[Chivalrous E.] Amber Heard v. Johnny Depp: Victim Tell No Lies?

Competition Brief: What Does Amber Heard Belive?

With the dust settling on the first Amber Heard / Johnny Depp trial, Heard and her new team are rallying for an appeal. Given the incredible landslide of reaction in the court of public opinion, one might question the wisdom of any second round. Still, considering Depp’s own change of fortune after losing in his case against News Group 2018, perhaps there is logic in the pursuit? After all, it was determined that claims of domestic abuse were substantially accurate enough to support publicly calling Depp a “wife beater.” A quick peruse of the latest online coverage of him though suggests that winning the latest case in the United States has been enough to turn public opinion in his favour.

On the other hand, perhaps it’s not a “play” or “strategy” or “guise” or “plan” or anything else malevolent in the mind of Amber Heard. Perhaps she believes that she is a victim deserving of justice like any other citizen and nothing more. After all, she was partially successful in her counter suit meaning their was some validity to her arguments.

This month’s question is: what do you believe, Amber Heard believes? Given all the accusations, the charges, and the verdicts, what, if anything, does she know is a lie? In contrast, what, if anything, does she sincerely believe? If she was given a consequence free opportunity and confessed to you her unfiltered version of the truth as she perceives it, what would she say? Support your essay with a statement of fact.

Statement of Fact

— In 2018, Johnny Depp sued News Group in a British court for defamation and lost the case.

— In 2022, Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard in an American court and won.

In 2017, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp had officially divorced, after Heard filed a divorce settlement which contained accusations of Depp’s domestic abuse towards her. Amber Heard ended up gaining $7 million divorce settlement, and she pledged to donate the settlement money to various charities. Fast forward to June 2018, Depp filed a defamation case (which he lost) against News Group for calling him a ‘wife beater’ in one of their articles. December 2018, Amber Heard published her Op-Ed about her representing victim of domestic abuse, which fueled the flames for the #MeToo movement to ‘cancel’ Johnny Depp. At this point, the internet was against Depp, calling him an abuser and cancelling shows in which he starred in. on 2022, Johnny Depp finally filed a defamation case against Amber Heard, in which he won the judges and public’s support. With various evidence presented in the court regarding Amber Heard’s aggression towards Johnny Depp, public opinion sways completely to support Depp now.

The Public Outlook

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. At this point, We can confidently say that the majority of people must be familiar with the two names, and the relations between the two. Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard has garnered an insurmountable amount of attention to court trials compared to any other cases in the US. By the end of the trial, Johnny Depp gained significant support from social media users worldwide, while in contrast Amber Heard has been made a laughing stock by many. Incoherent arguments and statements made by Heard and her legal team have been the target for public mockery, leaving them with little support from the public.

Forgive, Don’t Forget.

However, people seem to have forgotten about the 2018 defamation case that Depp lost against News Group, concluding in Depp’s loss. The UK court decided that there is sufficient evidence for the News Group to refer to Johnny Depp in one of their articles as a “wife beater”. While the people chose to forget about this, Amber Heard is not planning to do the same. In light of the 2022 case held in Fairfax County, Amber Heard has planned to appeal the decision of said case.

In the Name of..?

Seeing how Amber Heard still marches forward to make another appeal case despite the negative public outlook against her favor, we cannot help but wonder: What sort of “cause” can drive Heard to go this far? It seems a bit foolish to assume that Amber Heard continues to chase this case without a strong conviction in her mind. Maybe we were drifted along by the rough current of the public sentiment against Heard so much that we fail to see whether or not she really has a point. Thus an intriguing question appears: What does Amber Heard truly believe, and what does she know is a lie? In a hypothetical scenario, what would Amber Heard have said to her closest people, knowing that her unfiltered
honesty would not be made public?

What does Amber Heard believe?

‘Amber Heard is a victim in the relationship, and her accusations to Depp is about women standing up against sexual abuse.’ This narrative was the fuel that set Heard and Depp’s case ablaze, making it near impossible for people to not see the flames and smokes of their news everywhere. This narrative is also one that Heard has been using, and is attempting to continue to use, as the foundation of her case against Johnny Depp. It’s not hard to see why, as Depp’s career was almost swept completely by the #MeToo movement right after Depp’s defamation trial loss back in 2018. It is only rational for Amber Heard to try to bring the same narrative to the court table, making it one of her main points. However, as the Depp v. Heard trial took place, Johnny Depp’s team brought evidence that indicates Amber Heard’s abusive acts towards him.

Point is, Amber Heard herself must be fully aware that she is not THE ONLY victim in the relationship. Without having to question any trials outcome, we can still say that at least both of them have to some degree shown abusive acts towards each other. But to make a strong case, Amber surely had to save her face and avoids mentioning her abuse towards Depp. I believe that Amber Heard herself is also aware of this, and her consistent narrative of standing up against sexual abuse is a strategic ploy that she had to put out to gain public support. Even from 2018, Amber Heard have not shown honest attempt to fulfill her pledge of donating the $7 million she gained from her divorce trial. That, and the fact that she had also been abusing Johnny Depp, are enough reasons for us to assume that Heard did not enter this drama to stand up against domestic abuse, nor to empower women.

Our Verdict

So, what drives her, then? It is not likely that money is a strong enough motivator for Amber Heard. I believe that during their relationship, Amber Heard had grown resentful towards Depp, and she expressed this by emanating misleading statements about him, hoping that it somehow impacted his life. The extent to which those statements had impacted him was, I believe, out of Amber Heard’s imagination. Yet again, Amber Heard must’ve felt the pressure to stand on a narrative by the people who had already ‘cancelled’ Johnny Depp. Regardless of the mistakes Amber Heard and Johnny Depp had made, what matters most for me is how we, the people on the internet, need to realize how impactful our collective voices can be, and to not jump into conclusions, especially on matters that are virtually so detached
from our lives.

Author Credit: Chivalrous E.
Undergraduate majoring International Relations at Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. offering professional and content translation for Indonesian-English and vice versa. Also very interested in social science researches and writing with global politics as the lead topic.


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