The Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial is rapidly becoming a blockbuster of the most awful kind and threatens to set back women 30 years.
He may be a three-time Oscar nominee, but this is rapidly becoming the performance of Johnny Depp’s life.
Smiling, waving and blowing kisses to fans, cracking gags with a knowing wink, he’s treated his daily court appearances much like he would a red carpet movie premiere, writes Clemmie Moodie in The Sun.
In contrast, red-faced, bare-cheeked and sobbing, Amber Heard’s testimony has been utterly harrowing to watch.
Yet watching we are. Nine million of us have tuned in to the live stream see the $50 million defamation case between the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor and his ex-wife.
It’s rapidly becoming a blockbuster of the most awful kind.
Aired on YouTube and Court TV, the lines between entertainment and justice have blurred beyond all recognition.
Voyeurs have been lapping up the unfolding drama like they would an episode of Bridgerton. Minus the bustles.
Unlike Bridgerton, these past three weeks have made for unedifying viewing — made all the worse by the horrific abuse being dished out to Amber.
Memes, TikTok songs, sick ditties and doctored photos are doing the rounds online, making the clearly traumatised 36-year-old a global laughing stock.
There’s a petition calling for her to be dropped from Aquaman 2.
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Yesterday, the hashtag #amberheardisapsycopath was doing the rounds. On movie website IMDB, the industry’s official database, her name was briefly changed to “Amber Turd”. Which is nice. #justiceforjohnny continues to trend on Twitter, while his moronic fans — evidently seeing beyond the coke bloat — believe People magazine’s one-time Sexiest Man Alive still has it. He doesn’t.
This is a man who lost his High Court case against The Sun in November 2020. He’s a confirmed wife-beater, a “man” who held Amber hostage for three days, left her fearing for her life and who once texted he planned to drown and burn her as a witch and “f*** her burnt corpse after.
And Amber’s crime? Standing up for battered women. Calling out abusers. Having the courage to describe alleged sexual violence — one incident involving a wine bottle is every bit as horrific as you might imagine.
Despite having forensic psychologist Dr Dawn Hughes testify about allegations she was subjected to domestic and sexual violence by her ex, still she’s called a liar. Accused of making up her PTSD, of having a personality disorder, this is a victim-blaming — and shaming — in high definition.
In criminal or family law cases, Amber would be able to deliver her highly emotive, heartbreaking evidence by video link or from behind a screen. Instead, because this is a defamation case, it’s being broadcast live on the internet. If this is how women get treated when they come forward, where’s the incentive? Where is the protection?
According to a 2018 report by Women’s Aid, only two per cent of women reported domestic abuse to the police. A good friend of mine was sexually assaulted by a famous star Stateside. She considered going to the police, but couldn’t face the resulting fallout, the public humiliation, reliving the horror incident.
The cretin remains free, a predator, able to force himself upon other women.
Amber Heard has a platform. She has millions in the bank and a crack legal and PR team around her. She has voice recordings, photos of her bruises, damning text messages. The evidence is there for all to see. Still she’s branded a liar.
What hope do normal women have? Those mocking Amber’s torment should be ashamed. Shockingly, the majority of them are women — so much for the sisterhood.
This case threatens to set women back 30 years. More needs to be done to support the victims of abuse — victims shouldn’t be the ones abused.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission