Earlier this week, thousands of pre-sealed pages court documents from Johnny Depp’s lawsuit vs. Amber Heard were released to the public, and they were pretty gruesome. They reveal Depp’s legal team’s original plan to use Heard’s nude photos against her; confirmation that the photos and audio sent by Depp had been doctored; notes from the couple’s therapist confirming that Heard was a victim of “intimate partner violence”; texts from Depp and his assistant all but confirming Heard’s accusation that he kicked and punched her in front of her staff on a private jet; Depp’s attempts to help Marilyn Manson, another alleged abuser, hide from the police; and more
All told, despite how Depp’s supporters had crowdfunded the costs of declassifying the documents, the revelations in the pages hardly paint a flattering portrait of the man who is become a national hero to symbolically defeat lying and scheming women everywhere. It is not yet clear whether the unsealed documents will have a significant cultural impact; but at the very least, they seem to have persuaded some of Depp’s previous A-list supporters to rethink their stance, or at least hide their public displays of support.
Thursday, a viral Twitter wire first shared a growing list of celebrities who had initially “liked” and apparently disliked Depp’s celebratory Instagram post, shared after winning his defamation lawsuit in May. Jezebel has since confirmed that the Instagram accounts of these celebrities no longer appear to be liking the post as of Friday afternoon. They include: supermodel Bella Hadid, game of thrones“Sophie Turner, makeup influencer NikkieTutorials, Orlando Bloom, Robert Downey, Jr., Zoey Deutch, Joey King, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Coolidge, Jordan Fisher, McKenna Grace, Riley Keogh and Bruce Campbell.
Amanda Knox, an activist known for her wrongful conviction in Italy for the murder of her roommate in 2007, also appeared to initially “like” the post in May; his account no longer “likes” the post as of Friday. Notably, even CUNY, which previously bragged about how one of its students had worked on Depp’s team, he apologized for this week’s email.
According to a May Buzzfeed report, other high-profile celebrities who “liked” the post and she doesn’t seem to have liked it, includes Vanessa”people will die [shrug]”Hudgens, alleged serial abuser Ryan Adams, director Taika Waititi, Jennifer Aniston, Gemma Chan, Henry Golding, Zoe Saldana, Halle Bailey, Naomi Campbell, Dominic Fike, Heard co-star Jason Momoa and more. And before that, stars like Courtney Love and Kate Moss publicly shared stories or messages of support about how Depp hadn’t abused or harmed them. he has been actively kind to them—Thus proving that he could not have hurt Heard, because everyone knows that domestic abusers have also abused every woman they have come across. Famous men like Depp’s friend Paul Bettany—who texted with Depp about “burning Amber” and “fucking her corpse”—and Fantastic beasts director David Yates They’ve also called Depp a tomboy and said they’ve never seen him hit a woman, so surely that can’t have happened.
Depp sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in which she identified herself as a victim of domestic violence, two years after publicly accusing Depp of abuse. Even before the aforementioned court documents were unsealed, Heard presented ample evidence of the abuse she says Depp inflicted on her throughout their relationship, from damning audio and texts to testimony about the toll she had had the alleged violence. she Still, a jury governed that Heard had defamed her ex-husband and had to pay him $15 million. An anonymous jury later continued Good morning America and punished Heard for her “crocodile tears”, and said Heard and Depp were “both abusive of each other.”
When the verdict came out, survivors across the country talked about it toll of the weeks-long nationally televised trial aggressively perpetuated age-old victim-blaming myths and sexist tropes, including that if a woman reacts or responds to her partner’s abuse, she is he is no longer a victim but an aggressor Herself. The unsealed documents offer more examples of how much Depp and his team relied on raw misogyny to attack Heard, but that, in itself, isn’t a new revelation. There’s little excuse for anyone, including high-profile celebrities who publicly market themselves as feminists and profit from that marketing, to only now realize all the hype about the trial. From a more cynical point of view, maybe they haven’t even changed their minds, but feel the tide is turning and their names shouldn’t be attached to their post?
Learning and growth are important. But how many women must be publicly retraumatized and millions relentlessly mocked before finally enough is enough?