Today, plenty of people were anxiously waiting for the verdict of the Johnny Depp versus Amber Heard trial, but we could also look at the bigger picture. Forget the gossipy and celeb circus aspect of these past days, this trial was much more than a fight between two rich and famous people: the outcome of the trial will have a heavy impact on our culture and society.
Unless you were living in a cave, you have certainly noticed the amount of attention that this story got in the media. Anything involving celebrities always draws a lot of attention, but rather than Depp or Heard, it was the #metoo movement and its legitimacy which were on trial during these past 6 weeks. Did you notice how much the mainstream media were backing up Amber Heard? “Why it’s time to believe Amber Heard,” wrote Vogue, “We’ve all failed Amber Heard,” wrote Vice News. Even Monica Lewinsky penned a pro-Heard article for Vanity Fair, “We are all guilty.” She calls it “courtroom porn,” but she is also heavily projecting her own story on the trial. Monica, not every story is about you, and you obviously haven’t watched the trial or done a deep dive into the recordings, photos, and documents posted on the Fairfax courthouse. “I wasn’t surprised that the cruel and vitriolic discourse was predominantly aimed at the woman,” Lewinsky writes. Personally, I am not surprised that people are condemning a liar who manufactured false evidence of physical and sexual abuse. It’s a crime in my book. As for voyeurism and courtroom porn, I certainly disagree; it has been very informative to watch how the justice system works, maybe because I actually watched the trial and didn’t get my info from TikTok?
For weeks, the dichotomy between these pro-Heard headlines in the media and the public opinion has been striking. It’s simple, LawTube, the ensemble of YouTube channels run by lawyers and their hundreds of thousands of followers, has been exposing the evidence and dissecting all the facets of the case. Some have even done it for a long time, since the UK trial, and they all seem to agree: they all have been rooting for Johnny. But if you have spent any time looking at the evidence yourself, if you have listened to these wild recordings, watched the photos, and documents posted on the Fairfax courthouse, you have probably reached the same conclusion. Amber Heard’s claims of physical and sexual abuse were a criminal hoax that damaged Johnny Depp’s career and life, and I am glad the jury reached the same conclusion today. The $5 million in punitive damages (adjusted downward to $350K statutory max) awarded to Depp have sent a big message. In comparison, Heard got $0 in punitive damages.
This conclusion also sends a big message to all the women who have used the #metoo movement for their own narcissistic gain. It’s a given that I support the movement, it’s a given that the many women who have been abused, mistreated, and beaten should be heard, helped and vindicated, but there’s a recent epidemic of unfounded claims and opportunistic females trying to ride the #metoo wave for their own advantage. It’s disgusting, revolting, and extremely disserving for all the women who have endured the worst. These women have made a mockery of the movement, and the jury has spoken, Amber Heard is one of them. No statement in the name of Freedom of Speech, no wrapping in the American flag is going to make it sound better – just read the statement she posted on her social media immediately after the verdict, it’s just horrendous and appalling: she is once again playing the victim card, and taking hostage the “violence against women.” It’s clear the jury has understood who was the abuser and the aggressor, and who was the victim, and it is clear that abuse has no gender.
I was interested in the trial because it was a fight for the truth at a moment when no women can do wrong, at a moment when the term misogyny is thrown at your face at the minute you dare to criticize a woman – I know something about it, having fought for the truth regarding Elliott Smith’s death for years. Politics identity triumphs everywhere, and the women who have used the #metoo movement for their own gain know this too well. It was also interesting to observe all the neo-feminists (from Rosanna Arquette to Mia Farrow to Kathy Griffin) supporting Amber Heard despite the mountain of evidence against her (I am, on purpose, using Heard’s own term here). Maybe this was a bit too close to home for Miss Farrow and no, Miss Arquette, it’s not disturbing that women are picking on a liar. It was also interesting to observe Ronan Farrow, the self-proclaimed defender of abused victims, stay very quiet on the subject. Today, media will fight any story that doesn’t support their narrative, it’s all about identity politics and it’s stupid. But today was an exception as, for once, the truth mattered.
This story leads to another case, interestingly close to Johnny Depp’s case. On the eve of the verdict, Newsweek (first reported by TMZ but validated by Newsweek) announced that Marilyn Manson is unlikely to be charged with sexual assault. The rocker faces several charges due to sexual allegations coming from several women, including actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Esme Bianco. In November, items were seized in Marilyn Manson’s home by a Special Victims Unit detective, however, law enforcement sources have just told TMZ that there have been “some credibility issues with the victim” which have made it hard to build a legit case. L.A. County District Attorney’s Office will eventually make the decision to pursue the case after the cops have submitted the findings, but it seems that they don’t have evidence to build a case against Brian Warner. Interestingly, Marilyn Manson’s name has been dropped a few times during the Depp trial, as both men are close friends. Manson is even the godfather of Johnny Depp’s daughter.
The recent pro-Depp verdict has turned the tables. Mainstream media, by their constant support of the “women” – here liar and abuser Amber Heard – have lost any credibility. Marilyn Manson, who has recently filed a lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood, could eventually add another nail in the coffin of the #metoo movement. Evan Rachel Wood’s documentary for HBO didn’t convince me a bit, whereas Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit actually provides evidence, such as a fictitious letter from an alleged FBI agent that Wood forged to create the false narrative that there was an ongoing federal criminal investigation of Warner, or “checklists and scripts to prospective accusers, listing the specific alleged acts of abuse that they should claim against Warner.” If you take a look at Marilyn Manson’s lawsuit, it looks so close to Depp’s case, it’s eerie. Evan Rachel Wood and Amber Heard’s declarations are truly interchangeable. Who said this, Wood or Heard? “I have been diagnosed with complex PTSD, including disassociation, panic attacks, night terrors, agoraphobia, impulse control, chronic pain in my body, among other symptoms.” It’s Wood, but you get what I mean.
Of course, there are two important differences here: first, Manson is not a beloved Disney pirate but a monster and a provocateur who has pushed a very scary envelope in the public’s face for decades. Second, he has been accused of abuse by several women. So, his task will be much, much harder, but, if we look at the evidence once again, he may have a chance:
Six days ago, the lawsuit by his former assistant Ashley Walters was dismissed on the grounds of the statute of limitations. Walters amended her case last March citing her repressed memories of sexual abuse and battery. Repressed memories are not only controversial but the timing of her lawsuit is suspicious as it conveniently coincides with the other accusations.
Then, if Newsweek and TMZ are correct, the police haven’t found any solid evidence against him, contrary to what Evan Rachel Wood claims in her documentary. Her HBO 2-part documentary doesn’t bring an ounce of evidence besides her allegations, whereas the evidence found in Manson’s lawsuit could be convincing for a jury. We shall see.
Things seem to have changed today and mainstream media, which are still reprinting Heard’s declaration – i.e. “it sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence women is to be taken seriously” – are not fooling anyone who has followed the trial. Mainstream media look stupid, stuck in an insufferable ideology, with the dumb “believe all women” or “toxic masculinity” hashtags, or the tired misogyny argument. It’s just plain manipulation, and self-serving their agenda. Even the ACLU has been revealed to be a corrupted organization, co-writing the op-ed for their new ambassador, and carefully planning its release. “In a 12 December 2018 email, ACLU director Jessica Weitz told her team: “The goal is to get this out this week to capitalize on the tremendous campaign for Aquaman.” They were still supporting Heard very recently.
No spin is going to take away Depp’s victory. Isn’t it time we look at the evidence before looking at the gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation of a person?
The impact of the Johnny Depp case matters because it will weigh heavily on other cases… the jury has found Amber Heard’s op-ed about being a victim of abuse to be false and made with actual malice. Could we revisit other cases? Everything is indeed linked: Ryan Adams has just liked Depp’s post-verdict Instagram post with a few loving emojis and, a few months ago, Phoebe Bridgers condemned Manson on Twitter after writing that he had joked about a rape room when she was visiting his house. Everything is linked.
Post-Depp-versus-Heard trial, Lawtubers and other YouTubers have a lot of time on their hands. They could soon rush to the next trial, the Manson trial. Some of them have been on the case for a long time like Colonel Kurtz, who has posted plenty of interesting and eye-opening interviews for about a year. I bet Manson himself has been watching the Depp trial very carefully. at the risk to disgruntle Monica, I hope it’s televised too, I hope we get the same chance to see the justice system in action, and I hope, whatever the outcome, that truth prevails once again. But you can take a break for a while: according to this very informed lawyer, it should not happen before 2024.
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