June 3, 2022

The Verdict in the Johnny Depp Trial is not the Win You Might Think it is. But it’s a Start.

By Marc Esadrian

It has been a few days now since the verdict was delivered on the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard defamation trial, and I’ve been spending that time gathering my thoughts on it. While I’m happy he received a favorable verdict on all counts, there’s still a lot to this spectacle that troubles me. The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard conflict has been humming along—under the radar for most—over several years. Known at first largely to movie insiders and fans, the conflict grew in intensity and scope, culminating in two tense trials: one in the United Kingdom and the recently stratospheric trial in the United States that captured the attention of wider culture.

What was it about this trial that earned so much visibility? There are two main factors, in my view: the first being that two high-profile movie celebrities were engaged in a defamation struggle following their divorce, in which Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife for $50 million after she apparently claimed in a December 2018 op-ed piece of The Washington Post that she was a victim of domestic abuse, with a strong insinuation it was at his hands. Such news is fodder enough for tabloid magazines, entertainment news, and countless insider gossip, but it is the second ingredient that was most relevant: that Amber Heard, the defendant in this case, engaged in a cunning and libelous smear campaign to defame her ex-husband, invoking the spirit of “#MeToo” hysteria by claiming she was physically and sexually abused by him. The Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial was therefore about much more than actors quarreling over domestic abuse or defamation. It became a high profile representation of a sickness in our society, one in which we, as a matter of political correctness, tend to “believe all women” and almost always see men as malevolent perpetrators.

“Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” —Amber Heard

This trial was realized as a moment in which our moral reasoning as a society stood up to stress test the perennial double standards we afford manipulative women who hide behind victim politics and the credence it affords them, especially in Hollywood. As the evidence—largely in the form of audio recordings—became known to the public, it became evident to those with reasonable objectivity that she was, in fact, the abuser, and that Johnny Depp, while troubled by substance abuse, was the real victim all along. The ultimate question was whether the public (not just Hollywoke) could bring itself to recognize this, and further, if a court of law with a seven-person jury could do the same. It was a time of reckoning in which our society was tested for its political blindsidedness and ceaseless tolerance toward the social justice agenda of destroying men of fame and fortune under the pretense of speaking truth to power, and sneering gleefully while doing it. In other words, what was on trial was the very notion of due process, and if our society was capable of following it instead of getting caught up in the sideshows of #MeToo hysteria.

For six weeks, the two actors with their legal teams engaged in a contentious defamation trial, and it came to an end two days ago after the jury unanimously ruled in favor of Johnny Depp. It was a moment that struck a heavy blow to the camp of malignant man hating cancel culture we all know—a spirit that, up until now, seemed to enjoy the public’s silent permissiveness. But with this victory for Mr. Depp, there is a sense that the tide is finally turning on the woke religion that demands we see every woman as a victim and every man as villain, regardless of due process. We have at long last seen legal recognition of a reality many of us know all too well: that women—even beautiful, intelligent, talented, and credentialed ones—do lie, and sometimes their lies are of disturbing proportions, with no motive other than to get “revenge” upon men by taking them down in the court of public opinion.

Johnny Depp cleared his name, but only partially, for there are those in society who will never admit a woman can do wrong, and it is the nature of human beings that once a man is smeared with an allegation of such severity, public opinion of him will never go back to its original favorable proportions. There will always be someone who doubts him, even if he is vindicated in a court of law, and no matter how the record is officially cleared, there will always be some lingering nimbus of darkness around the man. And so, predictably enough, there are armies of fanatical loyalists and activists who still stand behind Ms. Heard, despite all the evidence that contradicts her claims, including the testimonies of her own witnesses.

There are further aspects to this spectacle that are deeply troubling. Take, for instance, the insidious irony that Ms. Heard has been an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Ambassador of Women’s Rights all along, and further, that the ACLU itself drafted her defamatory article in the first place. “The ACLU was a co-conspirator with Ms. Heard,” Depp’s attorney, Ben Chew, said. The question over whether the ACLU or the Washington Post will receive any legal repercussion for its aiding and abetting of Ms. Heard’s lies remains to be seen, but it’s clear, once and for all, that the religion of “believe all women” has reached a point of evil and comical absurdity, considering these facts.

Johnny, in his official reaction statement over the verdict, said, “I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.” This is a sentiment I think we all share as well, and while Johnny’s victory has set a precedent and helped move the needle along in that direction, there is plenty of opposing force on the other side still in our culture, fighting to keep the needle exactly where it has been: for the blind advocacy of women, no matter the countervailing evidence that sometimes shows them to be liars and abusers.

“It’s insane to hear heinous accusations of violence—sexual violence—that she’s attributed to me.” —Johnny Depp

Ms. Heard’s lawyers tried to invoke the auspices of such blind advocacy by asserting that if Johnny ever raised a hand to her, the entirety of his argument was null and void. “One time, ladies and gentlemen—if he abused her one time, Amber wins,” Ms. Heard’s lawyer, Benjamin Rottenborn, told the jury during closing arguments. Having listened to the audio of Ms. Heard taunting, goading, and demeaning Mr. Depp incessantly, if not gloating over the fact no one would ever side with him or that her striking him was no big deal, I am reminded of the difficulties men face all over the world in dealing with women who know full well the constellation of advantages they have in modern culture, and how to use those advantages to cleverly advance themselves in the event a man takes the bait and, in a moment of weakness, gives them exactly what they so desire. “Abuse!” will be the common cry, but it is not so cut-and-dried in reality. I found myself in exactly this position many years ago, in fact, with an ex-dominatrix girlfriend who attempted goading me into hitting her during one of our many nasty arguments that heralded the near end of our relationship. “Go on, hit me. I know you want to,” she taunted me, her lovely angular face, framed in long black hair, bobbing from side to side. I realized, there and then, that it wasn’t merely a taunt: it was a threat. I can only imagine what her next action would have been had I given her exactly what she was openly encouraging me to do. Would it have been an angry call to the police? Maybe she would get in touch with a domestic abuse hotline? Or maybe she’d contact her family or neighbors to spin an invented history of violence and abuse on my part? Who knows. After all, the options are endless for a woman after such an event unfolds. Looking back upon my ex’s Cluster B-like personality, anything was possible. I sometimes rewind back to that day and consider who and what I was dealing with, and why I spent a few years of my life with such a person. Thankfully, I didn’t take the bait and I didn’t remain with her. How many men do, though? Why do we never seem to talk about the complexities of this grey area and the psychological cudgel women hold over their victims within it?

Mr. Depp obviously sensed a similar malevolence during his relationship with Ms. Heard, and despite her outrageous behavior, he refrained from any form of serious physical altercation, not only because it’s wise to do, but because he’s a decent person. His patience and resolve is immense and lesser men would likely have snapped and retaliated in some way, considering her noxious aggression. In retrospect, the video of him taking his frustrations out on kitchen cabinets is nothing compared to how others might be inspired to vent their frustrations. My point is that simply because a man hit a woman, that in and of itself is not an indicator of who in the relationship holds the greater gravity of malice. While I realize it’s virtual sacrilege to say this today, it is nonetheless a truth of the heart and mind: the reality deep down in the weeds between two people can be extremely complicated and startlingly counter-intuitive to the simplistic truisms—moral or legal—we find palatable on the surface. Contrary to what we may want to simplistically believe, the true abuser can still be the smaller, physically weaker, and soft-spoken woman in the relationship, even if she bears a (real) bruise around her eye for all to behold. But few tend to see moves like that on the three-dimensional chessboard, much less discuss the inscrutable riddles of female abusers who take advantage of that very incredulity and lack of devious imagination.

Rottenborn, lamenting Ms. Heard’s struggle, continued: “If you didn’t take pictures, it didn’t happen. If you did take pictures, they’re fake. If you didn’t tell your friends, you’re lying, and if you did tell your friends, they’re part of the hoax. If you didn’t seek medical treatment, you weren’t injured. If you did seek medical treatment, you’re crazy.” This part of his litany evinces that familiar mood in culture today regarding the exploration of truth where it concerns violence against women. Often the insinuation emerges that some variation of a good ole boy conspiracy that has somehow survived more than the last half century of feminist educational, legal, and political indoctrination is at play, wielding callous disregard for female victims of abuse or rape. To be clear, we at Humbled Females do not discount the stories of real victims. Many women are indeed victimized today, and they do regularly experience cautious bias against their claims of abuse. Real abuse, rape, and assault is a serious matter. Being sensitive to when that occurs is of great importance, but we must also recognize the tremendous strides we have made in identifying victims of abuse and advocating for them in modernity. To claim we live in a world where women are never believed and that Ms. Heard, especially, is suffering this effect is not only absurd, but dangerous to the interests of real victims of abuse. Likening her obvious malevolence to real abuse victims does not lead to their compassionate support: it makes a flagrant mockery of their reality and the need to protect the innocent.

Regardless, some mainstream publications go on to assert the victim status of Ms. Heard, with no consideration for real victims of abuse—including Mr. Depp himself. They are the usual suspects: the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Vox, Salon, Vogue, Washington Post, etc. Even now, a flurry of articles decry the supposed injustice of Johnny Depp (partially) regaining his reputation back after years of methodical character assassination by Ms. Heard. One of the more bonkers articles comes from the “The Root,” declaring the verdict “sent a message to black women everywhere.” Namely, that if a rich white blonde can’t find justice, average black women have no chance. We are seeing, in real time, how quickly and how far the media circus will run with a story like this, drawing outlandish conclusions—any conclusion at all, in fact—rather than accepting the truth: that Amber Heard’s credibility is severely lacking.

“I’ve lost everything. No matter the outcome of this trial, I’ve already lost. I lost when these allegations were made cause they will stay with me forever. My life is ruined forever.” —Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp’s success has much to do with his excellent legal team and the testimony of numerous witnesses, but his most critical ally of all is, simply, objective reality. That is the truth the establishment media seems incapable of facing. Unsurprisingly, Ms. Heard herself has continued on with her assertion that she has been wronged—that she was “heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, influence, and sway of [her] ex-husband.” She then goes on to lament what the verdict means for other women—that it’s a “setback.” Her lies never seem to end. Even in face of the obvious and having been judged a liar in a court of law with competent lawyers on both sides hashing it out, she remains committed to her libelous fictions and many in the media remain rallied around her.

The legal victory handed to team Depp is by no means a small accomplishment in the era of social justice, but as high profile as it is, it’s merely one case. And there are more sobering facts to consider: if a man of celebrity and wealth like Johnny Depp took this long and expended this much effort to clear his name, what chance do average men experiencing similar abuse have? How many men lose their jobs as a result of bogus accusations from women like Amber Heard in their lives? How many lose their money, their homes, their children, and in some cases, their very lives? That is a subject no one in the establishment media feels the need to discuss, as it doesn’t align with the victim narrative of our feminist social justice culture. Under that rubric, men—particularly white men—can only be perpetrators, never the victims. And as we have seen across the Internet, the numbers of those who think this way are legion. They are the university-indoctrinated intelligentsia planted inside the wheelhouses of legacy media, running newspapers and writing activist opinion pieces to uphold a skewed reality. Their works are barely opinion pieces at all, in fact. They are, instead, political hit pieces with the sole intent of manipulating the public perception of reality to align with their ideology. Some examples:


“The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard verdict: A victory for the war on free speech.” —Salon

“The Johnny Depp–Amber Heard Verdict Is Chilling.” —The New Yorker

“Amber Heard-Johnny Depp trial memes could have ‘a chilling effect’ on victims of domestic abuse, expert says.” —NBC News

“Johnny Depp’s legal victory and the death of Roe v. Wade are part of the same toxic cultural movement.” —Vox

“The Amber Heard-Johnny Depp trial was an orgy of misogyny.” —The Guardian

“‘Men Always Win’: Survivors ‘Sickened’ by the Amber Heard Verdict.”—The Rolling Stone


Let’s consider exactly what event we’ve witnessed in our culture of late, because this is important. When Johnny Depp was defamed indirectly by his ex-wife Amber Heard, the media immediately disowned and condemned him. He became an instant pariah and a monster in the eyes of the public, thanks to zealous misandrist ideologues all too happy to contribute in vilifying him and destroying his reputation. None of the major studios in the Hollywood scene would hire him for fear of reputational damage. When Johnny succeeded in a court of law in proving Amber was in fact the malicious actor in the relationship, an outpouring of support from the establishment media for her—the very same media that gleefully threw Johnny under the bus based on hearsay—ensued. She has been rallied around and gushed over, and Johnny is painted now as an even greater monster. In other words, objectivity, due process, and truth doesn’t matter to this fanatical religion of feminist social justice. What matters to them is forwarding their agenda, at any cost, to a select segment of the population they hate: men. In this, they are an inverted mirror of the very sexist conspiracies they claim they are fighting against. They have become what they claim to fight.

And so to Mr. Rottenborn, I submit this rebuttal. If you don’t have evidence of a woman being abusive, it didn’t happen; it you have audio of her admitting that she hits you, it’s irrelevant. If you have no one to back up your claim, you’re lying; if you have a veritable army of witnesses, they’re part of the hoax. If you’re a man, you’re guilty by default; if you’re exonerated of what you’re accused of in a court of law, it’s a conspiracy. If you’re a man accused of something, the media destroys you; if you’re a woman found guilty of abusing someone in a court of law, the media defends you.

So how do we fight against this insanity? By realizing the cult of social justice is truly lost. We must be proactive in speaking up and defending men against sacred victims like Amber Heard. Instead of believing all women, let’s believe due process. Instead of embracing feminism, let’s employ rationalism. Instead of fashionable lies, let’s work toward embracing the inconvenient truths. And lastly, do stop patronizing these large news corporations. We have been afforded a clear view of the evil at play in the media. Vote with your wallet or purse and help cancel the popular machinery of cancel culture itself. The health of our society depends upon it, and there is no way I can stress this enough. Our legal system certainly isn’t perfect, but what other choice have we? The woke mob and intelligentsia certainly can’t be trusted to safeguard the truth about men and women. In truth, they never could be. I hope that is crystal clear by now to the larger public.

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.