2022 has witnessed many celebrity talking points. But no incident quite grabbed headlines all around the world like the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard fiasco did. Depp categorically refuted Heard’s claims of physical violence waged by him against his wife at the time Here’s what unraveled. He alleged he was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of ex-wife Amber Heard.
A Love Story Turned Toxic
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the sets of The Rum Diary in 2009. They would eventually start dating by 2012. The couple got married in 2015. Love was side-lined when Heard filed for divorce and a temporary restraining order against Depp on May 23, 2016.
What Went Down?
Depp had filed for defamation against ex-wife Amber Heard. This was due to Heard’s op-ed article that was published by The Washington Post in 2018. The article in question spoke about Heard’s experience with domestic violence. It’s important to highlight that Depp’s name wasn’t mentioned in the article. The legal case became a public spectacle, with thousands reacting to daily court proceedings and organizing watch-a-long streams online. Additionally, social media platforms were vocally active about the case.
The Two Were A Horrific Misfit For Each Other
What slowly became evident is that the couple’s relationship was laden with violence and toxicity. The question became – who was the primary aggressor? There were many uneasy moments in the trial, such as Johnny Depp recalling the incident where Heard allegedly threw a glass bottle at him and severed his finger. Depp testified that he lied to doctors about the cause of injury as he “didn’t want to get her into trouble.”
In contrast, Dawn Hughes, a clinical psychologist testified that Depp forced Heard into oral sex and indulged in sexual violence. Depp’s innate drug and alcohol addiction was repeatedly brought up.
Audio Recordings Depicted Amber Heard In A Ridiculing and Abusive Role
There were emotionally provoking moments when audio recordings of the couple’s altercations were played in court. One such audio depicts Amber Heard ridiculing Johnny Depp portraying himself as a victim of domestic violence. In the recording, she states, “You can tell people it was a fair fight, and then see what the jury and judge thinks. Tell the world, Johnny. Tell them, ‘Johnny Depp, I, a man, I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence, it’s a fair fight,’ and see how many people believe or side with you.”
Ex-partners Branded Accusations ‘Uncharacteristic’ Of Johnny Depp
Old partners of Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis lent their support to Johnny Depp. They re-iterated that the claims waged by Amber Heard were uncharacteristic of Depp. Ryder stated that the Depp during their relationship was ‘wildly different.” She described being “shocked and confused” when she heard of Heard’s accusations. Meanwhile, Paradis, with who Depp had a relationship with for over a decade and share two children together labelled the accusations, “nothing like the true Johnny I have known, and from my personal experience of many years, I can say he was never violent or abusive to me.” She described Depp as a “kind, attentive, generous and non-violent person and father.”
Celebrity personas such as Elon Musk and James Franco were dragged into the legal battle. Both allegedly had dated Amber Heard after her divorce from Depp.
Amber Heard has previously stated that she would be donating $7M from her divorce settlement with Johnny Depp to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Depp’s lawyer revealed this as a lie and alleged that this proves that Heard is money-hungry. ACLU verified that only $1.3M was donated by Heard, some of which stemming from Elon Musk, who Heard briefly dated.
The Final Verdict
Johnny Depp inarguably won over majority of the sympathetic public opinion. The jury granted Depp a total of $10.35M in damages. While Heard was awarded $2M on counts of defamation. Depp’s legal team declared that it is considering removing the legal compulsion of Heard to pay $10.35M in damages. In an interview with ‘Good Morning America‘, Johnny Depp’s attorney Benjamin Chew stated, “It was never about the money for Mr. Depp…This was about restoring his reputation, and he’s done that.”
Johnny Depp and His Image of A ‘Wife-Beater’
It’s important to remember that Johnny Depp lost a libel case against the British newspaper The Sun in 2020. The Sun branded Depp as a “wife beater.” The Judge ruled against Depp and considered The Sun’s reporting as correct. The Sun released the following statement – “The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over 20 years. Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced and we thank the judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court.”
Irreversible Damage To Their Respective Careers
This soap-opera styled legal drama has hurt the careers of both actors. Depp was asked to resign from his role of Grindelward in the ‘Fantastic Beasts‘ franchise. Depp’s role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ franchise remains gloomy and uncertain. Amber Heard meanwhile witnessed online campaigns calling for her removal from upcoming films. She eventually lost her role of Mera in the upcoming DC film, ‘Aquaman 2‘ starring Jason Mamoa.
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