Written by: Ignacio
Edited by: Megh
Visual by: Kailani
Johnny Depp is a prominent figure in Hollywood known for his roles in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise and Alice in Wonderland, among others. Recently, Depp found himself amidst controversy regarding his ex-wife Amber Heard; the conflict developed around a libel trial in which Depp sued ‘News Group Newspapers’ over a 2018 article that accused the actor of abusing his ex-wife. The case is currently ongoing.
Depp and Heard’s relationship started in 2009 when they met each other on the set of ‘The Rum Diary.’ By 2012, the pair were publicly dating and eventually got married in 2015. However, the controversy began in 2016 when Heard filed for divorce and accused Depp of physical abuse – a claim that she later withdrew. The trial was then settled in 2017, with Heard receiving 2 million dollars in settlement. However, this was nowhere near the end of the lover’s dispute. Heard later released an article, published by the Washington Post in 2018, in which she claimed to have been physically abused. This led Depp to sue Heard, claiming that his ex-wife was “not a victim of domestic abuse,” but “a perpetrator.”
Depp’s claims were not to be dismissed, however, as leaked audio recordings revealed Heard confessing to abusing Depp. In the recordings, Heard stated: “I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine. I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you.” Despite concrete evidence against Heard, the court decided that ‘News Group Newspapers’ accusation of Depp as a domestic abuser was justified.’ The monumental court ruling denied Depp the right to appeal the decision, and Depp was then asked to step down from his role in the upcoming movie ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’
Despite the court’s continuous support towards Amber Heard, netizens have shown their support for Depp through online petitions and activism. Most notably a change.org petition campaigned to remove Amber Heard from her role in ‘Aquaman 2’, which as of now has a whopping 1.7 million signatures.
Whether you support Johnny Depp or not, one can certainly agree that there is a clear double standard prevalent in society today. This bias against Depp stems from a history of male domestic abusers in Hollywood, which creates preconceived notions that the majority of men in these situations are guilty. However, one must take each situation as their own, as no two cases of abuse are ever the same. Therefore, it is unfair to men experiencing these issues to not acknowledge this existing double standard and treat men and women under the same circumstance equally. Whether it’s failing to portray Amber Heard’s physical abuse, or prematurely accusing Johnny Depp of being a domestic abuser, it is certainly clear the media has continuously failed to portray domestic abuse and its entire truth audiences worldwide.
Sarkisian, J., & Ntim, Z. (2020, November 26). A complete timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s tumultuous relationship. Retrieved December 07, 2020, from https://www.insider.com/johnny-depp-amber-heard-relationship-timeline-2020-7