Johnny Depp’s Trial Did Not Do His Case Justice

Kennedy Eller

Throughout April and May, Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for $100 million for defamation for her 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post. Heard alluded to being a survivor of domestic violence after her divorce with Depp in 2016, which resulted in Depp and his children receiving death threats and multiple brands breaking their partnerships with Depp. Depp claimed he had lost over $100 million worth of work due to Heard’s article. The trial went on for six weeks as multiple friends, family members, and employees testified on behalf of Depp and Heard. With multiple audio recordings and testimonials, the jury sided with Depp that Heard did defame him in her 2018 article. While the jury did side with Depp, they did not do his case justice with the laughable eight million awarded to Depp and the $2 million awarded to Heard.

The evidence was overwhelmingly siding with Depp, with recordings of Heard telling Depp that she “was hitting him not punching him” to the multiple accounts of emotional abuse from Heard’s employees. Before Heard, Depp was a famous and beloved actor, from his polite treatment of his fans to the care and kindness he showed towards his employees. There has been nothing but love for Depp until his divorce with Heard. Once Heard’s op-ed came out, it was over for him.

Depp has had his fair share of problems including but not limited to drug and alcohol dependence. Heard’s lawyers used his history of substance abuse in the trial as a justification for how Depp could behave violently and could be the abuser in the relationship. Depp openly admitted to his substance abuse on the stand but also said that he was never violent. Heard’s lawyers using his history of substance abuse was a low and disgusting hit. Depp is now sober and has worked hard to get to the point he is at, so bringing up that history is a low blow. The damage of using something like that will exist for a long time, beyond the duration of the trial.

Substance abuse is something that is a growing problem in the United States, and it is hard to recover from. The fact that Depp was able to not only recover but be so open, demonstrates his honesty and attests to his character. The jury should have seen the manipulation at play in this. The entire trial had an absurd amount of manipulation at play, not only from the lawyers but from Amber Heard herself. The internet described it as the performance of a lifetime and it truly was. It was manipulative and cruel from the legal threats to the verbal threats that Heard utualized. Their divorce could have been peaceful but that was not enough. It does not seem to ever be enough. The entire trial was very long and most likely traumatic as Depp had to sit in the same room as his abuser for five days a week for six weeks, as she went on about her version of the story. The eight million awarded to Depp was not enough to recover from the traumatic experience of this trial and process. Both teams fought hard, but the only thing that truly mattered in the trial was the truth.