Heard Through the Grapevine

The Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial has proven Depp as a victim of media claims and physical abuse.

On April 11, the internet was shocked by the Johnny Depp V. Amber Heard trial. TikTok was the main contributor for the widespread viewing of the case. Creators shared their opinions as the court proceeded, most notably commenting on both party’s legal teams. 

   Heard made a public statement on Twitter describing herself as a survivor of domestic abuse, which was one year after the couple’s divorce. Depp sued Heard for defamation, while also saying she was the abuser in their 14-year relationship.  

    How can the male survivors of abuse find clarity and  justice when the world seems to turn their back? How can individuals point the blame to men just because of their appearance or background? And how do these stereotypes affect future male generations?

   Actor, producer and musician, most commonly known for his portrayals of Willy Wonka and Jack Sparrow, Depp was one of the many male victims of domestic abuse which have become villainized and misrepresented by the media. 

   Society has made it near impossible for male victims to speak up about and be believed in an assault case. From a young age, men are told to toughen up. They are told to repress their feelings, at risk of appearing girly and weak. Fathers criticize for displaying emotions. According to Mission Harbor Behavioral Health, men often repress tears and emotions at the threat of appearing less masculine.

   Viewing the Depp and Heard case, Heard originally shared how Depp was an abuser in their relationship. As their trial went on, accusations against Heard for domestic abuse appeared. Heard reported that Depp was an alcoholic and druggie that became violent under the influence. Heard claimed that Depp’s assaults caused bruises, which she would have to cover up with makeup. 

   According to the National Library of Medicine, for every three domestic abuse cases, two are female and one male. 81% of the female victims reported the abuse, compared to the 51% of men. These staggering numbers are on par with the lack of support males have in regard to support from society. 

   The verdict of the Depp V. Heard ended on May 27, with both being liable of defamation, Heard publicly defamed Depp a total of three times while Depp once. Heard won $2 million for compensation, while Depp $15 million.