Last Thursday, a lawyer for Amber Heard presented to the jury another text message Johnny Depp had sent regarding his former wife: “Hopefully that c**t’s rotten corpse is festering in the f**king trunk of a Honda civic.”
The two stars are now in court over a $50 million defamation complaint Depp filed against the 36-year-old in response to a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she branded herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” They married in 2015 and separated 15 months later.
Given the public nature of their divorce and how central her earlier charges of violence were to the process, it didn’t take much to connect the dots – and the Oscar-nominated actor claims it damaged his career and branded him an abuser.
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She subsequently filed a lawsuit for damages in the amount of $100 million, which the jury is now evaluating. Both Heard and Depp dispute that the other has abused them.
Comments flooded in on a YouTube livestream of the trial almost instantly. Not with terror at Depp, who had previously threatened he would “f**k” her “burnt body… just to make sure she’s dead” in earlier texts, but with laughter at his remarks and a call for “justice” for him.
Readers have described Heard as everything from a “smug wicked woman” to a “narcissist full of revenge” who, after this, “would just move on and wreck some other unfortunate guy’s life,” according to comments on coverage of the trial.
“Poor Depp!” exclaims the audience. He will always have my complete [sic] backing. One person remarked, “I hope this will finish soon so Depp can get some quiet,” while another said, “The poor guy seems to attract nut cases.”
Another user mentioned a recording in which Deep indicated that if their relationship became violent, they should separate, but Heard stated she couldn’t guarantee she wouldn’t strike him.
“A man who claims there can be no physical violence is referred to as a ‘wife-beater.'” A victim is a lady who says she can’t promise she won’t become physical again. Justice? Equality? The user wrote, “#JusticeForJohnnyDepp.”
Heard’s reps informed Yahoo Entertainment that she was pleased with the outcome.
“We are glad — but not shocked — that Mr. Depp’s appeal has been denied by the Court. The evidence produced in the UK case was “overwhelming and indisputable,” according to a statement from the spokesperson.
The legal issues are not yet resolved. Depp is set to go head-to-head with Heard in a $50 million defamation trial in Virginia in 2022.
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The investigation is still ongoing. Heard has yet to testify, and a decision will very certainly take weeks. However, many observers of the trial have already concluded that Depp is the true victim.
Hashtags referring to Heard as “Amber Turd,” a “liar,” and a “money digger” have been circulating on Instagram and Twitter. Viewers have accused the Aquamanile star of being “manipulative, calculating, and quite probably a con artist” on YouTube, under the aforementioned livestreams.
— 🌟🏴☠️ (@GellertDepp) March 25, 2021
And as for TikTok, one popular video directed towards Heard on the platform says, “He could have murdered you, he had every right.”
Hayley Foster, the CEO of Full Stop Australia, described such social media discussion about the trial as “very disturbing.”
“Not only for Heard, but for every victim-survivor seeing and seeing the attack that occurs when someone speaks about the abuse they have endured,” Ms. Foster said, citing a March research by Ipsos and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership.
The study revealed the widespread belief that women who claim to have been abused have exaggerated their claims, particularly in Australia, where one-in-five people and three-in-ten men hold this belief, the most of any Western country included in the study.
“At a time when more survivors are speaking out than ever before,” Ms. Foster continued, “sadly, these kinds of attitudes and falsehoods are a big barrier for victim-survivors to speak out.”
“This happens all of the time.” Thousands of women have this experience of being disbelieved and blamed every year, and thousands more never come forward and tell anybody about what happened to them for fear of the same thing happening to them.
“We also see hundreds of situations when perpetrators of violence and abuse claim to be victims and utilize the judicial system to prosecute this story.”