Johnny Depp trial: why the trial makes it so easy to hate Amber Heard
During Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, the internet turned violently against Amber Heard. There is an obvious reason for this.
Over the past few weeks, it has become abundantly clear that Amber Heard is becoming one of the most hated women in the world.
Heard’s ex-husband Johnny Depp is currently suing the actress for around $70 million in 2018 Washington Post editorial in which she wrote about being a victim of domestic violence. She did not name Depp in the article, but he says the allegations are clearly directed at him. He also claims it got him kicked out of movies, including the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
There is extensive media coverage of the trial and it becomes apparent that people just don’t believe her.
It’s pretty clear that neither Depp nor Heard have done well in this relationship and the details are tricky – neither party comes out unscathed.
Depp’s texts about Heard were read out in court, in which he called her a “dirty whore”. There are also recordings of Depp calling her a “fat ass” and text messages where he jokes about killing her.
The court also heard of an incident where Depp wrote on a wall with his own blood after part of his finger was cut off (he says while throwing a bottle of vodka at him, she says he cut his own finger).
Depp also admitted that he broke things and was generally destructive in fights with Heard. However, he draws the line at the abuse allegations.
Meanwhile, there are tapes of Heard where she clearly mocks Depp by calling him “a failed actor” and accusing him of being a bad father. There have also been testimonials from former employees who, at the very least, describe Heard as not very pleasant. His ex-assistant testified that Heard spat on her.
It is indisputable that there is evidence that Depp and Heard hurl hurtful insults at each other. Heard is by no means the perfect victim, but that doesn’t automatically mean she’s a liar.
None of these behaviors reflect either one well. But interestingly, Depp was given the hero edit and Heard was cast as the villain.
Suddenly, TikTok is filled with videos supporting Depp, and Reddit threads are dedicated to online sleuths declaring his innocence. There are even TikToks dedicated to praising Dior for backing Depp during the allegations.
Many people are happily declaring online that they think Heard is a complete liar. In fact, they seem to like it! You’d think that in a post-#MeToo world, people would be less comfortable actively disbelieving women, but the internet is booming as it paints Heard as a villain. However, Depp’s tantrums can be forgiven because she said mean things to him?
It’s pretty scary rhetoric to apply, but it’s become the most popular.
Listen, I can understand that if you’re consuming content on this trial, you might not like Heard. She comes across as mean, demanding, and even power-hungry. But I don’t understand how this lawsuit managed to make Depp a hero.
At best, he’s a grown man who refers to his wife as a wh**e and has physical tantrums. Is this the stuff of Prince Charming?
I take umbrage that Depp has somehow been absolved of his bad behavior when Heard is currently at the center of all the hate online.
Maybe we need to recognize that we still like to vilify and distrust women as a society. Perhaps the prevailing belief that Depp did nothing wrong stems not from the facts this defamation lawsuit has brought to light, but from the misogyny that undermines our thinking. After all, who doesn’t want to believe a beautiful movie star?
In Australia, 80% of women do not report domestic violence. Perhaps this kind of response on social media is indicative of a bigger problem in society, where the general public still likes to call a woman a liar.
Mary Madigan is a freelance writer