Depp / Judgment Heard, Story of a Marriage

In the last week the Civil defamation trial by Johnny Depp against Amber Heard, his ex-wife drew attention to a media stage set up at the courthouse in Fairfax, Va., and turned the story of a marriage gone terribly wrong into a dark theater piece with violent overtones.

What is happening, with the civil trial being public, as well as a constant postponement of objections between two Hollywood personalities of considerable economic stature ($50 million, this is the request of Depp’s lawyers against his ex-wife, who defamed him according to the indictment Washington Post, hinting in an article that he is a victim of domestic violence and tantrums), is there for all to see. The substrate of opinions, comments, stronger positions, however, is in social networks, especially in social networks. TikTokwhere the real ones were created Pro-Depp or pro-Heard factions. The result is that online, in addition to the official documents of the trial, there are thousands of content, videos and fan-art for one or another defendant, clips of the depositions, focus and analysis of the facial micro-expressions of Johnny Depp or Amber Heard that would reveal their innocence ( or guilt). The relationship between the two crumbled under the weight of terrible accusations, in particular physical, sexual and psychological violence on both sides, and that would be enough to force us to close our eyes and stop listening to the account of the couple’s stormy years.

fairfax, virginia april 11 viewers showing support for johnny depp and amber heard outside fairfax county courthouse april 11, 2022 in fairfax, virginia depp is seeking $50 million in alleged career damage over an editorial heard written in washington post in 2018 photo by paul morigigetty images

Johnny Depp fans outside the courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia

Paulo MorigiGetty Images

However, you just can’t. The more the rotten details of this relationship continue to leak through the protagonists’ hands (in particular, Johnny Depp, which he witnessed in the last days), the more urgent the need to understand who the good of history is. The American press has already defined this process as a B-movie of the lowest category: it is a pity that the citation to the world of cinema, also considered the profession of the protagonists of the trial, remains, in fact, only a citation . This is real life, it’s a relationship that’s been going on for years violence, addiction and abuse: As the process unfolds, details emerge that mercilessly dissect a relationship that is not only toxic, but unhealthy.

American actress amber heard during the depp 50 million dollar defamation trial vs heard at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia on April 12, 2022 photo by Brendan Smialowski pool afp photo by Brendan Smialowskipoolafp via getty Images

Amber Heard during Depp’s deposition

BENDAN SMIALOWSKIGetty Images

Story of a marriage that didn’t end badly, worse

Who is the good in this story? Superstar and sexy icon Depp, who has lost contracts and jobs due to accusations from his ex-wife, or Amber Heard, has fallen into the clutches of a man with a violent childhood behind him, unresolved emotional and addictions to alcohol and hard drugs? Looking critically at the excerpts of the testimonies of the ongoing process, it is difficult to close in watertight compartments and label the two protagonists in a univocal way. There isn’t a single villain, and there certainly aren’t any good guys: both Depp and Heard worked hard on it. It is enough to listen to a few episodes narrated by both the prosecution and the defense to realize that falling into blame the victimor the victim’s guilt (whether you think it’s Heard or Depp) is a mistake of form and substance, at least in this case.

This is, first of all, a story of despair. And we become attentive spectators of a private double drama, attracted by the disturbing details of the last hours: on the one hand, the terrible stories that destroy the mythical Hollywood hero, on the other hand, consolidate the stereotype of the rich and stoned actor without balance, who hides the evidence by virtue of her privileged white status, or the mentally ill woman who cunningly frame a case of violence to secure the support of public opinion as in a David Fincher film.

It is impossible, with the mass of contents of the process accessible to all, not to end up on the side of one or the other. The propensity for one of the two victims, and the consequent attack on the executioner, is the result of personal experience; reactions to emotional triggers specifics that each of us carries with us; dislikes and likes the public figure; political, social and individual positions.

Because of this process, we see what we want to see: a man who beats and rapes his wife with a bottle; a woman who repeatedly wounds her husband by cutting off his finger; a couple who hurl recriminations and malice at each other, then walk down the red carpet, get dressed, and pretend that everything is going well. As in the best dark fairy tales, it will not end well: regardless of how the process ends, which at the moment is still in full swing and focuses on very classic defensive lines (Johnny Depp he’s not a violent man, he’s just an unresolved one who has never hurt anyone, according to ex-wife Vanessa Paradis and their daughter, Lily Rose; amber ear is a victim who fights for all women in her situation), the show remains horrible to watch, heavy to digest, difficult to analyze and still impossible to ignore like the shows that hurt us the most.

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