Domestic violence has traditionally been seen as primarily affecting women, but it’s important to recognize that men can also be victims. I strongly believe that since gender is a societal idea, human beings’ characteristics differ widely regardless of their gender. A well-known example of this is popular Depp V Heard trial. Things began to heat up in the couple’s life when Amber Heard accused her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, of being violent towards her. Soon after, Johnny aimed to prove his innocence in court and prove that it was Heard who was the violent one, and not him. This situation initially challenged our mainstream perceptions, which were that a woman could only be a victim of abuse and not abuse other people. But we swiftly came to believe Depp’s claims, as the court evidence suggested Amber had been aggressive towards him. However, the perplexing part of the case was why Amber emerged as a victim and accused Johnny of abuse in the first place. It’s hard to say whether this is hypocrisy and a sick attempt to gain financial support or if there were issues with Johnny that led her to make such accusations. The main question is: Who should people believe in such situations? Should they believe one person, both, or neither?
The 2022 trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been adapted into a Netflix documentary, Depp V Heard directed by Emma Cooper. This three-episode documentary showcases clips from the trial broadcasts, where Johnny and Amber discuss their versions of the truth. It traces their journey from the beginning of their romance to its transformation into a horrific nightmare capable of shaking people’s faith in the institution of marriage. Through the documentary, Johnny and Amber share insights about each other, presenting a cautionary tale.
Why Was The Trial Being Broadcast?
In April 2022, a trial took place in Fairfax County, Virginia, involving Oscar-nominated actor Johnny Depp suing his ex-wife, Amber Heard, in a defamation case. Amber Heard had filed a divorce from her husband in the year 2016 after which she also obtained a restraining order against him. She became a prominent figure in the MeToo movement, while Depp faced challenges in his career due to accusations of domestic abuse, which resulted in him being fired from multiple production houses. Johnny Depp’s nearly thirty-year career and his reputation as a talented performer were strained by these allegations from his ex-wife. However, Depp chose not to remain passive. In December 2018, after Amber published an op-ed in The Washington Post discussing domestic abuse without naming Depp, he initiated a defamation case to clarify the truth. The trial showcased their contrasting versions of events and evidence. The request for cameras in the courtroom to broadcast the entire trial was granted, and it was Johnny Depp who wanted this broadcast to happen. This clearly indicated that he was determined to clear his name from these allegations and reclaim his reputation.
The couple was initially a stunning Hollywood power couple that served as an inspiration to the audience. Johnny and Amber’s partnership began on the set of the movie The Rum Diary, where Johnny was already established, and Amber was a newcomer. They were drawn to each other and shared romantic moments. However, in the 2022 trial, things turned unsettling when Amber spoke disrespectfully about those moments, implying that Johnny was inappropriate. Though she didn’t explicitly state he was, her remarks lacked respect for Johnny and those moments, which he claimed she enjoyed as well. Her statement contrasted with Depp’s more poised and humble version of the truth, which depicted that they were truly in love with each other.
Amber accused Johnny of hitting her first during a conversation about the tattoo on his arm dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, Winona Ryder. According to Amber, Johnny struck her in the face and used foul language when she just asked about the tattoo. Johnny vehemently refuted these allegations. Amber’s sister and one of her close friends, IO, testified against Johnny, saying nothing different than what Amber said and highlighting his aggressive behavior under the influence of drugs and alcohol. However, the evidence in Johnny’s possession managed to shift the narrative, causing people to quickly cast doubt on Amber’s claims.
Did Amber Ever Hit Johnny? What Did The Voice Recording Reveal?
In February 2016, a video recorded on Amber’s phone captured Johnny taking out his frustration on the kitchen cabinets in their home. The video depicted Johnny pouring a large glass of wine and becoming even more furious upon finding that Amber was secretly recording him. In the trial of 2022, Johnny responded to the video and explained that he was having a tough day. He admitted to venting his frustration on the cabinets, but he denied laying a hand on Amber, which was true. When the trial was broadcast, and fans saw the video, it became apparent that Johnny’s actions did not involve physically harming Amber or displaying violence towards her. However, the incident showcased Johnny’s outburst, creating an unhealthy atmosphere within their home. It’s important to note that the context before and after the video remains unknown, making it challenging to pass a random judgment on either party based solely on this footage. However, Amber’s motives could be the subject of doubt, as she chose to record Johnny rather than intervene to defuse the situation. Perhaps she wanted to infuriate him further.
Not only did Amber present evidence, but Johnny also had his own set of proofs highlighting Amber’s peculiar and erratic behavior. Johnny recounted an incident from Amber’s birthday when he arrived late, causing her to get angry and physically strike him. He left the room that night, telling Amber he wouldn’t return. The following day, as Amber went to Coachella with friends for a drive, Johnny intended to go to the penthouse to get some of his belongings. However, his chauffeur, Starling Jenkins, advised against it, revealing there was fecal matter on Johnny’s side of the bed. Amber attributed it to their dog, Boo, while Johnny insisted it belonged to a human due to its size. Jenkins testified via video conference that Amber had a conversation with him regarding the surprise on their bed, considering it a failed practical joke. Nevertheless, Depp V Heard showed a different perspective by referencing evidence from a UK transcript where Depp admitted his dog’s bowel movements were due to accidentally consuming marijuana. As we didn’t witness the fecal matter firsthand, determining the truth is a challenging thing to do. Yet, based on Depp’s confident statements and Jenkins’s testimony, Amber faced backlash on social media, with people finding the situation amusing and a subject of mockery.
In May 2016, Depp arrived with his two security personnel to meet Amber, and she proceeded to stage another incident. She called her friend IO while conversing with Depp and began screaming, creating the impression that Johnny had attacked her. Amber’s account portrayed her as a victim of Johnny’s aggression, while Depp once again denied assaulting her, stating that it was all an act. Even the security personnel sided with Johnny, confirming that Amber started to scream out of nowhere. IO, who was on the phone during the incident, called 911. However, when the police arrived, Amber informed them that everything was fine. In the trial, she clarified that she didn’t cooperate with the police because she was protecting Johnny at the time.
The narrative that consistently presented Amber as the victim shifted dramatically during the 2022 trial. Johnny introduced a voice recording in which Amber confessed to physically hitting Johnny and suggested that if he ever claimed to be a victim of domestic violence, nobody would believe him. Ironically, since the commencement of the case and Johnny’s lawsuit against Amber, an increasing number of people have placed their trust in Johnny and questioned Amber’s motives for defaming her ex-husband. As the story continues, in upcoming episodes of Depp V Heard, we’ll explore more evidence to better understand who to trust between Johnny and Amber at the end of the trial.