I was first attracted to the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case a few weeks ago, when I noticed the hours-long discussion on the case in a talk show. Since then, I have closely been following the case. Knowing not much about the case, I felt my sympathies were with Amber Heard. The beautiful actress would sit in the courtroom with a long face.
The Heard-Depp trial concluded on May 27 with both sides resting their cases. The six-week long court battle aired the dirty laundry of both actors (and now a former couple) and gave a deep insight into their personal matters.
After much deliberation, the jury found both parties guilty of defamation. However, Johnny Depp was awarded $15 million while Amber Heard will be paid $2 million, according to the verdict. This trial was a tricky one as the narrative used by Amber Heard was that of the Me Too movement, while Johnny Depp put forth the argument that male survivors of domestic violence are seldom heard and given justice.
It is to be noted that the trial itself was not to determine whether there had been domestic violence or not or who perpetrated it, the jury was to determine whether Amber Heard’s op-ed was pointed at Johnny Depp or not and whether that piece destroyed his life and career or not. However, much was revealed, understood, misunderstood, quoted and misquoted by those interested in the trial. Many appropriate and inappropriate comparisons were also made – and in full view of the public, sadly.
More often than not romantic relationships are difficult to handle. People come with baggage, especially if there is an age gap as much as Depp and Heard had. However, nothing justifies abuse in any relationship, be it romantic or platonic. According to what Johnny Depp and his team argued, Amber Heard turned him into a victim of domestic abuse and challenged him to tell the world that an acclaimed actor of his stature was abused by a woman. This was heard in the court in one of the recorded tapes that were played. In contrast, Amber Heard’s team put forward the argument that the opposite was true and it was Johnny Depp who abused and assaulted Amber Heard and left her to defend herself. According to the evidence provided by both sides, it can be concluded that the relationship was indeed toxic and there were transgressions from both sides, however, it was Johnny Depp who was the true victim of domestic violence. I am sorry, Amber, I stand by the court verdict.
The case opened up a new discussion of whether the Me Too movement is inclusive of all victims of abuse or does it focus on believing all women only. Moreover, it also gave way to the question of whether the hate that Amber Heard is receiving is due to her being an abuser or a woman. Many memes were made and netizens who closely followed the case expressed their opinions. A large number supported Johnny Depp who lost much of his fame six years ago, while some supported Amber Heard.
Even though Johnny Depp can be considered as a true victim of domestic violence as per the evidence provided in court. However, many people will take this as precedent and use it to strengthen their fake and flawed arguments to further harass women.
Certain Pakistani celebrities who have cases registered against them for harassment were seen to be celebrating this win and applying it to their situation when it makes zero sense. Men can be a victim of domestic abuse and women can be perpetrators of violence, however, it does not give all men or all women a free pass to justify their wrongdoings.