The trial of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp – the public has long since judged

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FROM: Sonja Thomas

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Amber Heard in the courtroom. © Jim Watson / AP / dpa

In the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, many are sure: Heard is the perpetrator and Depp is her victim. Analysis of the misogyny campaign.

Fairfax – While questioning Johnny Depp in a Virginia courtroom, the hearing attorney read out a text message that Oscar-nominated actor wrote about his ex-wife Amber Heard: “.

Depp and Heard’s libel trial can be watched live on YouTube, and the comments below the clip ridiculed the text message. “LOL Honda Civic,” said one. Most of these comments are pro-Johnny Depp and anti-Amber Heard. The trial is widely followed in the media and on the Internet, with a flood of articles, comments and hashtags. They spread the narrative that Depp should finally get “justice”: # Justice for Johnny dominates the internet. And the facts supporting Depp’s guilt are hidden.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: What’s the trial all about?

Both actors are currently on trial as Depp filed a $ 50 million libel lawsuit against Heard in response to a 2018 Washington Post article in which Heard wrote about her experiences with domestic violence. Although Heard did not mention Depp in his article, Depp’s team says it was about him and that the article cost Depp his career.

Heard has since filed a counterclaim for $ 100 million in damages, which the jury will also consider. Both reject allegations of abuse. This isn’t the first time Heard and Depp have been in court. Depp and Heard’s difficult marriage ended in 2016 and has been a tabloid hit for years.

All against Amber Heard – and against Depp

Many viewers have already decided that Depp is the real victim. “I want to hug him and say he’s gonna be okay,” says TikTok. Commentaries on the trial’s live stream refer to Heard as “the monster” and the “liar.” Viewers accuse her of being a “manipulator, calculator, and a fraud”, “faking” crying in the courtroom and “being ridiculous”. Comments can be found all over Twitter, Instagram, and TikToku. “He could have killed you, he had every right,” says one viral TikToker. One user called Heard a “crazy bitch” and explained, “Since she has a vagina and Depp has a cock, this woman must be right.”

Media coverage is also partially one-sided. In particular, the US media publishes articles and analyzes designed to convict Heard of lying. “All Amber Heard’s allegations turned out to be false” is just one of many headlines on various websites. The media adapts to the narrative on social media.

The German media also fall into this trap. After a psychologist hired by Depp’s lawyers testified that she had seen clear signs of borderline personality disorder in Heard, some German media ran the headline: “Psychologist in Depp’s Trial: Heard Has a Personality Disorder.” The fact that it was an expert paid by Depp is not mentioned until later, if at all.

Everyone wants to read what is fraudulent and bad about Heard. And not what is really happening.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp shows how his ex-wife Heard allegedly hit him during an audition. © Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters Pool / dpa

Taken out of context by the audio brand Heard as the perpetrator against Depp

In late 2018, after Heard wrote about her experiences with domestic violence in The Washington Post, Depp’s then-attorney Adam Waldman – known for suspicious ties to Russian oligarchs and disinformation campaigns, including the 2016 US election – issued a statement in which he claims Johnny Depp is a victim of domestic violence. Depp would sue both Heard and The Sun for defamatory statements. The Sun described Depp as “a beatout woman.”

In January 2020, Waldman strategically exposed the edited audio recording out of context. In the video, Heard allegedly mocks Depp for being a victim of male harassment. In the full version of the audio recording, you can hear Heard sobbing on the phone and tell Depp that she thought he was going to kill her. She only counters his apologies for the violence against her with a statement that Depp was a victim of the abuse – which meant it was a “fair fight” so he was a victim too.

Depp vs. Heard: “A situation that challenges how the abuse really works”

Depp fans, men’s rights activists and deluded feminists are crazy about this photo. Johnny Depp became the hero of the poster for victims of male molestation, and Amber Heard for the perpetrators of violence. Heard was the perpetrator now, and Depp her victim.

It’s a situation that challenges how violence really works, gender justice expert Farrah Khan told Vice News. In addition, this behavior is intended to discourage victims and survivors from speaking, as they fear a similar reaction to what is happening now with Heard.

“We need to talk about how people say he’s a liar and he’s a victim faster than they believe women,” said Khan.

Evidence against Johnny Depp

In 2016, Entertainment Tonight published an article with screenshots of text messages from Stephen Deuters, Depp’s personal assistant, to Herad apologizing for Depp’s abuses. “When I told him he kicked you, he cried. It was disgusting and he knows it.

In the current Fairfax libel trial, Depp has been confronted with text messages in which he has offended many women, including his ex-partner Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has two children as “sluts”, “cum eaters” and “pussy”. In a message to actor Paul Bettany, he suggests burning Heard alive and rape her corpse. Depp was once again honored on the Internet for so skillfully commenting and destroying this alleged evidence. Expert Khan asks Vice: “The fact that he felt comfortable saying it on SMS – what do you think was saying it to her face?”

In a secretly taped video, Depp can be seen screaming drunk, breaking glasses, breaking doors and banging cupboards. This proves Depp’s aggressive nature, as well as his alcohol abuse, he claimed in court that he was sober. When asked about his alcohol consumption, Depp replied, “Isn’t there always happy hour out there?” Depp fans also interpret such responses as “skillful destruction” by Heard’s lawyer.

Heard has been a court proven victim since 2020

A UK court found Depp guilty of domestic violence against Herad in a 2020 defamation trial. The court ruled on the basis of the evidence that the allegations made by the tabloids were “substantially true” – 12 separate allegations of abuse were found in them. Many people interested in the process were confused as most of the coverage in the process also focused on Heard’s alleged lies and social media was dominated by Depp’s supporters.

Although Heard is now a court-proven victim, she is still portrayed as a liar. The smear campaign escalated – Bot Sentinel found 6,000 fake accounts tweeting pro-depp / anti-hearing posts and liking such tweets. The petition to fire Heard from the Aquaman franchise now reportedly has three million signatures, although many of those signatures have long been exposed as bot activity.

Amber Heard
Amber Heard testifies in court with ex-husband Johnny Depp. © Elizabeth Frantz / Pool Reuters / AP / dpa

Depp’s argument suffered severe setbacks

Depp has now dragged his ex-wife to Virginia against her for libel, a state known for judicial tourism due to weaker freedom of speech laws. Perpetrators are known to use Virginia courts to further trauma and drain their victims financially.

As mentioned above, Depp’s argument has already suffered major setbacks. In addition, an important part of his evidence as a victim of domestic violence was the allegation that Heard had cut off his finger. This was exposed as a lie by his own texts to three different people. But if that’s not enough: it is Audioin which he admits he did it. But even that doesn’t matter to many.

Amber Heard does not fit the image of the “perfect victim”

Too often, according to Khan, people demand that survivors of abuse be the “perfect victim,” a form that Heard does not fit. Any laugh, any facial expression that does not express enough mourning, that does not say “poor little mouse”, is interpreted by Heard as evidence of her false testimony.

“We have the idea that the victims will never retaliate,” said Khan Vice. “They will take hits and never reply… They are expected to document the hits, but not in such a way that they appear to have misled someone. They are expected to take the blow and not fight – but they take cover enough to report it.

The “ideal victim” is usually a white, heterosexual yew woman who has only dated her husband, “added Khan. “Obedient wife.”

Heard’s bisexuality has been used against her many times. Her alleged promiscuity and alleged infidelity during her marriage to Depp are also interpreted negatively. None of this has anything to do with whether Heard is a victim of domestic or sexual abuse.

Future debates on violence against women and #MeToo should be prevented

The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial is an occasion due to Depp’s overwhelming support for a misogynistic society amid debates about violence against women and the #MeToo they hate so much, women on a large scale and in front of large audiences as liars and stigmatize the real perpetrators.

It doesn’t matter what else is presented in terms of the evidence and testimony in this trial. The public has given its verdict, Amber Heard is a dubious victim at best, a deceitful, calculating perpetrator at worst. In any event, the victims of domestic and sexual violence have lost. Since the case of Depp vs. Heard will be used as an argument for not believing in women for a very long time. (Sonia Thomaser)

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