Advocates on Twitter launched a new campaign over the weekend seeking “Justice for Johnny Depp” after an audio recording of his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who accused the actor of domestic violence when filing for divorce, was leaked to the press.
The audio—fast forward to the 26-minute mark and proceed with caution as it contains profanity—sheds light on reported abuse that Heard claims she endured during their 18-month marriage. The twist: Depp was the one dodging punches and verbal assaults, not her.
Regardless of the evidence, Heard’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, insists that her client is also a victim of abuse.
“The fact that a woman fights or talks back does not mean that she has not been the subject of repeated domestic violence and abuse,” she said in a statement. “It’s a myth to say, as Mr. Depp apparently is implying, that if Ms. Heard slapped him, then she can’t also be a victim. That is just not true.”
The couple has been duking it out in court since Heard filed her initial complaint back in May of 2016. Since then, the “he said, she said” back and forth drama between the two of them has gotten more attention on social media than a binge-worthy television series does on Netflix.
Still, it is unlikely that the recording of Heard, admitting to hitting Depp, mocking him, and calling him a baby, will help him in court. If anything, it’s only going to lead to more confusion.
Toxic people are masters of manipulation who can spot a legal loophole from miles away. They know how to stir a pot to keep the blood, sweat and tears of their victims from boiling over, and their flames will stay lit as long as the courts will allow.
In the words of a lawyer who was appointed to my trial when things got out of hand, “You may not get justice, but you will get resolution.” Unfortunately, the person who told me this failed to mention how long it might take to establish a case and how costly those bills could get.
Stories where abusers deliberately confuse the courts, making false (often outrageous) allegations while continuing to harass their victims on the sly, are all too familiar. But how do you fix a broken system when there aren’t enough resources to investigate integrity thoroughly? I can almost guarantee that the audio, in this case, will be determined inadmissible, even though it’s evident that Heard had an ulterior motive when recording it.
“Ultimately, the truth will come out in all of this and I will be standing on the right side of the roaring rapids,” Depp told British GQ in 2018. “I know the truth and if I had to walk away from all of it today, the job, the career, all of it, and go toodle-oo, then fine.”
Not to brag, but it only took four years for a judge to issue a fair resolution in my case, despite the trial ending in three. Maybe one day the courts will find a better way to uphold the law than by forcing victims to face their abusers continuously because it never really ends when you’re dealing with fraud, even when there’s evidence.