The verdict was reached, and the jury sided with Johnny Depp. Amber Heard has to pay her ex-husband over ten million dollars in damages. He, in turn, owes her two million dollars for the defamatory testimony of his lawyer. Even if both sides have lost: Johnny Depp is the winner of this trial. He would have won, even if the jury had decided otherwise.
In the so-called “Court of Public Opinion” it has long been clear in the eyes of the public who is lying and who is telling the truth. And this despite the fact that both sides have provided witnesses and evidence for their point: Amber Heard’s side for beating and bullying for years. Johnny Depp’s page for accusing Heard of being the aggressor, cursing him and hitting him. Only two of them know what really happened because it happened behind closed doors, as is often the case with domestic violence.
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But that didn’t stop viewers from clearly taking one side. Since the time of OJ Simpson, the trial has not been such a media show. The atmosphere outside the Virginia courtroom was like a folklore festival, with thousands of Depp fans, some from all over the world, bringing pirate ships and alpacas with them.
As usual on social media, millions of people have pretended to be experts in something they probably can’t know everything about. Many took what was delivered to them via live streaming from the courtroom.
The trial was a witch hunt
The process itself is a staging. It’s probably no coincidence that Depp’s attorney was an attractive young woman who was appreciated by fans for interrogating Heard – women fighting each other always do well with the masses.
But most of them only tracked the trial through TikTok and Co. And to what was written there fits the term “witch-hunt,” so often used in recent years. Also because it reflects the historical background of the misogyny that has spread on social media.
[Lesen Sie auch: Der Hass gegen Amber Heard hat eine lange Tradition (T+)]
Excerpts from Heard’s testimony in court detailing the physical violence served as the basis for the “funny” movies. Celebrities such as former NSync member Lance Bass got involved, and the popular comedy show Saturday Night Live sketched the process. Domestic violence has become a joke.
“How we have used this process in such a contemptuous manner for our own purposes shows how many of us … continue to devalue our dignity and humanity,” wrote Vanity Fair, who knows what Monica Lewinsky is talking about.
Nobody deserves so much malice and cruelty
What was most shocking about this process was not the disgusting details of the apparently toxic relationship that surfaced every day. But public reaction. The desire to completely destroy a woman, and the fun that many seemed to have.
Back in 2020, a judge in the UK ruled that Deppa could be called a “female beater” because the information in the relevant text was “basically true”. Only this process was not seen in the live broadcast. But even if Heard did lie: no one deserves such a mass of hate, malice, and cruelty.
At the same time, no one seems to have thought about the message their videos would send to people affected by domestic or sexual abuse – the most important thing is that they generate clicks.
“I became a domestic violence character and felt the full anger of our culture towards women for talking about it,” was Heard’s words in a 2018 article for the Washington Post online. Words for which she was convicted of libel. Amber Heard did not know the true extent of anger at the time.