Amber Heard and the death of #MeToo

Amber Heard and the death of #MeToo

Amber Heard in the courtroom during a defamation lawsuit against her by her ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp, in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia, US (Reuters)

There are ambiguities in the sordid conflict between the divorced actors Johnny Depp Yes Amber Heardbut some things are clear.

Depp sent a text message to a friend saying that I wanted to kill Heard then sleep with her corpse burned to ensure she died. There is a video in which you see Depp breaking kitchen cabinets while heard tries to calm him down by telling him at one point:All I did was say “sorry”!”. In an audio recording, she tells him to go turn off his “cigarettes with another personand he replied:shut up big ass”.

He admitted to head-butting her, although he said it was an accident. When heard went to court to get a domestic violence restraining order against DeppShe had a bruise on her cheekbone from where she said he threw a phone at her.

In 2018, the British newspaper The sun qualified for Depp from “handcuff beaterand he sued him for defamation. Proving defamation is much easier in Britain what in United Statesbecause the burden of proof is then on the defendant. Depp lost the case. A judge, assessing 14 incidents of alleged abuse of Depp a heardfound that 12 of them had occurred and concluded that the words of The sun they were “substantially true.

Now Depp has followed heard in Virginia for $50 millionclaiming she defamed him when she portrayed herself, in an opinion essay by the Washington Post who did not mention DeppWhat “a public figure representing domestic violence”. Her case seems absurd, because although she was completely innocent, the British verdict was well known, and Heard was referring to what she symbolized, not what she would have suffered. (She is counter-suing for $100 million.)

Yes Depp enforced in one way or another, one can expect similar lawsuits against other women who say they have survived abuse. The singer Marilyn Manson has already filed a defamation suit against his ex-fiancée Evan Rachel Woodone of many women who have accused him of sexual violence.

But Depp you don’t need to win in court to achieve your goals. In a 2016 email to his former agent, Christian Carino, Depp wrote that heard been “begging for total world humiliation”. Now that televised trial has resulted in an outburst of hatred and ridicule directed at her. The volatile actress – sometimes violent with Deppand who never kept his promise to donate his entire divorce settlement to charity – he is far from a perfect victim. It made her the perfect object of a backlash. #Me too.

On the internet, there is an industry-wide level of intimidation directed at Heard that puts all previous attacks on social media to shame.. In ICT Tac there are countless videos attacking heard; the member of ‘NSync, Bass Spearjoined the trend of recreating his testimony in a mocking way. A makeup brand even took part in the anti-Heard riotposting a video on ICT Tac to contradict his attorney’s description of how he concealed bruises. Meanwhile, all the platforms seem to be full of memes in favor of Depp. “Why does it seem like the entire internet belongs to Johnny Depp’s team?“, said a title Vice.

Johnny Depp stands up during a break in the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia, US (Reuters)
Johnny Depp stands up during a break in the defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia, US (Reuters)

But it’s not just the Internet. “Believe every woman except Amber Heard“, he joked recently Chris Rock. A sketch from “Saturday Night Live” from last weekend has become one of the wildest accusations of Depp versus heard in a sketch, calling her a ridiculous character and him a charming rascal.

This does not mean that the case is completely simple. heard admitted to beating Depp, and was recorded insulting and belittling him. The couple’s marriage counselor testified that they engaged in “mutual abuse», saying of heard: “It was a point of pride for her, if she felt disrespected, to start a fight”.

Some domestic violence experts consider mutual abuse a mytharguing that although both members of a toxic relationship can behave terrible, one tends to exert power over the other. But even if Heard is believed to have acted inexcusably, the idea that she was the main aggressor – against a much taller and more resourceful man who was recorded swearing that he dared to speak “authoritatively ” – defies logic..

In fact, one of the most salacious details of the trial – the one that was used to mock heard in any media – could easily fit into a story of victimization. Depp, as you may know, accused Heard or one of his friends of defecating on his bed out of revenge.and her bodyguard said she confessed to a prank gone wrong. heard said one of his dogs, incontinent since eating marijuana Depp when he was a puppy, he soiled the bed. “It wasn’t a really jolly moment, and I don’t think it’s funny, period.“, mentioned. “It’s disgusting”.

If he is telling the truth, one must marvel at how badly Depp and his team have tarnished his name.. When Depp testified, the hashtags #AmberTurd (defecated amber) and #MePoo (I pooped) exploded on the internet. The picture of hearda woman whose trademark is to be a blonde glam bombshell, is now bound, perhaps permanently, to excrement. If she is not a psychopath, she is the victim of a real sadistic reputational blow..

It should be noted that in 2020, Sentinel Robota group that tracks misinformation and online harassment, was hired by the lawyers of heard to analyze the social media campaign against her. “Everyone thinks all activity against them is bots or whatever», says the founder of the group, Chris Bouzy. But in this case, some were: Bouzy estimated that there were 340 “inauthentic” Twitter accounts dedicated to defaming Heard. and to amplify petitions calling for her to be fired from her acting and modeling jobs. “A small number of accounts can generate conversations on Twitter“, mentioned.

However, although the the trolls and the robot helped fuel the craze against heard, it’s obvious that there are a lot of real people involved in it. Some are obsessed fans Depp; as he wrote kaitlyn tiffany in Atlanticthere is a history of communities in line which are fixed”on theories that male objects in her fandom were manipulated and tortured by less famous female romantic partners”.

However, there seems to be a broader misogynistic frenzy, typical of the deeply reactionary moment we are living in. “He is going to hit the wall!!!“, wrote Depp in the email to Affection. It seems he knew his audience.

(C) The New York Times.-


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