He Said/She Said

Lately, I’ve been mildly fascinated with Johnny Depp’s defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Just to be clear, I’m not a Depp super fan, nor am I a Heard fan. In the lawsuit, Depp alleges that Heard’s accusations of domestic violence cost him his good reputation, as well as losing movie and brand deals. Heard is counter suing for defamation, as well, but she is suing for twice the amount that he is suing her for. What a mess!

When the domestic violence accusations first came out in 2016 against Depp, I was shocked and saddened to hear about it. By all accounts, and my limited knowledge of him and his personal life, he seemed like a nice guy. When his former lovers spoke out on his behalf, saying he had never exhibited abusive behavior in their relationships, it just seemed to further the idea that the accusations were coming out of left field. But, Heard had some photographic evidence that she used as proof that he had, indeed, hit her in some way. They divorced, she was awarded money that she claimed she was going to donate (which she still has not given away), and then she wrote an article that said she was the victim of domestic violence. The article did not name Depp specifically, but many people speculated that he was the unnamed abuser. This is why the whole case is happening, because of this article.

After a while, I lost track of what was going on with that whole situation. I would occasionally see a Depp movie that was on a streaming service and vaguely remember the accusations, but by all accounts, it had pretty much slipped my mind, until I caught wind that a trial against Heard was slated to begin. Most of the trial proceedings have been mundane, except for the guy they interviewed who Zoomed in from his car while vaping; everyone in the courtroom was pretty amused and befuddled by that dude. But, with the help of the internet and viral memes, it’s been given some kind of twisted life. Depp and his fan base have villainized Heard; I have yet to see an equal percentage of anti-Johnny propaganda. So far, in the court of public opinion, Depp seems to be winning even though he comes off as a drunk and drug addict in many of the testimonies.

If someone gets drunk or does illicit drugs, as Depp has been prone to do, it wouldn’t be a surprise to claim that they put their hands on someone and then didn’t remember, which is what Heard is saying. I find it curious that Heard has all of these secretly recorded conversations with Depp because it gives off the impression that she was out to get him from the beginning. In some of the audio recordings, he sounds wasted, in others, he seems to be of sound mind. Heard also took secret pictures of Depp passed out in various locations, supposedly drunk or high, because she needed to prove to Depp that he was acting in this way. Part of me questions that reasoning, but I can understand how someone would want proof of their lover’s bad behavior, especially if they continually deny it. Does it prove that Depp hit her? No, it just proves that he’s a drunk.

If anything, the recordings and pictures have made her seem like a psychotically controlling, abusive, manipulative, and obsessive person who was hell bent on keeping Depp as her husband. In one of the recordings, which happened after Heard had made the public allegations against Depp, she’s pleading for some sort of reconciliation in a desperate attempt to keep him in her life. She now claims it’s because she loved him so much that she was willing to move past the abuse, but to the average person watching and listening, it comes off as crazy. I try not to use such words and phraseology when describing women that are trying to keep their partner in their life because that’s the go-to accusation used against women to make us all look like psychos, but she’s kind of fitting the bill.

In my opinion, I think they’re both guilty of something. Obviously, the relationship was toxic even before they got married. I always find it baffling when someone marries a person they have serious relationship issues with. But in Depp’s case, there might be an explanation. I didn’t know about the abuse he suffered as a child and teen at the hands of his mother, but it sounds like, according to his accounts, he married someone like his mother. It would be fitting since most psychology points to the fact that people tend to choose spouses that are reflective of the opposite gender parent that raised them. Case in point: Depp’s mother was a cruel and abusive woman, therefore, Depp chose a cruel and abusive wife in Heard.

My prediction: Depp will win his case. His affable demeanor has helped him, but his team of lawyers have been very good at proving his case, thus far. Depp, if he wins, will return to the screen and continue to be adored. Heard’s legal team seems to be blundering the whole case, and they just don’t seem as prepared or strong as Depp’s team. My guess is, if she loses her counter suit, she’ll appeal and the whole charade will continue, but her acting career will be severely interrupted, if not canceled; she may never find work in Hollywood ever again.

The truth is that there is no definitive anything to either one’s side of the story because we weren’t there. Each person has witnesses that claim to have seen abuse by both of them, but they could easily be lying, just like Depp and Heard could both be lying. If Depp did the deeds he’s accused of, then shame on him and he deserves to be punished for his brutality. If Heard is lying, then shame on her because she made his life a living hell and it just makes it harder for real victims of domestic violence to be believed. That’s the trouble with a “he said/she said” case, no one, except for the two people involved, will ever really know the real truth.



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