I also believe some things may be “legal” but they will never be “moral, or “right.” I get tired of people airing their dirty laundry. No doubt there is a lot of dirt, and it should be cleaned, but can’t that take place in private?

        Coming from a dysfunctional family and going through what I did to fix my picker, I only ever talk about those times when I think the conversation may help someone else going through something similar. I don’t name names. Nothing good would come of it. I’ve said things in anger and done things I regret. Do I need to see and hear about it on television? No thank you.

        If rich and famous people are as miserable and creepy as these two appeared to be from all this media exposure, I wonder why poor and average people would even care to watch. There was nothing glamorous or desirable here. I didn’t see any winners in this contest, but I did see a lot of toxic cultural thinking, and it saddens me that the viewing public is so fascinated by it all.

  • I think you nailed it, CL. I had covid a month ago and started watching the trial while recuperating. Did not know a whole lot about Depp or Heard before that, had seen Pirates 1 and that’s about it. I remember reading about their divorce and not thinking much of it. I never read the op-ed and was barely aware of the UK legal proceedings. But then watching the trial, it became clear to me that Depp was lying (multiple tapes and emails of him saying “I cut off my finger,” pictures of Amber with clear injuries as she stated, one picture of him with bags under his eyes that was taken the day BEFORE alleged battering event, his witnesses were all paid employees who depend on him for their livelihoods, etc., etc.). If he had said “I don’t REMEMBER ever hitting a woman” that would be much more believable, given his substance abuse.

    Amber was inconsistent about a few details, but her stories were detailed, specific, and corroborated by her witnesses over a period of years, who were not on her payroll. Plus Depp never claimed abuse until he sued The Sun. (I find it completely just that The Sun calls him “Wife-Beater Johnny Depp” now.)

    This is clear and classic DARVO. What is really confusing is the public mass hysteria over Depp. I do get that far-rights men’s groups are using this movement to further their goals, but the irrational zeal of the rest of the fan base defies logic. It’s just another OJ trial, and I hope in the end public awareness will come around and recognize that Depp is just another wife beater, as the UK already recognizes.

  • Thank you, Chump Lady! It’s kind of shocking so many in CN fail to examine the ::actions:: instead of just the words here showing 2 disordered fuckwits: a cheater and his OW & their epic karma bus trip. 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 I wish this on our cheaters! 🤣😂🤣

  • Thank you! I feel like the court decision, regardless of who did what, sets a precedent that makes it more dangerous for victims of abuse to speak up. A misogynist I follow on FaceBook for some reason already started pronouncing that women lie and she got what she deserved. But, like, we know he said he wanted to have sex with her corpse. This is abuser behavior. Seeing her to keep his image management is abuser behavior. How many victims of abuse and sexual assault will be harmed by the implications of this court decision?

  • Thank you for this. Am horrified that a legal precedent has now been set in which even stating you were a victim of domestic abuse, without naming your abuser, can be considered defamation.

    • And that, Chuminpain, is the real take-away of this high profile case. The precedent it set was not in defense of the victim or to pass judgement on abuse, but rather to warn victims of abuse to be careful of allegations, going public, naming names or involving the court system.

  • IDK, I haven’t really followed the case but from what I can ascertain, they are both problematic individuals. Something unrelated got me thinking about my own two parents who were both similarly disordered. My mother is a definite narcissist and my father has a weak ego with narcissistic tendencies. Together they were ugly but I always thought my mom was the victim (she abandoned us when I was 7 but I remember her being the weak one during my father’s rages). However, when she ran away, she LEFT us kids and did not look back, after cheating on him … They both kind of sucked? Similarly I wouldn’t want to weigh in on whose heart was most leaden in this situation but I suspect both? Who the heck knows. This might be a case of karma train for them both (not that I in any way condone domestic abuse in any form every FYI)

  • In what way is this situation #metoo? I read the WAPO editorial. It was a major stretch. Depp v Heard is a great big awful mess, but how is it someone holding a subordinate’s career hostage via sexual intimidation?

    • I agree. It’s not really a #MeToo thing, but journalists like making those kind of connections for the sake of giving the article more gravitas.
      #MeToo is specifically about sexual misconduct and sexual violence, not non-sexual domestic violence. Unless perhaps she accused him of sexual abuse? I haven’t seen a list of all the allegation she made.

  • Marilyn Manson is now suing Evan Rachel Wood for defamation. Bots and trolls are going after her now.

    • Yup. Social Media business model = more engagement = more $$$ = who pays for what and what the facts are = irrelevant ’cause freedom of speech y’all. Who can pay for the most bots ie: get their base all riled up (eyes on the message = money in the bank or the preferred legal outcome or the preferred electoral result) WINS. A story rife with ambiguities such as Depp v Heard is fodder for the social media grist mill. And therefore easily manipulated by those with the $$ and motivation to manage social media messaging with bot deployment and riling their base. Who benefits here – besides Johnny Depp? That’s the question we should be asking.

      • So true. And the
        manipulation/propaganda tools are getting more and more sophisticated. Deep fakes are already quite convicting and inexpensive to make. It won’t take long until they start getting mass deployed.

  • I found the whole thing disturbing. My therapist once commented that some people just shouldn’t get married. Yes, these two fall into that category, as did my ex according to my therapist. Thankfully the attorneys figured out who-was-who in my divorce, and his attorney flipped sides in some ways because he felt so sorry for me. I didn’t want an ugly trial, and thankfully we settled. Just get me out of this marriage, I told my attorney at several points.

    But yes. Why did they decide to duke it out this way? Because they could. That’s why. It was telling that Johnny wasn’t even there for the verdict but was “working.” He had already won in the court of public opinion and knew that the legal decision was likely going his way too.

  • Well I am just really glad that the whole Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial is OVER! It is a skein of F-uppedness that we all need to not give any more thought to and just move on from. I wonder what President Zelensky thought about it while he is in a bunker somewhere in Ukraine. Do you think he followed the story? How about the parents of the children killed in Uvalde? Nope. Don’t think so…

    • Well said. The media is getting tired of the war, so they have to spin something else. We should focus on ending war and doing something about climate change. Instead we read about two very rich people having a public fight

  • Is it true that the UAE and Israel have signed a tariff free pact allowing trade between them to begin? If that is true why isn’t on the news 24/7.
    Johnny D steps out of his house looking dirty and greasy. Why? I never heard of Amber until this trial, which I did not watch.
    I wonder which country has killed more children this year, Russia or the US. I uphold the second amendment until we sell rapid fire guns to citizens. They are designed to kill as many living things as possible. We don’t need them. Period.

  • Thank you CL.

    This is going to be a long one, buckle up:-).

    Until recently I didn’t care either way. Based on few bits and pieces of info here and there, I got the impression it’s about two spoiled toxic people. No way to tell who did what. Then I heard the infamous recording and thought to myself, wow she must have been the primary aggressor. It’s a slam dunk and courts are going to sort it out, I don’t need to pay attention.

    But I couldn’t escape it, it was everywhere. On every social media, even though I did not engage with the content and even tried to block and mute where possible. It started to remind me of the gamergate, someone is campaigning hard and furious.

    I paused and went to my media literacy check list (propaganda shield) that I picked up somewhere: 1. Where is this coming from/who is behind the messaging? 2. Who is benefiting from getting this message across? 3. How can I verify this information? 4. What actual evidence has been presented? Can it be examined in its full context? If not, what’s the reason? 5. How does it make me feel? Is it designed to elicit strong emotions?

    It turned out Johnny Depp was represented by Adam Waldman and he was known to have employed shady tactics in the past, in his dealings with Russian oligarchs such as Oleg Deripaska. He is capable of orchestrating a successful campaign.
    That is what compelled me to search for verifiable information, not because I cared for the individuals involved in that mess. I wanted to prevent falling for propaganda of this magnitude, they are slowly eroding our democracy.

    After looking into publicly available documents from the UK trial, I had to adjust my initial position. Most importantly, what I viewed as the ultimate reason for my siding with JD was taken out of context: The recording where it seems Amber is taunting him about being victim of DV and admitting to hitting him. Ooof, I had to take a step back and zoom out. As much as I believe men can be victims, Johnny Depp ain’t it.

    He fits the classic abuser mould quite well. Huge age gap, huge income disparity etc…all together a huge power imbalance. He was interfering in her career (big one in my book), they were living in his properties, surrounded by his staff, he was the one dominating the decision making. Then add his raging addiction to the mix. Those who have been living with an untreated addict are well aware of how volatile, manipulative, paranoid and overall difficult they tend to be. Women in their early twenties will be ill prepared to handle it, I would think.

    Also over the years there were quite a few instances of violent assaults (in July Johnny Depp is due to court again, location manager is suing him for assaulting him).

    Then the way he was texting about his ex long term partner Vanessa (extortionist French c*nt) and lastly about Amber even before they got married, that’s not your common venting, it’s vile.

    Amber’s BPD diagnosis isn’t as solid as his lawyers would like us to believe. I listened to an experienced forensic evaluator’s (male, not involved in the case) take on the testing performed by Depp’s legal team. He would not agree with the BPD diagnosis without further testing. The main issue is that PTSD from being subjected to abuse can present similar to BPD and only an expert on that subject matter has a chance of parsing it out. The evaluator hired by Depp does not have these credentials, according to him. I know that I could have easily been mistaken for BPD when I was in the midst of it. I was so heavily gaslit and distressed I didn’t know what was up and what was down (he presented as harmless for a few years, so I thought he must be experiencing some cognitive issues when the abuse started). Just one example, he took away my company and when I tried to confront him he was attempting to convince me that I gave it away willingly. He did so many things to destroy my life (including my future) that his cheating didn’t even bother me. I just wanted out, but he made sure I couldn’t get away. I seemed unhinged in front of the couples counsellor while he was calm and collected.

    Most abusers, as most of us know, will use DARVO to rid themselves of accountability. But how to tell which one is the aggressor? By looking into the power balance and past behaviour. Individual incidents can be misleading. Victim’s attempts to take back some power or to defend themselves can be miss-interpreted as aggression. Even worse, the victim will take responsibility for their reaction to the abuse (while the perpetrator will not). That is what Amber was doing when talking about hitting him, not punching him, in defence. We all remember how police believed Gabby Petito was the abuser. She ended up dead.

    • I’ve been cast into that Borderline Personality Disorder category as well by young and inexperienced school counselor on whom the court relied very heavily on in a custody battle initiated by my ex husband. I was distraught over what was happening and in my attempts to be very honest and direct about what was happening, she misread as a brand of craziness and instability.
      Her opinion weighed very heavily on my not getting custody of one of my two daughters.

      All it takes is 1 quasi qualified “professional” to bring fire down on your head.

  • “Who’s going to believe you, Johnny?” Doesn’t sound like a woman without agency or power. She was caught in a lot of lies in court. I don’t know where the truth is on this one but I can’t muster any sympathy for a person who mocks someone whose finger tip they cut off. She mutilated him. She chased him, and has abused other partners. There was proof. The medical records did not support her version. I’d be super careful with this one. The court case in England hinged heavily on the divorce proceeding records, not other substantiation or proof. I am willing to believe they are both toxic and terrible and I don’t know that this is about cheating – it’s more about personality disorders and addictions and unbridled squandering of wealth and health and careers most of us only dream about.

  • In an editorial published in The Guardian Jill Filipovic said it better than I could. Who benefits from the media circus of Depp V Heard and the resulting verdict? The rich and the powerful, that’s who.Take it away Jill:

    This may seem pedantic to those who support Depp and believe he was wrongly accused of abuse; for many of Depp’s supporters, today’s verdict feels like justice. But it’s not. And it matters that this jury appears to have set aside the law itself, because defamation suits by the powerful can be highly effective tools for suppressing speech.

    That is one dangerous lesson of this trial: that people who speak out about abuse might be hounded in court to the point of bankruptcy; that men with power or money or public opinion on their side – or all three – can count on a sympathetic jury willing to bend the letter of the law if it means punishing an unlikable woman.

    This verdict is perhaps the biggest blow to the #MeToo movement since its inception. And that’s true, again, even if you don’t believe Heard’s version of events: the lesson of this trial is that one can be as careful as possible in speaking out about abuse and still be financially gouged into silence. What abuse survivor wants to speak out if she knows that a person she’s accusing can sue her, not meet the legal standard of defamation, and still win so long as a jury finds him more sympathetic?

    This verdict is a victory for Depp, but it isn’t a win for justice. And it’s not just Heard who’s losing out here – it’s anyone who would risk speaking out about the powerful, and it’s the principle of free speech itself.

  • Chumps know what’s it’s like to spackle. We also know that cheaters defame us and damage our reputations. We also know how cheaters love to burnish their images at our expense. We also know how it seems that nobody understands what it’s like to be chumped unless they’ve been chumped.

    Chump Nation is usually in agreement about cheating, whether it’s news about public figures or letter writers.
    I was surprised by how this case split Chump Nation’s responses, which are usually in accord. Some of the comments here, especially referring to Depp’s age or popularity, are reflections of the same justifications for cheating: aging, loss of earning power, lack of energy or mental health problems.

    Please consider that while we’ve all been chumped, there is a subset of us who in addition to infidelity have lived experience of domestic violence, rape, and/or child abuse, and/or have provided services to those victims/survivors.

    For 12 years, I have sat through monthly and weekly support groups for people who have suffered child abuse, sexual abuse, and/or domestic violence, listening and watching as people tell their experience for the group and for newcomers. I’ve seen people who are new to the groups and people who have attended for years. Some cry, some are stoic, others are angry or a host of other emotions. Amber Heard’s testimony about her abuse did not seem authentic.

    That’s a subjective judgement. Objectively, having listened to the tapes and videos, I don’t find it credible that a victim–especially one so dependent on her looks– would repeatedly goad and provoke an abusive partner the way we heard Heard behave on tape. Many of us have written about how we walked on eggshells and bent over backwards to avoid upsetting our partners, even in the absence of physical abuse. Why would a victim deliberately and repeatedly antagonize an abuser, especially one who has supposedly broken their nose multiple times and raped them with a bottle?

    A segment filmed for a reality TV program shows friends asking Amber’s sister Whitney if she or Amber started the fight, as they examine the bruises that Amber left on Whitney’s face, chest and arm. Another reality show segment shows Amber learning she was on camera, being filmed for a “Punked” style reality show, and hitting two cast members in response.

    I saw both of these. I also heard Amber testify that she never hit Depp, testimony that was clearly contradicted by her recordings and her own subsequent testimony.

    And I heard Amber acknowledge, on the stand, that months before Depp filed, her attorneys had sent a letter to Depp, threatening a lawsuit on her behalf.

    Please, don’t let this case cast doubt on victims who speak up, including the male victims who also seek justice.

    • As someone with a first husband who physically abused me… and to answer the question of “why antagonize your abuser?”
      I did that…. He would slap me around to get me to shut up… and I wouldn’t shut up because that was tantamount to taking my power… and I wouldn’t give it up. I would rather take the stance of “thank you sir, may I have another?” Than to cower and beg for it to stop. My attitude through all that was “seriously, fuck you you fucking fucker… fuck you very much.”

      So… I totally get that.

      • Kintsugi, I love you did that! I wish I was as brave. My brain is a “freeze” responder, grrr. Even when a random dude is following me I tend to freeze instead of running away or confronting him. I hope self defence classes will change that.

  • I think they’re both a bit unhinged as people…but, if I take a step back, I wonder what it would have looked like if, instead of JD coming out swinging, he did something different. Something more classy, calm and intelligent. To me, it made him look more guilty. In the country I live in, the narrative has been that Amber hasn’t played the perfect victim, therefore she got slammed. Dunno, it’s complex. If he did it, shame on him. If she lied, shame on her.

  • I am one of the few that had no interest in watching that cluster, except for the funny TikToks of “my dog stepped on a bee” parodies.

  • ‘The actor went on to drop one of the biggest bombshells yet. According to Depp, their onscreen kiss wasn’t the only one to take place during his relationship with Paradis. “We shared a glass of wine and kisses,” Depp revealed, recalling a moment when they spent an evening together in his dressing room.’

    I don’t recall hearing any empathy for Paradis in all this? She’s had to navigate this shit show with her kids. 1st she’s betrayed by a public FW, then this circus which undoubtedly was traumatic for her children.

    For me, JD is an entitled, rich, famous cheater, and AH was his entitled much younger cheating partner. Unfortunately it took all this for people to actually give a shit about their behaviour. Even now, no one seems to care about their abuse of Paradis – the undeniable victim.

      • Haha, but seriously,
        Re Paradis: It could have been in her legal agreement to stay quiet.
        She could have been very protective of her kids and not want them to know the truth about their FW father.
        She could have been protecting her own image as chumps are usually blamed.
        – She was basically dumped because he had gooey feelings while doing a shower scene with a much younger husband poacher.
        No one really cared.

        Thank you for this discussion.
        Cheaters suck.
        I believe Paradis is married now, I hope she’s being treated well.

    • Agreed. That and “extortionist French c*nt” comes off both misogynist and xenophobic.

      It isn’t extortion to get recompense. She gave 14 years of her life and give him two children to not get a ring in that entire time AND to get humiliated on the world stage. I’d have rinsed the f*cker too… then I’d have worked on the issues that made me stay a girlfriend for 14 years.

  • My ex told everyone I was verbally abusive, acted like I was mentally unstable so that he could hide a double life. Before meeting my current husbands ex (who is so similar to amber) I would have sided against any male claiming verbal abuse.
    But then I witnessed the non stop harassment, lies, deflection, legal abuse, gaslighting, and martyrdom from his ex wife.
    I didn’t know such craziness could actually exist. People like his ex and amber know how to engage. They know how to enrage and twist to look like the victim. Many of us encounter and lose to this type of personality because of lack of energy and resources. They wear you down. I think the public is fascinated because finally someone had the funds and strength to fight back.
    The me too movement came about because everyone was able to say “yeah me too” In JDs case there were no other women (out of many) saying “yeah me too”. Ambers assistant however described some pretty nasty abuse that Amber inflicted on her.

    I don’t really care about JD. He was a cheater. But I do think he is bringing light to how much damage someone claiming false abuse has.

    Some of the more liberal media (I’m a liberal) are supporting amber for being able to speak out and worried about women now not being believed. But they should be mad at amber for using the media to perpetuate abuse.

  • Sorry, still not over how Gabby Petito was punished for abusing Brian Laundrie.

    Believe the women. Amber Heard is a whore, not a punching bag.

  • Why it is that only victims of sexual violence, domestic violence, and other hate crimes have to be perfect victims?
    And the number of comments with some version of “she’s no angel,” “why did she stay,” or universalizing one’s own particular experience of abusive women makes me sad. Our aunt stayed with her violently abusive alcoholic husband until he finally drank himself to death, and yet nothing we saw or heard from our parents prevented my sibling from staying much too long with an abusive ex. Our aunt was never a nice girl and grew up to be an unpleasant woman, and she didn’t deserve that either.

    This survivor writing in “Teen Vogue’ says it all right here: “As NBC News’s Kat Tenbarge points out, if this becomes a blueprint for addressing relationship violence in the media, we can already see where it’ll head next, as musician Marilyn Manson files a defamation case against actress Evan Rachel Wood.

    If the spectacle produces awareness of a problem, there is a growing concern it may also drive survivors back into silence – the only burden possibly lifted during #MeToo. The 19th reports survivor advocates are worried about Depp’s usage of defamation law becoming a tool for abusers to punish survivors for leaving, as well as having a chilling effect on survivors coming forward. “A defamation suit offers a perpetrator a deepening of the power disparities in the relationship and face-to-face contact with a survivor,” Nicole Bedera, PhD, a sociologist who studies sexual violence, told The 19th.” (Note: Depp and Manson are good friends and Manson has multiple accusers.)
    https://www.teenvogue.com/story/johnny-depp-amber-heard-verdict-spectacle-of-abuse

  • It’s hell to be sued and to have all your short comings brought to light.

    Honestly, it was the crapping on the bed as a joke that lost me being able to defend Heard at all. Bizzare, weird, gross. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for reactionary abuse…. But leaving a log on his side of the bed….joking with the driver about it as she rode off to Coachella… yeah… lost me and any sympathy I’ve got in me.

    Not that Depp is anyone I’ve ever swooned over nor am I one to get in line over all the ladies dreaming of his attentions. He’s a train wreck and so is she…. and I am super glad I’m not swimming in any of that soup.

    • “Honestly, it was the crapping on the bed as a joke that lost me being able to defend Heard at all. Bizzare, weird, gross.”

      Same as you I find it very bizarre either way, true or made up.

      My understanding is it has not be verified so far. The judge in UK ruled it being highly unlikely based on evidence: Depp wasn’t home at that time, so Amber would have been on the receiving end of the prank (she alone was sleeping there at that time). In addition, based on texts with his assistants, it was his brand of humor. He was the one talking about pranks using dog poo.

      If you happen to come across some evidence, please share.
      I would be very interested to find out, as I am fascinated with inner workings of online campaigns. What’s working well, how much truth vs twisted info vs outright lies is being used etc.

    • UK court determined it was the dog, Boo, who defecated on the bed after Depp no longer lived there. Boo wasn’t well cared for during the marriage, and accidentally ate some of Depp’s drugs he’d left lying around, which caused the poor dog to have chronic intestinal issues. Depp also apparently held this dog out of the window of a moving car.

      Depp had the better US lawyers who could twist this facts to make it look like Heard shat the bed though. Good narc!

      • Thank you. It appears to be dog’s doing. At first I thought it bizarre for his team to zero in on that bit, but I guess they knew it’s going to be effective, invoking disgust has been proven as a very powerful persuasion instrument.

  • Spot on, CL. “…litigious fuckwit who dresses like the love child of Tyler Perry and a Mexican drug lord.” Hilarious! Bruh, you’re not a pirate; calm down. If he had to sue to protect his “image,” why not do it for $1? He doesn’t need the extra money. He went scorched earth, and the public brought out their pitchforks.

  • I really don’t like the way this trial is being extrapolated beyond what it ought to be, to be seen as some kind of commentary on women, men and abuse in general.

    These are two powerful people who have both been shown to be liars, both been shown to be abusers, and their celebrity status makes this far from a typical case.

    I don’t think we should be looking to take any kind of wider meaning or direction from this, these are people who have public images to protect, they have the money to choose to sue, they have different priorities than ordinary people. Nor should we be defending either of them, male, female – the behaviour on both sides is unjustifiable.

  • I don’t understand how a man who refers to women as fish markets and cunts got unwavering support from as many women as he did. Ladies, you’re on the same side as misogynists and the conservative right. You will not see the same support for Evan Rachel Wood or the same venom for Marilyn Manson. Congrats on being used to uphold the patriarchy.

    • The conservative right does not care about the Heard-Depp trial. A perusal of the website lucianne.com gives a better idea of what they do care about. The trial was a yet another distraction from world events that actually matter.

  • I think this is the first time I’ve ever disagreed with you Chump Lady. I think they both lost here after the airing of such incredible disfunction. But I still think he needed to win this. And the evidence pointed at him being abused. I won’t get into her testimony, but good Lord she is an awful actress. I am not upholding the patriarchy, sometimes women are not in the right and are the abusers. He certainly needs rehab and some therapy.

  • I watched alot of the trial, hour by hour and they had a toxic relationship, no doubt, and were both substance abusers and I expected to side with Amber but watching her, no way, no more. Amber Heard was not a victim of abuse – she may have not had the spouse she thought she would get but she was, clearly, not a DV survivor. She behaved as an abuser not the other way around. I totally changed my mind.

  • It’s stunning how so many women have taken the drug-addled, rage-filled, more powerful, older, richer has-been’s side.
    They dismiss all his terrible texts, videos, audios, his weird affect on the stand, and crucify her for two context-free audios and their sexist perceptions of her testimony. They ignore photographic evidence, eyewitness testimony, experts all attesting to Depp’s abuse and misogyny.
    CL is right as always; brutalizing women is fine, listening to them, believing them, even when they have mountains of evidence, is not. It’s disgusting.

    • That’s not what I saw.
      And that’s not what the majority of the public who watched the trial saw.
      I did not believe all of Depp’s testimony and as you say, his affect on the stand.
      However, the cray cray “actor” and her entitlement and her overacting without the documentation to support what were outrageous outlandish claims was clearly the unbelievable party to this lawsuit.
      Nor were the “experts” called for the defense credible. They were laughable and the prosecution exposed them.

      I’m not a Depp fan. But I certainly saw what went down here.
      Justice was served.

  • I watched the trial.

    For my own reasons… I have difficulty speaking sometimes, and answering questions. It takes me a while to get the right words. And I was fascinated because it seemed that Johnny has the same struggle. I wondered if how it felt, waiting for his responses, was how it feels to those who have waited for my responses over the years. I’ve seen him on talk shows and in movies, but this was more involved and unplanned. And he was given all the time in the world, unlike a talk show… where it’s cool to give one-word comments and ambiguous answers.

    I agree that hurting another in order to do image management is ruthless and unloving.

    But I believe reputation is important for all of us. And something to fight for. There is a wise proverb: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

    It seems that the only reason we ever heard about the details of the marriage of Amber and Johnny – in the first place – was to sort out the money exchange. When that was done, and the divorce and all the settlement agreements were made, why was there another trial?

    Because Amber submitted an op ed about abuse – an accusation, really – that she didn’t even write, and it was published by a national newspaper. I feel sad for Amber. Maybe someone fed her the idea that she was the spokesperson for domestic abuse? She was the person to speak for all the underlings of the world? She was the person who could make a difference?

    It was a defamation of character. And it felt good to me when I heard Johnny say that he just wanted to speak his truth. The trial was his way of answering the op ed and fighting for his name, having others hear the details and make a decision. It was a win, in my opinion. He won in court. And he won out of court.

    • From what I heard, he spoke from his perspective, not hers. He told his view of what happened, which was an explanation of his thoughts, his feelings, his actions and his motives… rather than assumed knowledge or drew conclusions about her thoughts, her feelings and her motives. It sounded authentic to me. Not pretty, but truthful and personal. We all act in ways that are not pretty; few of us own those actions. And even fewer own them publicly.

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