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April 29, 2022

Supporting Feminism & #MeToo is not an excuse not to condemn the Abuse, Defamation, & Gaslighting of Johnny Depp.

Supporting #MeToo does not excuse the Abuse of Johnny Depp.

I haven’t followed the trial closely (others have) (written in more depth, with more insight) but I have been through similar, and it’s powerful to see evidence and testimony backing up the opposite side of a story that was told, and pushed, for years. See the below for more, including my “conclusion.”

What I would say is that, as with Will Smith and The Slap, it’s possible to look at celebrity and sports heroes not out of gossip, but out of a sense of learning from their trials, mistakes, and victories, to learn from them as did our ancestors from their gods.

Exhibit A, he is a mensch. “According to court testimony, she threw a wine Vodka bottle that hit his hand and shattered. A piece of glass sliced the tip of his finger off while shattering.”

Johnny Depp’s reaction to the court finally getting to hear the audio tape in which Amber Heard admits to abusing him

Judge: Ok. All right, yes ma’am.

Lawyer: Good afternoon Mr. Depp

Depp: Good afternoon.

Lawyer: Can you please tell the jury why you’re here today?

Depp: Yes, about six years ago, Miss Heard made some quite heinous and disturbing… brought these disturbing criminal acts against me that were not based in any species of truth. It was a complete shock that it would… it just didn’t need to go in that direction as nothing of the kind had ever happened. Though the relationship… there were arguments and things of that nature, but never did I myself reach the point of striking Miss Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.

And so I, at the time, because the news of her accusations had, sort of permeated the industry and made its way through media and social media, and became quite a global… let’s say “fact” if you will. And, since I knew that there was no truth to it whatsoever, I felt it my responsibility to stand up, not only for myself in that instance, but stand up for my children, who at the time were 14 and 16, and so they were in high school, and so I thought it was diabolical that my children would have to go to school and have their friends or people in the school approach them with the infamous People magazine cover with Miss Heard with a dark bruise on her face.

And then it just kept multiplying, it just kept getting bigger and bigger. So, it was my responsibility, I felt, to, not only attempt to clear my name, for the sake of many reasons, but I wanted to clear my children of this horrid thing that they were having to read about their father which was untrue.

And also, after many years of being in this industry, (at the time, it was probably… I’d probably been in the industry 30+ years, 35 years, never had had any problems) anything like that, and I’ve met many people over the years, many of the people, and had had the opportunity to talk to those people and to even give advice to these people and I’m not…

My goal is the truth, because it killed me that people that I had spoken with that I had met with over the years who maybe were in not such a great position and they needed advice, and I gave them the best advice I could, all I could think of was that those people would think that I was a fraud, and that I had lied to them.

And so I had to wait for my opportunity to address the charges which were criminal charges. And they just weren’t true. So I felt the responsibility of clearing the record as the only way that I could get to the point where I could speak as really taken this full six years, and it’s been six years of trying times. It’s very strange when one day, you’re Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds, you’re Quasimodo. And I didn’t deserve that, nor did my children, nor did the people who have believed in me for all these years. I didn’t want any of those people to believe that I had done them wrong, or lied to them, or that I was a fraud.

I pride myself on honesty, I pride myself on truth. Truth is the only thing I’m interested in. Lies will get you nowhere. Lies build upon lies, build upon lies. It’s too much to cover. I’m obsessed with the truth and so today is my… actually the first opportunity that I’ve been able to speak about this case in full for the first time.

Lawyer: Mr. Depp, how do you feel about the intimate details of your life being aired in this process?

That’s all I’m doing now.

Lawyer: Mr. Depp, how do you feel about the intimate details of your life being aired in this process?

As a father, raising kids, you know when they were very, very little… It was important to me – very important to me – to shield my children as much as possible from looking at their father, or their mother for that matter as novelties. I didn’t want my children to experience hoards of paparazzis, so I was always a very private person. So for me to come up here and stand up – or sit before you – and spill the truth is quite exposing. And it’s unfortunate that it’s not only exposing for myself, it’s exposing for my family, it’s exposing for Miss Heard. It’s exposing for – it never had to go in this direction and so I can’t say that I’m embarassed because I know that I’m doing the right thing.

Lawyer: Now Mr. Depp I would like to turn more to your upbringing. We heard from your sister Christie last week, but can you please tell the jury in your own words about your childhood upbringing.

[end of video]

“Amber Heard’s own audio recordings show her not letting Johnny Depp leave and emotionally blackmail mailing him.”

A good discussion of why many believe Deep, in this case. 

Look: it’s impossible to know. But we can look to testimony of exes, as we have heard from Depp’s, backing up that he was never abusive. We can look to her character, and his, her pooping in his bed, doing funny things with donations, having affairs. But at the end of the day, the basic point here is that evidence matters, witnesses and testimonials matter, and life can be sad and hard and awful.

And that, once in awhile, the truth is on the other side of one’s often-correct preconceptions.

I don’t care about gossip for gossip’s sake. I hate those glossy tabloid magazines and the TV Entertainment shows that echo them. Someone hasn’t lost their post-pregnancy weight! Someone was caught leaving the gym, trying to have a life!

But, still, whether it’s Will Smith or, now, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, we can learn from the lessons of those in the spotlight without feeding an unseemly violation of our own and their dignity. So: what can we learn?

We need to start with looking at evidence, truth, corroboration, videos, facts—not opinions and preconceptions. And then we need to take those hard-won lessons and apply them to our lives.

That’s what I’ve done (or tried to do) in my relationships, with my past, and that’s what the Dharma (Buddhism) helps us to do—not to idolize others, or to condemn others in a solid way, but to learn from our own and others’ experience, so as to wake up, if only a little bit more, so that we may be of benefit.

 

This article is, in part, a response to Supporting Johnny Depp is not an Excuse for Toxic Masculinity. 

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