I’m a little nervous about this cartoon. But I think I’m right to draw it. I hate explaining cartoons in the blog, but I’m going to do that today. I already have people on Facebook screaming at me over this one, and that’s OK.
A lot of people didn’t watch the trial, so I’ll sum up a bit: Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for defamation over an article she wrote in 2018 that was published in The Washington Post. Hmm. I have a cartoon in today’s Post but I wonder if they’ll run this one.
Heard described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in the article. She did not name Depp but he sued her for defamation in a Fairfax County, Virginia court. Heard countersued for defamation for comments Depp’s lawyer made about her.
Depp testified first which built up public support for his side. It seems that most people believe Amber Heard physically abused Johnny Depp. The irony is that his legal team got two weeks to defame Heard in a defamation case. They accused each other of abuse. Depp claimed Heard defecated on their bed and sliced off his fingertip. She accused him of being abusive verbally and physically and also accused him of sexual violence. Their former marriage counselor testified that the pair’s relationship had what she characterized as “mutual abuse.”
This was the worst choosing of sides from the public since Team Edward vs. Team Jacob from those Twilight movies. And just like you’d probably not pick a side in a fight between werewolves and vampires, I didn’t choose a side in this trial. I think they’re both liars and abusers.
Johnny Depp is a bigger star than Amber Heard. He had more celebrities testify on his behalf. Everyone has seen those Pirate of the Caribbean movies. A lot of people have never heard of Amber Heard. The jury sided with Depp but found them both guilty.
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. The jury awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages and no money for punitive damages. There is a cap of $350,000 for punitive damages in Virginia, so basically, Heard will have to pay Depp $8,350,000. Depp paid Heard $7 million in their divorce settlement in 2016, where she also sought a restraining order. They issued a joint statement at the time admitting their relationship was “volatile.”
I think the jury got it wrong. I don’t think we can tell who was worse than the other and I don’t think the jury can tell either. I personally think they sided with the bigger movie star and the man, which society tends to do. In Hollywood, a male actor can continue being cast as a leading man into his 60s while for women, it’s pretty over at 40 with all that’s left being grandmother roles. Marisa Tomei acted in multiple MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) as Spiderman’s Aunt May. Aunt May from the comic books was not someone George Costanza would lust after.
When Rihanna told the public that Chris Brown beat the shit out of her, the public reaction was to vilify her for exposing it, with many believing she brought it on herself. When Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast in a wardrobe malfunction during the Superbowl halftime show in 2004, it ruined Jackson’s career. Timberlake has been invited back to perform at the Superbowl. Some states have laws giving rapists visitation rights with the babies that other laws forced their victims to give birth to. It is a man’s world.
I think Depp and Heard are both guilty and they abused each other. It’s a pissing contest between two vile people to see which one is the worst. I’m afraid Depp being the victor here will give comfort not just to men who are victims of spousal abuse, but to men who are the abusers.
It’s estimated that men account for 40 percent of domestic abuse victims. That means women account for 60 percent. But men generally don’t report it out of embarrassment. Women tend not to report it because they won’t be believed. And when a man says she’s abusing me and all her claims are lies, society tends to believe the man.
Instead of creating public awareness of domestic abuse, all this case gave us was a distraction. We got to watch two entitled pampered rich movie stars bicker over who sucks more while outside Hollywood, there are real victims of domestic violence who’ll never receive $10 million as a settlement. I’m more concerned about what abusers will take from this case. I believe male abusers have a new champion.
Don’t take my word for it that society would rather believe the man than the woman. Take it from the jury in Fairfax.
Music Note: Today’s tunes to toon to were by The Cars, the Rolling Stones, and The Police.
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