No clear winner will emerge in Depp, Heard trial

Johnny Depp (58) has sued Amber Heard (36) for $50 million on grounds of defamation. Heard wrote an Op Ed about Depp in 2018. In this she claims she endured domestic abuse throughout their 15 month marriage. She does not name him. After the article was posted, Depp was dropped from his role in Pirates of The Caribbean. Depp denies these claims and testifies that Heard’s injuries were staged. Depp also alleges that Heard was violent toward him and his former partners. Defamation means to damage another person’s positive reputation. Depp claims the allegations Heard told to the public caused him to lose important career opportunities. Heard has counter-sued for 100 million dollars. She claims he smeared her by calling her a liar. 

The lawsuit was filed in Virginia, yet neither of them have residence there. California has a strong anti-SLAPP statute. This is intended to deter people from using lawsuits to intimidate those who are using their First Amendment right. Under these laws, Heard would have been able to strike the lawsuit because of free speech. Depp would have had to pay her legal fees as well. The jury in Fairfax, Va., is hearing two opposite versions of the nature of their marriage. 

Depp and Heard began their relationship in 2012. They married in 2015. After 15 months they ended their relationship. Heard filed for a divorce and restraining order. She appeared in a Las Angeles court with a bruised cheek. She claims she acquired this bruise from Depp throwing his phone at her. She was granted a temporary restraining order. 

Depp shares claims that his ex-wife had affairs with Elon Musk and James Franco during their marriage. He also claims Heard put her own fecal matter in their bed and was physically violent to him.

Heard’s attourney claims Depp sexually and physically abused her while abusing drugs and alcohol. The attorney also claims his denials are not reliable because he was often drunk/high to the point of blacking out. 

There is an overwhelming amount of evidence proving the two of them desired to become violent with each other. For example, Depp’s text messages with Paul Bettany, a friend of Depp’s, were shown to the jury. The messages entail Depp stating his desire to murder and defile his then wife. Then he goes on to message, “Let’s drown her before we burn her! I will (Expletive) her burnt corpse to make sure she’s dead.” 

On March 7, 2015, an incident happened where Depp’s finger tip was cut off. Depp alleges that Heard threw a vodka bottle at him, which resulted in his injury. 

An audio clip was played for the jurors last week. This entails Heard telling Depp he would not be respected if he were to publicly cast her as his abuser. 

Another audio clip was played earlier in the week, where Depp describes violent acts he would do if their arguments escalate.
Heard is expected to take the stand in the next few weeks. Other witnesses on her long list include Musk and Franco.

I would hate to be on the jury of this case. The toxicity of this relationship caused both partners many struggles.  

I would call this mutually assured destruction. Public opinion has been easily swayed to pick a side. I don’t think that a court case is a healthy way of discussing this matter. There are certain inconsistencies causing people to take Depp’s side. I don’t think either of their careers have suffered enough to make the money they are suing each other for worth it. The separated couple’s former counselor Dr. Laurel Anderson said in her testimony that the couple frequently mutually abused each other. 

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