Depp sued Heard for writing an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2019 in which she described herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." In 2018, Depp lost a libel case vs. The Sun in England after an article of theirs called him a "wife beater." The defamation trial took place last year in Virginia.
Depp never denied he abused Heard, just not physically. She claimed he hit and kicked her several times and created a threatening environment whenever they were together. Depp and Heard met on the set of The Rum Diary in 2010 while Depp was still married to Vanessa Paradis. The celebrity couple were married in 2015 and divorced in 2016.
Heard's defense team dove into Depp's famous drug and alcohol use. He blamed his mother, who he recalled:
"At the age of four or five years old mom told me to get her 'nervous pills' out of her purse that was hanging on the door. So I'd go get the nerve pills... She seemed to calm down after she took those nerve pills. So when I was 11 years old I wanted to calm down. I'd bring my mom her nerve pill and I would walk away and take one myself to escape the chaotic nature of what we were living through."
He said she was "quite violent" and "emotionally abusive."
Asked if there was any substance he was addicted to, Depp was quick to say yes and pointed to the popular painkiller OxyContin:
"I was addicted to Oxycodone. Two of those woiuld knock me out. You go on what's called the nod and then it takes you away into sleep. It's just very deep sleep."
Then there's the airplane incident when Depp allegedly kicked Heard. "He reeked of weed and alcohol and his breath smelled so bad," she said. Depp acknowledged he'd taken a couple of Oxys, plus he was drinking and pissed off with Heard for performing a sex scene with James Franco in The Adderall Diaries. 'He called me a slut in front of people," Heard said before feeling his boot pierce her back. "He continued to drink and then eventually started howling like an animal and passed out in the bathroom."
Heard's attorney followed with this line of questioning:
"Paul Bettany's a good friend that you've done drugs with, right?"
"That's a strange question. Paul Bettany is a good friend, yes."
"The two of you shared an enjoyment of of controlled drugs and alcohol at that time, yes or no?"
"You've done drugs wtih him "
"Yes, I have."
The series uses the social media echo chamber (mostly TikTok) to show where support lied. Most people primarily backed Depp and even launched the ludicous Justice for Johnny campaign. While Depp smiled and waved to the celeb seekers who crowded the courtroom, Heard was treated like a pariah. Both did their best acting jobs on the stand, but the jury sided with Depp to the crowd's delight. I have to assume women who align with Depp like his movies and think he's handsome and charismatic. They could care less if Depp's an abuser.
After being awarded $15 million in damages, Depp settled for $1 million and the knowledge that he and his court team had duped the jury and the world.
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