Last Tuesday night Paul McCartney played a concert in Seattle. In 2011, while he was playing his song My Valentine on the piano, a screen behind him showed part of the video for the song, in which Johnny Depp strummed a guitar and also conveyed the lyrics in sign language. Depp was in the original video with Natalie Portman when the song was released, but it appeared to be a purposeful shot by McCartney, a longtime friend of the actor, when his case against ex-wife Amber Heard exploded.
Early last week, it was a safe place to take a stand on Team Johnny. At this point, the headlines were talking with millions asking to have Heard removed from the upcoming issue Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
By this point, the theater of adoring fans and their passionate pro-Johnny placards, not to mention arriving in court to a soundtrack of blaring Bob Marley, was considered synonymous with entertainment. At this point, Amber hadn’t had a chance to side with her.
Last Tuesday it was safe to take a position as Amber debtor.
Then Amber entered Depp’s $50 million defamation lawsuit against her over a 2018 guest comment The Washington Post, in which he was not named, but in which she positioned herself as a victim of domestic violence. He says it was obvious she was referring to him. He says these allegations ruined him, his reputation and his career.
He also says a lot more. Not only has he said he wasn’t violent, but that Heard was the real perpetrator.
At the time of McCartney’s public support for Depp last week, we had only heard testimonies from Depp and those who supported him. He had testified that his ex had verbally and physically abused him, how she humiliated him as the father of his two children, how she ruined his life by claiming he was a domestic abuser. He also sketched how she nearly severed his finger with a broken vodka bottle while he was filming in Australia in a now infamous but utterly contradictory series.
On Depp’s side, a bodyguard testified that Heard had hit him and how she had become vicious and abusive once the relationship was made. An intimate partner violence expert called in by Depp diagnosed Heard with two distinct personality disorders.
Casting Heard as the villain was easy enough — the woman who raised an idol to millions, a poor man who was led from his heart into a horrible, horrible relationship.
Somehow, it seemed possible to dismiss Depp’s confirmation that he texted his friend, fellow actor Paul Bettany, about Heard drowning and having sex with her corpse before cremating it. It was somehow okay that he also used drugs and drank a lot.
Somehow the footage of him insulting and angry at Heard while pouring himself a huge glass of breakfast wine was okay because he was basically insane about this relationship.
In other words, at a certain point in this process, it seemed like this Team Johnny mindset would lead to a characterization of Heard as the woman so terrible she made Depp misbehave. As if she made him do it.
At the start of last week, there seemed to be a serious lack of sisterhood that Amber Heard was cheering on. The reaction to the case appeared to be very black and white, with Depp as the victim.
He had his demons, so the tale goes, but he was basically decent until his midlife moment of insanity (Heard) ruined him. One could argue that this was an indication of how far we’ve come on our road to equality.
Heard was not seen as a helpless woman, inherently good, kind, and caring. She was considered just as vulnerable to abuse as any other man, just as belligerent and systematic terrorizing. That was equality, wasn’t it?
Weeping in the stands last Thursday, Heard told her side of the night in Australia when Depp’s finger was nearly severed, how she says the actor sexually assaulted her with a bottle, how he allegedly ran a campaign of jealous rage, ranting about, like everyone hated her and had told him not to marry her. she sobbed. She talked about falling in love for the first time, the magic, the romance. It was like nothing she had experienced. The first time he hit her, it changed her life, she said.
The reality is certainly that this is an appalling airing of dirty personal laundry that represents the ruin of both parties, with obvious guilt on both sides. Proving who is right or wrong or more right or wrong is not the aim of the case either. It is intended to prove whether Heard’s article defamed Depp.
However, the side grabbing is the added weirdness of it all. While Heard’s testimony got people thinking about their sympathy for Depp, support for her remains oddly reluctant, and we have to wonder why.
Interestingly, it was Jill Vedder, wife of Pearl Jam rocker Eddie Vedder, who posted the McCartney concert clip to Instagram last week.
“Might be controversial to post this video with JD Don’t care,” Vedder captioned the clip.
“Only know him as a gentleman. And while I support women and the “Me Too” movement, I also know some women who have ruined the lives of innocent and good men. .. @johnnydepp … ps verbal abuse isn’t cool either.. watch your tongue.”
So much of this process so far is in Vedder’s post.
It’s not missing that she’s siding with Depp, but it also speaks to the fact that people felt compelled to stand up for it, as a good man being humiliated by a woman. It also denigrates Depp’s part in what allegations suggest on both sides.
Hero and Villain is too neat a narrative to force it onto the clutter of real life.
And Depp and Heard’s life together, with alcohol and drugs, death threats and defecation on beds, is far messier than most.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/where-is-the-sisterhood-for-amber-heard-41626148.html Where’s the sorority for Amber Heard?