As Johnny Depp’s trial grows increasingly heartbreaking, footage of Amber Heard in an elevator with James Franco has revealed an uncomfortable truth.
For five weeks, the world watched Johnny Depp and Amber Heard paint a poignant picture of their four-year entanglement.
Inside the Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia – in the $50 million libel lawsuit Pirates of the Caribbean star thrown at his ex-wife in response to a 2018 Washington Post editorial in which she did not name him but identified herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence” – the intimate details of the two actors’ testimonies grew increasingly heavy, gruesome and violent.
But it’s the coverage and reaction to the lawsuit, particularly since the 36-year-old took the helm on May 4, that has become as, if not more, troubling than Heard and Depp’s relationship itself.
the Aquaman The star has been accused of lying, become the butt of jokes as hashtags like #MePoo and #AmberTurd circulate on social media, and her sanity has been used to undermine her credibility.
Photos of her bruised face, split lip and tufts of blonde hair on the floor of the former couple’s bedroom left audiences largely unmoved.
Here is a woman recounting, in detail, how an extremely famous man allegedly assaulted her. Why, in 2022, do so many people seem to hate her for this?
Heard has never claimed to have behaved perfectly in her relationship with Depp, whom she met on the set of The rum journal in 2009. And it is this – that she is not, in the eyes of the world, a “good” victim – that has contributed to “an overwhelming sense of doubt and distrust on the part of the community as to the veracity and validity of [Heard’s] claims”, CEO of Endpoint AustraliaHayley Foster told news.com.au.
“The prevailing idea is that the real victims, the deserving victims, are soft, gentle, helpless and subservient,” Ms Foster explained.
“But that’s usually not the case. In real life, people affected by domestic and sexual violence are just like you and me. We would do a range of things to protect ourselves and fight to reclaim our power if we were threat.
“Sometimes we freeze. Sometimes we try to get away. Sometimes we fight back. But fighting back doesn’t make you the primary aggressor. At the heart of domestic and sexual violence is the abuse of power. There has to be an imbalance of power and exploitation of that power, and in almost every case there is an environment of fear and intimidation.
“Those who have been in an abusive relationship describe feeling overwhelmed, overwhelmed, confused and scared. Their sense of self is eroded. But some of them struggle against this and seek to reassert themselves. Sometimes this involves retaliatory action.
The idea that Heard is not a “good” victim was further reinforced for some this week when CCTV footage emerged of her and James Franco inside an elevatorthe night before she filed for divorce from Depp.
“It goes to both our victim-blaming and bitch-shaming tendencies. Again, because we believe victims are submissive, helpless and helpless, we may be suspicious if the alleged victim falls outside of this ideal,” Ms Foster said.
“We also still have a culture that largely celebrates promiscuity in men but shames women for the same behavior. It’s a double standard, and deeply rooted.
“In fact, in Australia almost a third of people often believe that women who say they were raped just drove the man and then had regrets.”
Talk to Refinery 29Australian journalist and author Lucia Osborne-Crowley – who has written two books on sexual assault – said that ‘public expectations of how she should behave to be believed…should not determine whether her allegations are true. true in a court of law – the evidence should do that”.
“I think it’s important to remember that her story should be criticized on its own merits, not on ideas of how ‘real’ victims should behave. It also contributes to the myth that a person has to be good or moral to have been a victim of domestic violence,” she explained.
“A lot of the nasty reviews I’ve seen are about Heard as a person, but the truth is that she can be morally wrong in every other way and it’s always possible that she’s telling the truth.”
As the trial continues, Ms Foster said she was “really concerned about the message that the feelings of victim-blaming and slut-shaming sends, both to victims of domestic and sexual abuse and to the perpetrators of those -this”.
“My fear is that victims feel like they can’t speak up or try to defend themselves,” she added, “and that’s not good for eradicating gender-based violence.”
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