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Depp-Heard verdict’s implications on #metoo


Johnny Depp was largely successful in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard after a six-week trial.

What are the implications of this result on the #metoo movement which insisted that we should believe female accusers? The jury in the Depp-Heard case plainly rejected her evidence.

Brendan O’Neill’s take:

Depp-heads think that everything Heard says is a lie, which strikes me as a pretty partisan and naive way to approach a complex celebrity quarrel. The idea that Heard cannot open her mouth without committing an untruth is clearly unfair. And yet the idea that she must be believed, and that failure to believe her is a sign of moral corruption, is wrong too. The notion that women are either devils constantly weaving deceits or angels whose every utterance is the gospel truth is incredibly regressive. In this sense, the Heard / Depp trial has shone a light, albeit unwittingly, on some serious problems in what passes for feminism today.

The always insightful Douglas Murray:

But what has emerged turns out to expose more than just the messiness of the Depp-Heard marriage. It is also a reminder that while some cases of domestic violence are clear-cut, others most certainly are not. And blurring the line between the two is a serious societal mistake.
The MeToo movement had some cases that were very clear-cut. Others were not. And the insistence that a historic reckoning was occurring made the line between the two uncomfortably easy to breach. Cases of actual rape became caught up with cases of mere flirtation and, as in the case of Depp-Heard, seriously messy marital disharmony.
In the courtroom, Depp was shown to be deeply troubled. But Heard had repeatedly been shown to have lied. For instance, she had in the past promised to donate her $7m divorce settlement to charity. But the charities never got the money.
On the stand Heard was asked about this. Did she ever donate the money, Depp’s lawyer asked. “I pledged the entirety,” Heard responded. Depp’s lawyer pointed out that this is not the same thing. “I use pledge and donation synonymous with one another. They mean the same thing,” claimed Heard, directing herself as always at the jury.
Depp’s lawyer pushed: “As of today you have not donated – paid – $7m of your divorce settlement to charity, right?”
“I have not been able to fulfil those obligations yet,” Heard finally conceded.
It was one of a number of times on the stand that Heard showed herself to be capable of serious latitude with the truth. Heard claims Depp assaulted her, but it is now clear from the tapes that she assaulted him.

Heard will appeal, so this is not the end of the story.

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