Amber Heard has yet to take the stand. But on social media, Johnny Depp has already won.

The defamation case of once married stars Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has turned into a public show, with hashtags, crowd-sleuthing, and billions of TikTok changes.

Altercations, text messages, and images of illicit drugs — some of the most sensitive parts of Depp and Heard’s lives – are being used to develop narratives about their stormy relationship. Domestic violence experts say this is a complicated case, but despite the fact that the trial is just halfway done, the public appears to have already determined who is honest and who is blameworthy.
The hashtag #johnnydeppisinnocent has 1.4 billion views on TikTok. A comparable hashtag for Heard has only approximately 600,000 followers. Amber Heard searches on the platform also yield the hashtags #amberheardcancelled, #amberheardsucks, and #amberheardistrash. Depp has already spoken up. Heard has yet to appear in court.

Ruth Glenn, head of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence said that there is a lot of drama to it. This entire concept that before we see the other side, individuals have already made up their minds because of who he is. According to him it’s probably the biggest prejudice he has ever seen.

The trial is related to an op-ed Heard penned for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she asserted she was a “public figure representing domestic abuse,” which Depp claimed affected his reputation and profession. Heard claims Depp abused her physically, emotionally, and sexually during their marriage. Depp disputes Heard’s claims, claiming that Heard was the aggressor.

A London court found “overwhelming proof” that Depp attacked Heard throughout their marriage in 2020.Domestic violence experts believe the evidence shows both individuals acted aggressively, albeit the mechanics of that violence are unclear. They claim that a mix of Depp’s celebrity, a lack of domestic violence specialists at the trial, and the fact that Heard has yet to testify may be swaying public opinion in Depp’s favor, as well as depriving the public a chance to better comprehend the complexities of abuse.As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, intimate partner violence  which can be physical, sexual, emotional, or monetary  – is a public health issue that affects millions of individuals in the United States each year. One in every four women and almost one in every ten males has suffered some type of intimate relationship abuse.

Kellie Lynch, an associate professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio who studies intimate partner violence, echoed this sentiment that “I believe it’s premature to say, ‘he was the genuine victim here,’ and’she was the true culprit,’ since we haven’t heard from her. Both might have been victims and perpetrators of each other’s crimes. I don’t want to dismiss the possibility that guys might experience domestic abuse, however I believe what we’re witnessing is a hasty judgment.”Why are so many people cheering for Johnny Depp?According to psychologists, many individuals are unable to think that somebody they respect may be dangerous. For many years, Depp has had a significant audience, and his followers’ consistent support may have less to do with the facts of the case and more to do with their interest in Depp as a guy worthy of admiration. “He’s a more famous person. He exudes charm… I believe there is an innate want to like and believe him “Lynch said.
Lynch also said that Heard may be getting into a agreeability trap. According to research, women who push back, set boundaries, and act authoritatively are perceived as “unlikeable.”

Lynch claimed that Depp’s trial uncovers hypocrisy surrounding the unjust necessity that victims of sexual or domestic violence “be flawless.” Victims in these circumstances are usually held to a high standard, and they must be virtuous in order to be trustworthy. These victims are usually unable to deal with issues such as addiction. However, it appears that Depp’s fight with substance misuse is eliciting sympathy in this situation.

“We’re not seeing him interrogated in the same way that the perfect victim gets. To be clear, we shouldn’t use that against him, but we don’t see that with female victims “Lynch stated.

Where are the domestic violence specialists in the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard case?
Glenn points out that the jury has yet to hear from a domestic violence specialist, which may be fostering misconceptions about the relationship. She added that expert could rapidly present a domestic violence 101 from the stand so that everybody in the courtroom understood those issues. Mental difficulties may contribute as risk factors, however when it comes to abuse, one turn to professionals in that abuse.
Laurel Anderson, Depp and Heard’s marriage counselor, for example, stated that she witnessed “mutual abuse” in the relationship. Glenn stated that the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence objects to the word.
Glenn defined abuse as a power imbalance. When there is domestic violence in a relationship, one individual tends to be the major aggressor since they have greater authority, which they may have because of their cultural standing or access to income.
There are other types of violence that may happen inside a relationship that aren’t about power or coercive control, according to researchers, but the lack of domestic violence specialists at the trial denies the public a chance to better appreciate critical distinctions.
Lynch believes this instance may be an illustration of “bi-directional violence.” According to researchers that utilize this phrase, unlike domestic abuse, this type of violence does not develop from acquiring authority or control over the other individual, but rather from the escalation of specific confrontations.

How to Relate to the Heard-Depp Trial?
Lynch stated that, particularly in civil cases, everyone’s life is investigated. It’s critical to understand that attorneys are intentionally crafting narratives that favor their clients. She added that she would simply advise folks to pay attention to the entire case and comprehend that everyone’s behavior is going to be scrutinized. You could cast anyone in a negative light if someone took apart your life and cherry-picked your behavior, messages, and emails. It’s for this reason why they do it.Glenn believes that while viewing a high-profile superstar trial, viewers should challenge themselves to remove the celebrity lens. These are two individuals, and one of them claims the other has committed defamation, yet they both claim abuse occurred in the relationship. Glenn added, “it’s a chance for us to speak about domestic violence and what it means. However we can’t do that until we hear what Amber Heard has to say.”

What do you think about the trial ?

Source – USA Today

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