The jury in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has begun deliberations. ...The consensus seems to be that Depp is losing the legal case, but winning in public opinion.
At issue is a 2018 op-ed Heard penned in the Washington Post where she identified herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse," which Depp said falsely painted him as an abuser and cost him work in Hollywood. Heard countersued Depp, claiming his attorney's statements that her abuse allegations were a "hoax" defamed her and her once blossoming career to suffer.
Shortly before beginning deliberations, jurors heard closing arguments from both Heard and Depp's attorneys.
Heard's attorney, Ben Rottenborn, told jurors that if Depp failed to prove he never abused Heard, she wins the case.
"Mr. Depp simply cannot prove to you that he never once abused Amber," Rottenborn said. "A ruling against Amber here sends the message that no matter what you do as an abuse victim, you always have to do more. No matter what you document, you always have to document more. No matter who you tell, you always have to tell more people. No matter how honest you are about your own imperfections and your own shortcomings in a relationship, you need to be perfect in order for people to believe you. Don't send that message."
Earlier on Friday, Depp's attorneys argued that Heard was the abuser, not Depp.
Heard is right, that Depp cannot prove that he never abused her. Abuse has become a meaningless and broad term.
Heard obviously got legal advice that she can make whatever abuse allegations she want, and they will be to her advantage in divorce court. It is a common story that gets played every day in divorce courts around the country. If the husband fights it, he ends up worse off.
Depp decided to fight it, even though the fight would expose his addictions and other faults.
Nearly everyone says Heard is an opportunistic liar.
Heard hired the ACLU to write that op-ed, and lied about having paid them. I would think that she could refuse to pay the ACLU, on the grounds that their lawyers should have some responsibility for the op-ed getting her into so much legal trouble. But no, sabotaging Depp's career seems to be her intention.
Depp should have sued the Wash. Post and the ACLU also, as they are also culpable. So is everyone else who says to believe all women, and who perpetuate myths about supposedly abused women.
I am guessing that the jury will return a small verdict in favor of Depp. Heard will say she won, because Depp did not get the $50M he was requesting. But Depp's real goal appears to be to restore his reputation.