“If she was terrified to passing, why didn’t she flee?” says the narrator. In court, Johnny Depp, everyone’s favorite Hollywood heartthrob-turned-bad-boy, was asked the question.
He was, of course, referring to his ex-wife Amber Heard, whom he is suing in the United States for libel in connection with an article she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018. She has accused Depp of physical and se x ual assault during her deposition, according to the actress.
This term may seem familiar, and that’s because it is: survivors, family members of victims, and domestic hate advocates have fought relentlessly to prevent society from employing victim-blaming clichés in the first place. The male should be the one to question as to why the woman did not manage to flee in the first place, rather than the other way around. That would be an excellent place to begin.
When a victim is trying to get out from an abusive relationship, it is one of the most perilous moments of their lives. Just because a relationship comes to an end does not imply that the hate stops. After a divorce or separation, coercive and controlling behavior is one of the most insidious and damaging types of hate that I have ever seen.
In 2020, Depp’s defamation suit was dismissed by the High Court of Justice in London. The crowds of admirers showered him with flowers, kissed him on the cheek, and waved banners of support in his direction. After we had gone through security, I stood next to him and gave him my best eyes. He smiled and I returned the grin.
The judge eventually determined that Depp had physically hated Heard (including headbutting her, pulling off clumps of her hair, and holding her by the neck), and that she had said that she feared for her life as a result of the assault. Depp is believed to have sent messages to his buddy, Paul Bettany, threatening to burn Heard and “f*** her burned body afterwards to make sure she is passed.” Depp is also alleged to have threatened to “f*** her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she is passed.”
It is revealing that Depp is dragging Heard through a second high-profile trial in the United States in the hope of a better conclusion this time around. He is suing her for a staggering $50 million dollars – this seems to be an attempt to gain financial control over her.
Both the proceedings in England and the United States are centered on preventing Heard from coming out about the harm she claims he perpetrated on her and her children. Many victims of domestic violence are being sued for “defamation” because they have dared to speak out about what their haterr has done to them, as I have seen.
The public is divided on whether Heard is a “true victim,” with many doubting her sincerity. Is she portraying herself as a victim? Is she speaking in a victim’s voice? Is she sobbing as though she’s a victim?
Where are the headlines questioning whether Depp is a culprit, and where are the people who are criticizing him on every step he makes? There are no specific procedures in place in court – Depp just sits there smiling, while Heard relives torture and suffering from her childhood.
Depp’s lawyer is used as a pawn and a weapon in order to re-victimize her for the benefit of the world’s entertainment industry. The legal system has evolved into a tool for a perpetrator to maintain his hate and control over his victims and their property. What kind of message does it give to those who have been victimized? Victims who don’t have money, celebrity, images of their injuries, or messages threatening to hurt them are you talking about? Which of the following do they believe will be their treatment by the court system?
The court is being requested to diagnose Heard as “abnormal,” “mentally sick,” and “crazy,” among other things. Psychologists all too frequently mistakenly diagnose victims of domestic violence with sexist diagnoses such as “histrionic and borderline personality disorders,” rather than recognizing that they are suffering from trauma induced by domestic hate. Heard is no exception to this rule.
Dr Curry, a psychologist, speculated that Heard could be suffering from two personality disorders, while Dr Hughes determined that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. But why hasn’t Depp been labeled a pathological liar? What is the status of his mental health diagnosis?
Because after all, this is a guy who has justified his hateing behavior by referring to himself as “the monster.” Every headline that has remarked on Heard’s mental health has stigmatized others who are dealing with mental health issues, while also diminishing the legitimacy of those who have come forward to share their experiences.
Depp’s legal team will question Heard in a cross-examination. Because I see it every day in courtrooms, I can tell you exactly how it will play out: “Why didn’t you say no? What level of inebriation were you experiencing? You were the one who set him off. You were verbally abusive. “It is all your fault.”
These questions place the responsibility on the victim while simultaneously making the offender invisible. Due to the fact that it plays on all of the beliefs that we have been taught about how hate works, it has remained very successful and convincing for many years. He’s a hero; she’s a liar.
Consequently, when I see hashtags trending on Twitter such as “AmberHeardIsALiar,” it serves as a reminder to me of how deeply ingrained se x ism is in our culture. Regardless of whether or not there is a High Court judgement establishing that Depp attacked Heard, and regardless of whether or if everyone in the globe saw Depp physically assault Heard in public, people will continue to accept Depp’s actions. What gives him the right to be above the law?
Is it because Depp is the epitome of masculinity that people like him? At some time in his life, every guy wished he could be him. Even with all of his fame, glory, money, and power, if he can be a perpetrator of domestic hate, it sends a powerful message to other men that anybody can be a perpetrator of violence, which is a dangerous message to convey. Anyone – including you – has the potential to fall from grace.
However, it also implies something more sinister: that our culture is unconcerned with domestic hate. “What does it matter if he smacked her? “She had earned it.” He said that it was a case of “mutual hate.” We are being persuaded discreetly that even though he assaulted her, we should feel pity for him and support him (which is inappropriate sympathy towards powerful men who hate women).
Our society teaches us that these guys should not be wrecked as a result of their offenses against females, since ladies aren’t worth it. In order to maintain this, our patriarchal culture relies on actors like Depp to maintain empathy for criminals while also admonishing those who are victims.
We’ve seen it with people like Weinstein, Spacey, Louis C.K., and Brett Kavanaugh, to mention a few examples. Depp isn’t the first guy to garner widespread popular acceptance despite allegations that he is a domestic haterr — and he certainly won’t be the last.