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Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Defamation Case: A Duel Taking Place in Court!

The Ultimate Duel Between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

The Johnny Depp – Amber Heard defamation case has been trending all over the news for the past few weeks. Two Hollywood biggies combating a personal battle in court while raising issues of domestic abuse, assault, and defamation with new twists after every other hearing, is streaming live on various platforms.

 The trial has garnered considerable attention on the internet recently, dominating the major social media sites. As fans watch and discuss the celebrity case of the year — its messiness, its scandal, the glamorous movie stars at its centre, and the dilemma of what to believe and how much makes it a case to look out for.

It is the ultimate “duel” between ‘Gellert Grindelwald’ (Johnny Depp) and ‘Mera’ (Amber Heard) that is taking place in the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia.

Where It All Began….

After meeting on the set of The Rum Diary a few years previously, Depp and Heard began dating in early 2012. They fell in love and were married in 2015. However, not every romance concludes with "happily ever after" and just like that It was over just 15 months after they made it official.

With a bruised cheek, Heard filed for divorce and a restraining order in a Los Angeles court. She claimed her then-husband, who was 23 years her senior, had "violently" attacked her and "very forcefully" thrown a cell phone at her face. Other alleged harassment incidents included "extreme emotional, verbal, and physical abuse," as well as "angry, hostile, humiliated, and frightening assaults," according to court documents. Depp has denied the allegations of abuse.

A judge granted Heard a temporary restraining order, but just hours before a civil trial against the order was set to begin, she and the Pirates of the Caribbean star issued a joint statement declaring they had resolved their feud.

"Our relationship was passionate and tumultuous at times, but it was always based on love. For the sake of financial advantage, neither party has manufactured false claims. There was never any intention of harming somebody physically or emotionally." As part of their divorce deal, Depp gave Heard $7 million, which she promised to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union - something Depp's lawyers now disputes.

For a while, the former couple appeared to be on good terms.

Heard then wrote an opinion article for The Washington Post in December 2018, detailing her experience as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." She wrote, "I felt the full weight of our culture's fury for women who speak out." "I had the unique opportunity to observe in real-time how institutions shield men accused of sexual misconduct."

She didn't mention her ex-husband as the perpetrator. However, according to Depp's case, these three phrases amount to defamation, which has harmed his career and reputation "incalculably."

Johnny Depp vs. The Sun (British Newspaper)

The couple was in court once again, this time in London. Amber Heard, on the other hand, had not chosen to be in this situation. This was a libel suit filed by Depp against The Sun, a British tabloid. His claim that the charges of physical assault were an "elaborate hoax" was at the centre of the case. Depp hired one of the country's most well-known libel lawyers to try to disprove the charges.

Heard appeared in court every day for the next three weeks, walking past her ex-husband's followers, who were convinced that their hero was the victim and that she was the one who had harmed him. Her story, images, memories, and the stories of her friends were all disclosed in court, and Depp's lawyers and supporters said they were part of a scheme to fraudulently prove that he was a "wife-beater," as The Sun had stated in April 2018.

It wasn't just the spectators and the media who were keeping a close eye on things. Lawyers were already questioning what effect his victory would have on women who came forward with domestic abuse accusations if he won.

 The allegations were alarming. Heard claimed that Depp had assaulted her on at least 14 occasions. She claimed she was in fear for her life at times and was left with a fractured nose, black eyes, and split lip. She claimed that she had been subjected to vicious, alcoholic tirades that had continued for days. A 15th claim was also made, which was too distressing and sensitive to be heard in open court. It seemed like a criminal trial; Depp was accused of assaulting his former lover on multiple occasions, the kind of violence that has landed others in prison. However, this was not a criminal case. Since no one from The Sun was asked to testify, it was easy to forget this was a libel case between Depp and News Group Newspapers, the newspaper's publishers. The journalist Dan Wootton, whose story claimed there was "overwhelming proof" that the actor was a "wife abuser," was not even on the list of 79 persons named in the trial records. The case began with an email exchange between Depp and Sir Elton John about the dangers of addiction and then progressed with references to a befuddling cast of individuals. James Franco, Marilyn Manson, Elon Musk, Winona Ryder, Kate Moss, and Vanessa Paradis all appeared as guests in a narrative that blew the lid off the Hollywood A-secret list's world.

Each day, Johnny Depp would be greeted with cheers outside. However, his actions and lifestyle were scrutinized, and a judge found that The Sun's claims were "substantially true."

What impact has this had on Depp's career?

Following his defeat in the London lawsuit in November 2020, Depp revealed that he will be leaving his role in JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts franchise's third instalment. "I have been requested by Warner Bros. to quit my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request," Depp stated on Instagram.

According to The Guardian, "Depp's image lost its sheen with reports of off-screen excess before his star power was all-but obliterated" during the London court case.

Johnny Depp Sues Amber Heard for Defamation

Depp sued her for defamation in March 2019, asking for $50 million in damages. Heard countersued for $100 million in January 2021. Depp's lawsuit against Heard is now being heard in court. Even if he were completely innocent, the British judgment was well-known, and Heard was alluding to what she symbolized rather than what she allegedly went through. She is suing for $100 million in retaliation. Depp has denied hitting Heard and has dismissed Heard's claims that he was aggressive to her, describing them as "sick."

Depp told the court at the London libel trial that the newspaper's claims that he was a "wife-beater" were "absolutely incorrect."

The Accusations

While most of the evidence, in this case, had already been made public in the 2020 U.K. case, Heard's claim of sexual assault and other types of domestic abuse was not publicly known until the opening comments. Domestic abuse by Depp "takes many forms," including physical, emotional, verbal, and psychological torture, according to the Aquaman actress' attorney, Ben Rotten born. He went on to say that she "did suffer sexual violence at the hands of Depp... You will hear about the trauma she endured in the most vivid and horrible terms. It happened. “Depp’s representative dismissed the allegations as "fictitious".

Depp has even accused Heard of "assembling a dossier" against him. Winona Ryder, an actress, and Vanessa Paradis, a singer, have also issued statements in support of Depp. According to a report in The Washington Post, Depp claims that his ex-wife made up the domestic violence allegations and showed up in court in May 2016 with "painted-on injuries that witnesses and security footage show she did not possess each day of the preceding week." Depp has also accused Heard of abusing him throughout the relationship.

According to Heard, one of the more traumatic claimed occurrences was Depp repeatedly penetrating her genitalia with a bottle in Australia. "I can't believe I have to do this," she sobbed on the stand when her lawyer asked her to explain the situation in graphic detail, while Depp watched from his courtroom seat. Many of Depp and Heard's previous texts, including one in which Depp texted about Heard's "rotting body," have been read aloud to the jury. Depp acknowledged during his cross-examination that he is "not proud of" his actions.

That's not to say that the situation isn't complicated. Heard has confessed to attacking Depp, and she has been caught on tape cursing and dismissing him. "It was a matter of pride to her if she felt mistreated, to initiate a fight," the couple's marital counsellor said. Even if you agree Heard acted inappropriately, the notion that she was the main aggressor — against a much larger man with significantly more resources who was videotaped abusing her for daring to speak in an "authoritative" manner — defies sense.

Depp flaunts his healed "mangled" finger from the incident in Australia

In this case, an infamous confrontation between Depp and Heard occurred in March 2015 in Australia, while Depp was filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. His right middle finger was severed at the tip as a result. He claims it happened when Heard flung a vodka bottle at his hand while it was resting on a bar top, but her legal team denies it.

Depp's lawyers revealed gruesome, gory images of the finger taken that night and, in the hospital, after he told doctors it happened when his hand got caught in an accordion door during his evidence. He claims he lied at the time in the hospital to keep Heard's name out of the situation.

Heard's Mental Health

Heard's mental health is questioned by a psychologist hired by Depp. In her testimony, Dr. Shannon Curry, a clinical and forensic psychologist hired by Depp's legal team to assess Heard based on case files, records, and two meetings with the actress, claimed that Heard does not show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of her allegedly abusive relationship with Depp.

Curry further stated that Heard had indications of "borderline personality disorder" and "histrionic personality disorder," which could cause her to "feign" PTSD and portray herself as a victim by exaggerating or faking symptoms.

Heard's legal team had another forensic psychologist, Dr. Dawn Hughes, testify a week later, contradicting Curry's report by stating that Heard indeed suffers PTSD as a result of "Mr. Depp's intimate partner abuse." Hughes said Heard showed no evidence of falsifying or malingering her mental health, adding that she "always" goes into an evaluation with a "fair dose of skepticism."

Overall, the mud pit of a destructive relationship, Depp-Heard 2022, is playing in Fairfax, Virginia, at least through the end of this week. However, much of the online discussion around the trial has been noise rather than signal, and it has masked how basic the core issue is, and how that simplicity makes the case all the more tragic.

The Rise of #MenToo and decline of #MeeToo

#MenToo is a social movement that arose in response to the #MeToo movement's bogus sexual harassment charges. #MenToo is gaining traction on social media in the wake of the highly publicized case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

Although the case is still ongoing, netizens appear to have decided to designate Amber as the abuser. It all started when Heard accused Depp of domestic violence in a 2018 op-ed piece she wrote for the Washington Post.

Over the weekend, Twitter users began using the hashtag #MenToo to show their support for Depp while also emphasizing that men, too, maybe victims of domestic abuse. One camp believes Depp is a victim of domestic abuse, while the other feels Heard was a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault during her marriage with the Rum Diary actor.

Popular hashtags like 'Justice for Johnny Depp,' 'Amber Heard is a Liar,' and others have been trending on Twitter all around the world. The high-profile case has also sparked a significant debate about men vs. women, and the inequality and injustice handed down when the latter is the perpetrator. #MenToo has been trending on social media as a response to #MeToo, a movement in which women, particularly in the entertainment business, spoke out about sexual harassment.

Surprisingly in our post-Me-Too era, it appears that the internet's loudest voices have overwhelmingly sided with Depp. While there is overwhelming evidence that there was domestic abuse on both sides of this marriage, it is less obvious whether the evidence supports Depp's claim or whether he has a good chance of winning this case.

This is a murky, scandalized, and complex case. While it's technically a defamation case involving a newspaper story - Depp is suing Heard – the case revolves around one major conflict. Johnny Depp allegedly mistreated Amber Heard, according to Amber Heard. Heard allegedly abused Depp, according to Depp. So, what is the truth? Who will win this duel? We will get to know about it after the court's final verdict on 27 May 2022.

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