The Johnny Depp / Amber Heard Trial: A Turning Point?

INTRODUCTION
I have been watching the Johnny Depp defamation suit that he filed against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for more than a few weeks now. Before that, I was following the story.

This entry will NOT be about the memes, or jokes, or bashing, or any other type of presentation that hairless apes tend to enjoy. Rather, I want to take a very serious approach to my commentary. Because, in my experience, there is absolutely NOTHING funny about any of this.

More about that later.


BACKGROUND AND BIASES
In situations like this, I suspect that everyone has a bias. Everyone! I am no exception. Before I started watching, I make sure to be aware of my biases.

My bias comes from the fact that I was a vicitm of domestic violence, throughout the majority of the 1990s. My experience was nothing like what is going on right now.

911 operators would laugh at me when I’d call to report my wife beating me up. The one time that I called for help, I was arrested because the policy was to arrest men, by default, in all DV calls.

This is thanks to a horrible thing called The Duluth Model. This is something upon which the Violence Against Women Act [VAWA], courtesy of 1990s Joe Biden, was constructed. It has NO formal psychological background, and instead is a document which received contributions from 25-30 women who were either determined to be victims in court, OR they labeled themselves as victims.

The policy under VAWA was to arrest men by default, put them in jail with $50,000 bond, then reduce to a misdemeanor after three days and release. They called this a “cooling-off period.”

During this time, the police gave me horrible advice. When I asked them what I should do if she lunges at me with a knife, the replied, “Just put your hands in your pockets and yell for help. If you try to defend yourself and cause her any injury in the process, we will be forced to arrest you.”

Circa 1998: I was drumming in the band “Sun On Skin.” The lead singer, Karin Mansson [wearing animal print], drove out to pick me up and get me out of my apartment on December 19, 1998, after I was threatened with more violence. She literally saved my life that day, and I cannot ever thank her enough.

One cop even whispered in my ear, “You can thank OJ Simpson for this.”

Trying to get a restraining order was impossible for me. The clerk got indignant the one time I went in, saying, “What kind of a MAN gets a restraining order against the mother of his child?”

The answer: A man who is getting beaten by his wife, who also issues death threats. That’s who.

The police didn’t care. The legal professionals didn’t care. The District Attorney didn’t care. Commissioner Bobbi Tillmon, who presided over my divorce hearing, would reference me as “Mr. Wife Beater,” even though there was NO evidence that I ever laid a finger on her. That’s because I didn’t.

At thet time, there were 19 Domestic Violence [DV] shelters in Los Angeles. Only ONE of them would accept men, and it was a 3-hour drive from where I worked.

And the “Men’s Rights” groups, as few as there were in the late 90s, were of NO help to me, at all. One had a website, where they claimed to offer various benefits for a fee of $300. When I wrote and asked what I’d get for my $300, I was told, “Pay the $300 and find out.” Long story short, the guy thought I was a woman trying to get info on their group.

So, to make it clear, the “Men’s Rights” groups are nowhere near-and-dear to my heart. Not in the slightest. They might be good now, but I cannot say. What I can say was that they were utter shit back then.

But there is something about this trial that makes it fit most closely to my own experience.


MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Based on professional testimony, it seems that Amber Heard is dealing with things like Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My ex-wife was diagnosed with the same, but add Adult Child of an Alcoholic [ACA] and Incest Survivor to the mix.

When these issues go unchecked, as is often the case in America, it can result in devastation for everyone involved.


COURTROOM BEHAVIOR
Watching Amber Heard on the stand is upsetting to me. She stumbles and flails as she seemingly tries to make up a story on-the-spot

She fake cries. No tears are present. Even worse is when she brings a tissue up to her nose. It looks like she’s snorting. After that, instead of using the tissue, she drags her finger and hand across the bottom of her nose.

The fake crying is most obvious when she’s in the middle of a sob story and there is an Objection! declared.

The fake ugly cry faces aren’t helping matters, either. There really isn’t much more to say about this. The behavior speaks for itself.


STORIES DO NOT MATCH UP
Amber told a story of her sister [Whitney] standing at the top of the stairs, Johnny attempting to hit her sister, and then Amber putting herself between the two.

But when Whitney took the stand, she changed the story, so that Johnny was running UP THE STAIRS, completely destroying that manufactured story.

Their stories do not match up. Jesus does a great job here, with graphs that clearly illustrate the difference between Amber and Whitney’s stories.

HORRIFIC AUDIO EVIDENCE
There were a few audio pieces in particular that were highly triggering for me, as someone who survived DV.

Johnny is trying to leave, but she won’t let him leave.

This hits close to home, as it represents the first time I tried to do something healthy. We were in couples counseling in an attempt to deal with our situation. I took it seriously. But she did not. She would call to cancel the day of an appointment, citing that things are “going well.” Then, she’d call the therapist’s office at 2:00am to declare “a bit emergency,” and that we’d need to be seen right away.

One of the tools the therapist gave both of us was a Time Out. When someone feels unsafe, or things seem to get too heated, the person on the receiving end can take a time out.

A time out involves leaving the home for ONE HOUR, and then returning.

The problem, of course, is that people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder [BPD] have a STRONG sense of abandonment. She didn’t want to let me leave for the time out and blocked the door with her body.

Trying to be a victim, but she cannot hide her contempt.

This is precisely the same thing that Johnny Depp is going through. He’s trying to leave, and she won’t let him. He can’t even be in the bathroom with a closed door, because Ms. Heard will feel that overwhelming sense of abandonment.

My ex-wife would call employers and threaten suicide if they didn’t let me come home right away. As a result, it was nearly impossible for me to keep a job. Even going to the grocery store was a seemingly impossible task that would require a miracle.

But this clip is terrifying to me because Johnny is trying to leave, and his abuser won’t let him leave. He’s trying everything in his power, and even suggestes he will be back in 2 hours.

This brand of taunting mockery is button pushing.

Does Ms. Heard sound like a victim of anything in this clip? Of course not.

This brand of taunting mockery is button pushing. She’s laughing and talking in that way in an effort to attempt to get a rise out of him.

I can’t talk about this one too much, as it’s so upsetting.

She tells Johnny that people won’t believe his claim. Disgusting!

To a big degree, Ms. Heard is correct. At least, she would have been correct 30 years ago.

The reason why men are not believed to be victims of DV is mostly due to physical size and strength. However, they completely dismiss the fact that a man simply has NO APPROVED METHOD OF SELF-DEFENSE in dealing with women like this.

None.

Ms. Heard, as the PERPETRATOR, mocks the victim while telling him that nobody will believe him. This is what gives her full license to be as crazy and abusive as she wants.

30 years ago, she would see NO repercussions as a result of this.


PATTERNS
Patterns of behavior are important in the case. There was one story told by Ellen Barkin, about how Johnny threw a wine bottle. However, he threw it in a general direction, and not at anyone in particular.

It’s not a good thing, healthy thing, or correct thing to do. In fact, it’s not good at all. But neither this nor his slamming of the kitchen cabinet doors is proof of DV.

Coversely, Ms. Heard has as DV past with her previous wife.


CHARACTER WITNESSES
These are so very important, and they must be allowed to speak. Johnny has a number of ex-girlfriends and ex-wives. He was with Kate Moss for roughly 4 years, and everyone says that she had a positive experience with Johnny. She may even speak today. [EDIT: She spoke! See near the end.]

In my situation, my ex-wife asserts that I’m abusive. However, my girlfriend of 20 years, and dear friend for the past 3 years [we still live together] can say that I have never yelled at her or hit her, EVER.


MY HOPE FOR THIS
With audio evidence and proper legal counsel, my hope is that Johnny Depp gets his reputation restored. It feels like he’s heading that direction, which is promising.

He has no interest in actually gaining $50 million from Ms. Heard, not only because he knows she doesn’t have it, but also because his restored reputation would be far more valuable than that amount of money.

I also hope that Ms. Heard has to pay, in a legal sense, for what she has done to him. After that, I hope that she can get proper help with her mental health. However, I am not so hopeful. With my ex-wife, her attitude was that I was the one who was a problem, and she was just fine.

I also hope that Ms. Heard is forced to pay $3.5 million to the ACLU and $3.5 million to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. She pledged her divorce settlement to them. She claimed that she didn’t pay it because Johnny was suing her, but she had that money for 13 months before he brought this case, so she’s lying about her excuse.

Amber Heard is a liar, and I hope that she can get help for that, too.

If a person cannot recognize and acknowledge their own flaws, then they cannot improve upon them.

So chances are good that she’ll do this again and again. When it comes to Domestic Violence, women have been given carte blanche to do whatever they want, claim whatever they want, point a finger at whomever they want, and they typically get away with it.


ME TOO AND BELIEVE ALL WOMEN
The Me Too Movement has been raging for quite some time now. The biggest flaw in this movement is their slogans.

Listen and believe!

Believe all women!

Engaging in either of these things is a fool’s errand. In the name of EQUALITY, I am here to suggest that both men and women are equally capable when it comes to cheating, lying, stealing, or even killing.

Men are NOT the evil perpetrators, by default.

Women are NOT the helpless victims, by default.

It’s time to give women FULL EQUALITY, and that means accepting that they have equal ability.

The inequity, up until now, was that women were NOT equal and therefore could make claims, tell lies, and get away with all of it. Indeed, with regard to Domestic Violence in court, women were VERY unequal and had the upper hand the entire time.

Add this to the previous segment, but my other hope is that we can have equality in court when it comes to DV. As I said earlier, women are just as capable, AND they know that the law and society will be on their side.

The tide is turning.


BIASED NEWS OUTLETS
I’ve read stories published from various outlets, where they suggest that Amber Heard won’t get a fair trial because Johnny Depp is more famous. Some have even gone so far as to declare that the internet “memeing” Ms. Heard, “is violence, in and of itself.”

These are cases of new outlets exposing their own bias against men. They want to keep the narrative alive, that men are evil and violent beasts, and women are helpless little flowers who can do no wrong, and who can’t POSSIBLY defend themselves.

Essentially, they are asserting that Ms. Heard is innocent of any DV charges, merely because she’s a woman.

I’m hoping that this relic of a notion is seen through by society and the law.


IN THE END
As I type this, Kate Moss is taking the stand via video to talk about her relationship with Johnny Depp. From 1994 to 1998, they had a romantic relationship.

Feels like I am live-blogging right now.

She is saying that the story of Johnny throwing her down the stairs is not true. She says that Johnny went downstairs first, and she slipped and fell.

And just like that, Kate Moss’ declaration was that there was no DV in their relationship.

The bottom line for me is that people should not be hitting each other. The hard truth is that men hit women, women hit men, men hit men, and women hit women. NONE of it is acceptable or excusable.

I noted the slogans of the ME TOO movement earlier, and I noted that those slogans are very irresponsible and destructive. With that, I have a far better slogan that is more realistic, as well as inclusive of men.

LISTEN, TAKE SERIOUSLY, AND INVESTIGATE

Whenever a man OR woman reaches out for help because of abuse, those who are tasked with helping them MUST listen to them, regardless of sex. They don’t have to believe ANY of it, but they must take it seriously. That means taking a report. After that, it is essential to investigate and figure out who is who in the situation, instead of defaulting to men as perpetrators and women as victims.

I do hope that the ME TOO movement goes away, and that we can have more serious discussions about DV, the victims, and the acknolwedgement that the victim AND perpetrator can both be either male or female.

There is no excuse.


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Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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