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Johnny Depp may be an A List actor and wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, but fame and fortune often go hand in hand with misery. By his own admission, Depp has abused both alcohol and recreational drugs. Along with serial relationships/marriages, this is rather common among artists of all kinds, partly because of their often peripatetic lifestyle, and, well, you know how it is, creative people are often weird. Depp isn’t only an actor, he is also a talented musician. Like all of us he has made mistakes, and his biggest mistake appears to have been marrying Amber Heard.
On looks alone, Heard is a good nine and a half out of ten. At 23 years his junior, Depp probably thought he’d struck gold, but a long parade of witnesses for Depp v News Group Newspapers, including Heard herself, has proved yet again that beauty is only skin deep.
Their marriage lasted a shade under two years. She received a $7 million settlement and donated most of it to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a number of other charities. That speaks well of her. Sadly, there was little or no charity to be found in the court record. Her former personal assistant Kate James testified by video link on day seven of the trial. She told the court she had been raped at knifepoint in Brazil when she was young, and Heard had “stolen” this story presenting the experience as her own.
While Depp is suing over the claim that he was a wife-beater, all the credible evidence indicates that at the very worst this was a two-way street, and it was Depp rather than Heard who had the top of his finger severed. Depp also secretly taped her admitting she started a fight. And, it appears she has the capacity for it. Like Depp, Heard has been married before, and like Depp, to a woman. Heard spent a night in jail after assaulting Tasya Van Ree, while Depp’s former lovers had nothing but good things to say about him. Then there was the little matter of the bruises Heard exhibited which she blamed on Depp, but which appear to have been painted on!
The trial will be wound up next week, and things are looking good for Depp. There is no jury, Mr Justice Nicol is a defamation specialist, and is unlikely to be swayed by emotion, although there is some indication that he was not altogether pleased with Heard’s testimony. It remains to be seen how much he will award Depp in damages, but any award is likely to be dwarfed by the costs.
There have recently been two stories in the news related to the subject matter of this trial in a very broad sense. While defunding the police isn’t as drastic as it sounds, or need not be, the Attorney General of Minnesota appears to have lost his mind. In a Zoom hangout, Keith Ellison made the staggering suggestion that if a woman is raped by a stranger, rather than dialling 9-1-1 she should seek counselling to help her get through the ordeal psychologically. After all, police are only men with guns. He appears to have forgotten that police carry handcuffs as well, devices which can be used to take dangerous predators off the street before they can add to their tally. A while ago, Ellison was accused of domestic violence himself; his alleged victim claimed to have video evidence of this, which curiously did not materialise. It may be he thinks because he was falsely accused himself that genuine assaults, sexual or otherwise, are no big thing. Which begs the question how did he ever become a lawyer, much less Attorney General?
Finally, a further reminder that Twitter is not 9-1-1. Izu Mmadubueze was a Nigerian national living in Florida. On June 29, he was the victim of a false allegation on Twitter by Nanichi Anese, apparently a pseudonym. There is conflicting information at present, but his name appears to have been added to a list of men accused of rape. On July 16, he shot himself dead. He was 23 years old.