Earlier this week, thousands of pages were previously sealed Court documents from Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against Amber Heard, and they were pretty frightening. They reveal Depp’s legal team’s original plan to use nude photos of Heard against them; Confirmation that photos and audio submitted by Depp have been tampered with; Notes from the couple’s therapist confirming Heard was a victim of “intimate partner violence.”;” Texts from Depp and his assistant that almost corroborated Heard’s claim that he kicked and punched her on a private plane in front of his co-workers; Depp’s attempts to help Marilyn Manson, another suspect, hide from police; and more.
All in all, while Depp’s supporters reportedly crowdfunded the cost of unsealing the documents, the revelations on the pages hardly paint a flattering portrait of the man who it is become a national hero for symbolically defeating lying, scheming women everywhere. It’s not yet clear if the unsealed documents will have a significant cultural impact; bBut at least they seem to have persuaded some of Depp’s former A-list supporters to reconsider their position, or at least to hide their public support.
A viral Twitter on Thursday thread first shared a growing list of celebrities who originally “liked” and apparently disliked Depp’s celebratory Instagram post, shared after he won his defamation lawsuit in May. Jezebel has since confirmed that those celebrities’ Instagram accounts no longer appear to “like” the post as of Friday afternoon. These include: supermodel Bella Hadid, game of Thrones“Sophie Turner, Outer Banks Madelyn Cline, makeup influencer NikkieTutorials, Orlando Bloom, Robert Downey, Jr., Zoey Deutch, Joey King, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Coolidge, Jordan Fisher, McKenna Grace, Riley Keogh, and Bruce Campbell.
Amanda Knox, an activist known for her wrongful conviction in Italy for the 2007 murder of her roommate, also appeared to have initially “liked” the post in May; her account hasn’t “liked” the post since Friday. Notably, even CUNY, which previously boasted about how one of its graduates had worked on Depp’s team, he apologized for the email earlier this week.
According to a Buzzfeed report in May, other high-profile Celebrities who “liked” the post and don’t seem to have liked it belong to Vanessa’people will die [shrug]” Hudgens, alleged serial killer Ryan Adamsdirector Taika Waititi, Jennifer Aniston, Gemma Chan, Henry Golding, Zoe Saldana, Halle Bailey, Naomi Campbell, Dominic Fike, Heard’s co-star Jason Momoa and more. And before that, stars like Courtney Love and Kate Moss shared very publicly supportive stories or messages about how Depp hadn’t or hadn’t abused them been actively nice to them– and proves it he couldn’t have hurt Heard because e.gEveryone knows domestic Offenders have too abused every woman they have ever met. Famous men like Depp’s pal Paul Betty— who texted Depp about “burning amber” and “fucking her corpse” — and Fantastic Beasts director David Yates also called Depp a stand-up guy and said they’ve never seen him hit a woman, so it certainly doesn’t have to have happened.
Depp sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 statement she wrote identifying herself as a victim of domestic violence, two years after publicly accusing Depp of abuse. Even before the above court documents were unsealed, Heard presented extensive evidence of the abuse Depp inflicted on her throughout their relationship, from damning audio and text to become testimonies of the toll the alleged violence had taken on her. At least a jury reigns that Heard defamed her ex-husband and has to pay him $15 million. An anonymous male juror later continued Good morning America and chastised Heard for her “Crocodile Tears,” and said Heard and Depp were “both abusive to each other.”
When the verdict was announced, survivors across the country spoke out toll of the week-long, nationally televised trial that aggressively perpetuated age-old victim-blame myths and sexist tropes — including that if a woman responds or responds to abuse from her partner, it is her no longer a victim, but a perpetrator herself. The unsealed documents offer further examples of how Depp and his team relied on gross misogyny to attack Heard — but that in itself isn’t a new revelation. There is little excuse for anyone – including the high-profile celebrities who publicly market themselves as feminists and benefit from that marketing – for only now realizing what was wrong with the process. From a more cynical point of view, they may not even have changed their minds, but they sense the tide is turning and so on Their names shouldn’t be attached to his posts?
Learning and growth are important. But how many more women need to be publicly re-traumatized and relentlessly ridiculed by millions before enough is enough?