In Denial About Domestic Violence
Taxpayers gave Johnny Depp a national platform to debase his ex-wife after he lost a similar case in the United Kingdom
On 6/1/22, the Virginia jury found Amber Heard liable for defaming Depp and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The jury ruled in favor of Heard on one count of her defamation countersuit, and awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages . “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” said Heard, “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.” Punitive damages in the state of Virginia are capped at $350,000, so the judge reduced Depp’s punitive damages award to that amount.
The television commentators and a so-called “body language” expert on Court TV casually excoriate actress Amber Heard, while rejecting photos, texts and other evidence of abuse.
She’s a cold, calculating liar, we’re told, because of the way she smiles or tilts her head. On the other hand, Johnny Depp, who is suing Heard for defamation, is 100% credible because he looks up when he speaks and raises his eyebrow.
Never mind the video clips showing Depp’s violent rages while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It was just a kitchen cabinet with glass windows that he assaulted.
In a text made public Thursday, Depp promises to exact “global humiliation” on Heard, whom he calls a “gold digging, low level, dime a dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market… 50 cent stripper… I can only hope that karma kicks in and takes the gift of breath from her.”
Depp has achieved his goal and American taxpayers made it happen.
Taxpayers spent a fortune to give Depp a forum to exact “global humiliation” on his ex-wife. We paid for the the courthouse, the judge, law clerks, court reporters, security officials, etc.
For some reason, it is irrelevant that Depp lost a similar lawsuit after a 16-day trial in England in 2020 against a tabloid that called him a “wife beater.” The judge in that case concluded the tabloid’s claims were “substantially true.” Depp also argued that Heard was a gold-digger there but the judge said he did not "accept this characterisation of Ms Heard.” Depp filed an appeal; he lost that too.
Win or lose, Depp has gotten more than his share of “justice.”
Heard is being sued because she wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in 2018 describing having endured sexual harassment and abuse since she was of college age. She doesn’t mention Depp but he claims she’s responsible for his reversal of fortune, not alcoholism or drugs. He is seeking $50 million in damages. She has counter-sued for $100 million.
The girls stand in line in the early morning hours to get tickets to the trial and giggle when Depp’s waves at them.
Intimate Partner Abuse
Early in my career as an attorney, I worked for a legal aid organization in Pittsburgh, PA, representing domestic violence victims seeking protection orders. Several young women came in with telltale red marks around their neck from the night before, when they became within a breath of being strangled to death by their partner. Some brought children to the courthouse because they had no choice. That was in the 1990s.
They say that domestic violence remains a major public health problem in the United States.
It is estimated that one in four women and one in nine men are beaten, subject to sexual violence or stalked, resulting in injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
It will probably take a bit more courage for victims to speak out about intimate partner abuse in the future as a result of the Depp trial. Who will subject themselves to social media threats, taunts and the ignorant commentary of so-called experts on Court TV?
Regardless of the final verdict (and the inevitable appeal if Depp loses), victims of intimate partner violence lost this round.