So what was all of the drama about? Who testified – and to what? Let’s set the scene in and out of the courtroom. Here are the highlights of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial.

Actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, watch the jury arrive in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Pool photo via AP

The controversial defamation trial between actors and former spouses Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has concluded after six weeks. Johnny Depp has won his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard for $50 million (£40 million) over allegations of domestic violence.

So – Why Were They in Court?

The defamation trial sees Johnny Depp sue his ex-wife, Amber Heard for $50 Million in damages. This came after an article in The Washington Post – in which she publically accused Johnny Depp of abusing her.

Credit: Your Tango

Along with suing her, he revealed that he was the one being abused throughout their marriage, not her. He denies that he was ever violent with Heard. Instead of Heard just paying what Depp is suing her for, she countersued him for $100 Million. She claims that she is the victim and she wasn’t trying to ruin Johnny Depp’s image or career.

Courtroom Event Summary

In Amber Heards testimony, she claims on multiple instances that Johnny Depp assaulted her. She blames most of these instances on Depp abusing alcohol and drugs. Most of her allegations are patchy at best. And the evidence provided doesn’t match the claims.

Heard accuses Johnny Depp of Sexually Assaulting her. Her graphic accusation is accompanied by Heard – with what appeared to be fake tears. On top of this, her ex-personal assistant stated that Amber Heard stole her sexual assault story that she had confided in heard when she worked for her.

Real vs. Imagined Injuries

Amber Heard cries on witness stand while recounting sexual assault | Credit: Telangana Today

Heard’s claims of severe injury are unsupported. They were not documented by either Heard or medical records. Heard detailed events in which Depp allegedly smashed her head into a countertop repeatedly. She also claims that Depp once pummeled her to the point that she passed out. The next day she appeared on the James Corden show – without injury.

Heard claimed that she had two black eyes, a broken nose and a busted lip along with sustaining severe head injuries. Amber Heard also claimed that Depp assaulted her in front of his own friends as well as her friends and family.

She made additional claims that he had abused his ex-wife Kate Moss, which legally, she wasn’t allowed to discuss. Although, this opened the door for Depp’s team to cross-examine her ex-partners. Kate Moss has testified, and in her testimony, she denies Heard’s accusations that Depp abused Moss.

So Who Is The Agressor, Then?

In court, Johnny Depp details bloody fight with Amber Heard | Credit: Los Angeles Times

In Johnny Depp’s testimony, he testified that Amber Heard was the main aggressor in their relationship. He explained that she would go on angry, demeaning tirades that would escalate into physical violence. He detailed the moments when Heard threw a vodka bottle at Depp – which broke and severed the tip of his finger. When he was cross-examined, he was confronted with a series of text messages in which he bad mouthed Heard. He owned up to them, explaining that he was ashamed of the messages and that he often colourfully embellished in texts.

Johnny Depp has been known to also use dark humour to cope with trauma as seen in his past depositions. During his testimony, Depp shared an audio clip as evidence of her abuse. Amber heard can be heard gaslighting Depp, who is trying to explain away her physical abuse towards him. She says that nobody would believe him if he told people he’s a victim of domestic violence.

The Public and the Problematic Nature of Streaming a Court Trial

Why the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard Trial Dominated the Internet - CNET
Credit: Robert Rodriguez/CNET

The trial was everywhere, and we could watch every step and stage. It made a lot of people around the world (and online) obsess. It has sparked intense online discussion regarding abuse. People have made fan videos. Mome even go as far as lining up outside the courthouse trying to get into the in-person trial like it’s a gig.

The public is being shown a case where an abuse victim is a man, who are largely underrepresented as victims of domestic violence. Social media helps people to process the information coming from the trial. It does start to become a bit misogynistic, however. No, Amber Heard doesn’t appear to be a great person – but that doesn’t warrant extreme misogyny. And this discounts actual female victims of abuse.

Why Do We Treat Celebrities Like They Aren’t People?

The level of publicity and media coverage on the Depp-heard trial reached the point of insanity. This allows people on social media to use this very real situation as fodder for hypothetical discussions. It allows people who aren’t educated about the topic to have an opinion – which some value over facts.

Why do we find their defamation trials to be a form of entertainment? Anyway, now that the trial is over, let’s hope they both get help and heal, as we all need to.

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