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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: what you need to know

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Content warning: mentions of domestic abuse and drug use

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are facing court this week over defamation and claims of domestic abuse.

Depp and Heard were in a romantic relationship from 2012 until 2017, when the two divorced and Heard filed a restraining order against her now ex-partner. She cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason for the split, and claimed that the restraining order came after Depp abused Amber Heard several times.

Heard claims that Johnny Depp, famous for his part in films such as Edward Scissorhands and Pirates of the Caribbean, threw a phone at her face intending to cause injury. She also alleges that Depp screamed, hit her and pulled her hair.

Soon after their divorce, Heard published a piece in The Washington Post named “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” which didn’t name Depp but hinted heavily toward his alleged involvement in the domestic abuse.

Heard stated, “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.”

“Imagine a powerful man as a ship, like the Titanic. That ship is a huge enterprise. When it strikes an iceberg, there are a lot of people on board desperate to patch up holes — not because they believe in or even care about the ship, but because their own fates depend on the enterprise.”

Image Credit: Sky News

Depp has denied all allegations of domestic abuse, stating that he has never hit a woman. Following Heard’s article, Johnny Depp filed a $50 million lawsuit for defamation in 2019. In response, Heard filed a countersuit worth $100 million. The case is currently underway in Virginia.

Depp shared his accusations, claiming that Heard was the one initiating violence in the relationship. Depp claimed that Amber Heard threw a vodka bottle which resulted in the tip of his finger being cut off. The allegation was accompanied by graphic images of the injury shown in court. He described her actions as “cruel” and “grotesque”.

An audio recording was played in court which captured Heard saying: “I didn’t punch you. I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap” followed by: “You’re a f***ing baby” and “I did start a physical fight.”

There has been mention of extreme drug use by Depp, and a wide array of witness testimonies. Among those testifying is Johnny Depp’s bodyguard, and a long-term friend, whom he currently lives with. Elon Musk is listed among potential witnesses in defence of Heard.

Image Credit: Hurriyet Daily Mail

There is mounting evidence in support of both parties, as the trial finishes for the week until court resumes on Monday. Depp will be back on the stand come next week, as Heard’s lawyer informed Judge Penney Azcarate that he is not done with questioning the actor.

Reactions on social media have been overwhelmingly in Johnny Depp’s favour. The hashtag ‘JusticeforJohnnyDepp’ has been trending on Twitter as fans show a huge amount of support for the actor.

It is widely believed on social media that this case is the perfect example of how men are treated when they speak out about abuse, especially when the perpetrator is a woman.

Credit: @mercurialaries on Twitter

In fact, Twitter users have been quick to point out that Amber Heard has a history of antisocial behaviour, namely when she was arrested for domestic violence after a fight with ex-partner Tasya Van Ree. However, a few social media users have taken to defending Heard, claiming that the courts are overlooking her experience due to Depp’s wealth and influence.

Credit: @practicallykara on Twitter

The trial is expected to continue throughout the next few weeks. While it is currently unclear who the court will rule in favour of, there is no doubt that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard shared a violent and unpredictable relationship which is certain to impact their career and personal lives for the foreseeable future.

Featured Image Credit: BBC News

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Journalism student at the University of Stirling. She/Her. Twitter & Instagram: @DeannaDawnn

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