New paperwork from the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial have been unsealed – and issues have solely bought uglier | Arwa Mahdawi


Hear that nervous click-click? It’s the sound of celebrities quietly eradicating their likes from the victorious Instagram assertion Johnny Depp posted after successful his libel case in opposition to his ex-wife, Amber Heard, earlier this yr. Roughly a gazillion phrases have been written in regards to the case, so I’m positive I don’t must recap it. In short, although, Depp sued Heard for a 2018 op-ed piece during which she mentioned she was a sufferer of home violence however didn’t explicitly title him because the wrongdoer. The televised trial was a sickeningly sordid spectacle – one lawyer described it because the “litigation equal of Squid Sport. Heard endured cruel mocking and walked away along with her status in tatters, whereas Hollywood largely rallied round Depp.

Now, nevertheless, plainly attitudes towards Depp is likely to be souring. Twitter detectives have observed that greater than a dozen celebrities seem to have “unliked” the actor’s Instagram publish over the previous two months. That listing consists of Bella Hadid, Halle Bailey, Amanda Knox(!) and a bunch of different folks I’ve by no means heard of however are apparently very well-known.

What may very well be behind this Nice Unliking? In all probability the truth that greater than 6,000 pages of courtroom paperwork have been lately unsealed, offering plenty of disagreeable new details about Depp. Funnily sufficient, Depp followers have been those liable for thrusting this data into the general public eye – they crowdfunded the charges required to pay money for the unsealed paperwork, which include allegations that legal professionals for Depp and Heard managed to maintain out of the trial itself. The thought was to dig up filth on Heard, however their efforts appear to have backfired: the paperwork are full of nasty nuggets of data about Depp and illuminate the extent to which his authorized group weaponised misogyny all through the trial.

One of many nastiest bits of data within the paperwork is likely to be the declare that Depp’s authorized group tried to submit “nude footage” of Heard into proof and tried to carry up her “transient stint as an unique dancer”. It’s not clear what nude footage they have been referring to, and these have been in the end not relied on within the trial. However, in 2014, Heard’s iCloud account was hacked and a whole lot of bare images of her have been launched on-line, inflicting her comprehensible misery. If Depp did attempt to have these images trotted out in a televised trial, it appears to be like so much like revenge porn – pure nastiness designed to humiliate Heard. It’s additionally a horrible reminder that if a girl doesn’t lead a superbly chaste life, the world will discover a strategy to forged her as a “slut” who’s liable for something that occurs to her.

It has been reported that It has additionally been reported that within the unsealed paperwork have been: textual content messages from Depp’s then assistant in regards to the time the actor allegedly “kicked” Heard on a flight; Depp’s authorized group’s cynical try to implicate Heard in the loss of life of a pal who died in a automotive accident; the truth that Heard willingly walked away from “tens of tens of millions of {dollars}” she was entitled to in her divorce proceedings with Depp; a press release from Depp saying Heard had by no means prompted him bodily or psychological harm; disturbing textual content messages between Depp and the musician Marilyn Manson, who has been accused of abuse by greater than a dozen ladies, all of which he denies; claims that images and audio tapes submitted by Depp had been digitally manipulated and edited.

Whereas none of this makes Depp look good, it is very important word that it’s not as if he regarded like a boy scout within the first place. It is a man who misplaced a libel case in opposition to the Solar in 2020 after the newspaper described him as a “spouse beater”. It is a man who joked with a pal about how they should homicide Heard. “Let’s drown her earlier than we burn her!!!” he wrote. “I’ll fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to verify she’s useless.” Depp has a well-documented historical past of poisonous behaviour and but, all through the trial, there was a really lengthy line of individuals able to dismiss his unhealthy behaviour whereas leaping on any excuse to color Heard in a adverse mild. Will the data within the courtroom paperwork considerably change folks’s minds about Depp and Heard? Past some celebrities distancing themselves from Depp, I doubt it. If the trial confirmed us something, it’s that misogyny is extra alluring to many individuals than info.

Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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