Vinay Menon: Nonetheless Johnny Depp’s defamation case ends, Amber Heard has already misplaced within the courtroom of public opinion

As an alleged sufferer of home abuse, Amber Heard has a brand new drawback.

She is shedding within the courtroom of public opinion. Her ex-husband, Johnny Depp, is suing her for $50 million. The defamation case, set to renew Might 16, has been ugly from the get-go as each events have graphically detailed allegations they declare to have suffered from the opposite.

He says she put a cigarette out on his cheek and hurled a bottle that severed a fingertip. She says he slapped her and carried out a “cavity search” whereas manically trying to find cocaine he believed she was hiding inside her physique.

I’ve by no means seen two celebrities in better want of Ellie.

We mere mortals are sometimes riddled with envy after we think about the life of the wealthy and well-known. Watching this case will treatment you of that. There was a second final week once I kissed my tuna sandwich and thanked God for being poor after listening to those two recount their poisonous relationship.

Positive, my spouse and I’ll squabble every now and then.

However no one is ransacking vaginas or shedding fingers.

Which brings us again to Amber Heard’s new drawback: Credibility.

Sure, there are folks in her nook. However based mostly on social media, particularly TikTok posts, Depp is clearly “successful.” Most observers now consider he’s the actual sufferer. Heard has been solid into the position of villain.

Or as Selection reported this week: “A weird and disturbing development has swept throughout TikTok over the past a number of days: Dozens of posts on the short-form video service — some amassing thousands and thousands of views — have used video or audio from Amber Heard’s wrenching testimony within the Johnny Depp trial, with the creators of the movies dramatically reenacting (sic) it, performing dances to it or in any other case mocking her.”

Ms. Heard testified final week. The web jury rejected it.

It’s unusual to research this case by hashtag. #JusticeForJohnny has routinely trended throughout platforms. In the meantime, as Selection famous, movies with the hashtag “amberturd” have racked up 1.2 billion views.

The consensus is obvious: Johnny good, Amber unhealthy.

She might need a decrease approval ranking than Vladimir Putin.

This might clarify why Heard fired and changed her PR staff on the eve of testifying, which itself will not be precisely good PR. Proper or fallacious, Ms. Heard senses public sentiment is stacked towards her and she or he’s about to serve a life sentence for false accusations. Within the #MeToo period, she might find yourself demolishing the “consider all ladies” edict as a result of she will not be plausible.

Once more, I wasn’t there. I’m not Workforce Depp or Workforce Heard. I do suppose he ought to keep on with Mountain Dew as a result of something stronger appears to spook the gremlins working riot in his cranium.

However substance abuse could be very totally different from home abuse.

And the proof offered up to now means that, on the very least, Ms. Heard was additionally an abuser. Media tales this week have characterised the TikTok development of ridiculing her testimony as “gross,” “unfair,” “creepy,” “demeaning” and “disgusting.” I might agree — if she’s telling the reality.

I hate tacking on that “if” caveat. I don’t wish to interact within the horrific act of revictimizing a sufferer. That may be gross and disgusting. However let’s fake I used to be on that jury in Virginia. Truthfully, that is what I believed after Heard’s testimony: that was one of many worst performing performances I’ve ever seen. The melodramatic thrives, the lunges at existential doom, the sobbing with no tears, the frozen facial contortions, the handy gaps in reminiscence, the group theatre gesticulation — all of it lacked credibility.

She was saying stuff that must be chilling. However she gave the impression of she was doing a desk learn and hadn’t correctly dedicated to the script. Now, perhaps her ordeal with Depp was so traumatic that it has turned an expert actress right into a horrible actress. I don’t know. All I’m saying is, if I had been a juror, I might be alarmed by her testimony not for the allegations contained therein, however as a result of it gave the impression of she was mendacity via her enamel.

That’s to not say it is a slam-dunk for Depp. The burden of proof in any defamation case is difficult. This one is very tough since Depp is suing over a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Submit through which she claimed to be a sufferer of home abuse however by no means talked about him by identify. Nonetheless, he claims that column put a storm cloud over his character that has translated into shedding film roles and, in the end, his profession. She should additionally really feel reputational hurt as a result of she is countersuing for $100 million.

That’s numerous potential damages from two claims which have already diminished each events. A correct autopsy should wait till all of the sordid mud settles. I’m simply glad this marriage didn’t finish in a murder-suicide.

However defamation instances can wreak havoc lengthy earlier than the decision arrives.

And within the courtroom of public opinion, Amber Heard has already misplaced.

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