case laws

Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard – Elon Musk Tesla CEO

Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard - Elon Musk Tesla CEO

The court trial of the Hollywood celebrities Johny Depp and Amber Heard / Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard was perhaps the most popular court trial in the world. Surprisingly, it was not even a criminal trial, it did not have a direct impact on people’s lives. Still, people all around the world were very interested in the personal lives of these celebrities. During this trial, fan bases were developed. “I support Johnny Depp.” “I Support Amber Heard.”

Some people say it is an injustice against women. There were references to #Mentoo as well. How men are falsely accused in such cases. In today’s Article let us find out what actually happened. And what it reveals about our society. All of you would be familiar with Johny Depp. He is a popular Hollywood actor. He is known for the eccentric characteristics he has played in films.

Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard

His most famous character has been Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. On the other hand, Amber Heard is also a Hollywood actor. But is not as popular as Johnny Depp. Some of the famous films she was in were Justice League, Aquaman, Never Back Down, Drive Angry, and The Rum Diary. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the sets of The Rum Diary in 2009. In her court filing, Amber had said that they had started dating in 2012.

This was the same year Johnny Depp announced his separation from the singer Vanessa Paradis. Johnny and Vanessa have 2 children together named Lily-Rose and John Christopher. Around the same time, Amber split up with her precious partner. And in 2014, Johny Depp and Amber Heard got engaged. The following year, in 2015 the two got married. The marriage did not even last 1.5 years. In May 2016, Amber filed for a divorce. When the divorce was granted by the Court, it even issued a restraining order against Johnny Depp.

A restraining order meant that Johnny Depp could not contact Amber Heard and Could not meet her. You might wonder why the court issued such an order. Because Amber Heard had complained that Johnny Depp used to physically abuse her. That would be violent towards her under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

She cited one such example when she claimed that Johnny show his phone at her it hit her face injuring her. But a spokesperson of the police told People’s Magazine, that when the police officers investigated this complaint, they found no evidence in support of the claim. Johnny Depp denied all such accusations. Johnny’s lawyers claimed that Amber was trying to negotiate the divorce settlement by making false accusations. so that she could get more money for the “abuse”.

Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard

In August 2016, Johnny and Amber reached an out-of-court settlement. Accordingly, Amber got $7 million. The newspapers then reported that Amber had donated half of the money to a children’s hospital in Los Angeles, and the other half to the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. An organization that stands to prevent violence against women. During this time, Johnny and Amber released a joint statement saying that all was well. And that they had mutually resolved the problems between them.

Later, in January 2017, their divorce was finalized. In the divorce filings, a Non-Disparagement Clause was also inserted. To prevent both of them from publicly saying anything derogatory against the other. our story would have ended here. The world did not need to be involved in it. It was a common divorce between two celebrities. They had mutually reached the settlement. The End. But that is not how it went.

In December 2018, this issue of Jonney Depp Vs Amber Heard came back into the limelight, when Amber Heard wrote an article for the Washington Post. She wrote that she had become a  public figure representing domestic abuse. And that when she had spoken against the violence against her, she had to face the wrath of several people. In the article, she had not mentioned Johnny anywhere. Even so, logically, it was very obvious because she had been married only once to Johnny Depp. Any reader could understand whom she was referring to.

For this one article, Johnny Depp filed a $ 50 million defamation suit against Amber Heard. Johnny claimed that Amber Heard was not a victim of domestic abuse. Instead, she was the abuser in their relationship. This was in 2019. In response, Amber filed to have the defamation case dismissed. She came forward with several examples of abuse toward her. She claimed that in May 2014, they were in a private jet, and Johnny was heavily drunk. He started throwing things at her. She was verbally abused. He kicked her.

And then she passed out in the bathroom. She also claimed that Johnny may not recall these incidents, because he was heavily intoxicated. She claimed that remained with Johnny even after these incidents because she loved him. And that she believed that he would change. But that never happened.

Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard

According to her, there were three other similar incidents. In March 2015, and in May 2016. Several allegations were hurled about how Johnny punched her, grabbed her hair, threatened to kill her, threw his cell phone at her, wrote messages on the wall with blood, and such other things. She said that there are scars on her hands and legs still. In response, Johnny came out with photos of his own. with bruises on his face. Because Amber bad allegedly attacked him.

For some concrete evidence, the Daily Mail, a UK-based newspaper, publicly released some phone call recordings. In these recordings, you can hear Amber saying that she is throwing pans and pots at Johnny. And in another incident, she says that she can not promote not to be physically violent again. In 2018, another British newspaper The Sun published an article 2018, which referred to Johnny Depp as a wife beater. Making it seem like Johnny Depp was a man who beat his wives. (Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard)

Johnny filed a case against the Publisher and the Executive Editor for this. The trial for this case began in July 2020. In this case, Johnny’s ex-wives, Vanessa Paradis and Winona Ryder came forward to record their statements in the case. Their statement was in Johnny’s defense.

They said that they were married to Johnny and that Johnny had never hit them. According to them, Johnny was never violent nor abusive. And then Elon Musk entered our story. In London High Court, Johny’s lawyers said that Amber had two extra-marital affairs, First with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and second with actor James Franco, while she was married to Johnny. In the case against The Sun for the wife-beater reference, the lawyers of The Sun cited 14 instances as proof of why it was justified to call Johnny Depp a wife-beater.

Based on these, the UK Judge gave a ruling against Johnny Depp. He said that the newspaper was not wrong by referring to Johnny Depp as a wife beater. Johnny’s lawyers were quite upset with the court’s judgment. They claimed that the Court relied on Amber’s allegations alone but the Police record, medical testimonies, medical practitioners, and the testimonies of the other witnesses were not given due consideration. And so they planned on appealing the court’s judgment.

Johnny’s lawyers claimed that there was not a fair trial and they would present new evidence of how Amber had lied about the $ 7 million as well. Amber had said that she had donated the $7 million to different charities. Whereas in reality, she had not done so. But the court rejected Johnny’s appeal twice. The next major event in our story was in January 2021 when Amber Heard filed a counter-case against Johnny for $100 million.

Johnny’s lawyer Adam Waldman, had that Amber’s allegations of domestic abuse were fake, fabricated, and false. Based on this statement, Amber had filed the counter case. The Judge accepted this case saying that now when there are so many MeToo cases coming up to the light. In the light of this movement and the social climate, it would not be acceptable to malign Amber’s reputation. And if Amber is falsely called a liar, for speaking out against domestic abuse, it would be unacceptable.

That is why the court accepted Amber’s counter-defamation case. Its trial began in April 2022. Amber’s lawyers said that the article written by Amber in the Washington Post was her freedom of speech. And that it was an article on the issue of domestic abuse, And not on her relationship with Johnny Depp. Amber’s lawyers said that if Amber had really written about her relationship with Johnny, she could have filled many more pages.

That article would have looked very different. On the other hand, Johnny’s lawyer argued that she is coming up with false accusations for personal benefits. She had damaged Johnny Depp’s reputation. That those accusations have led to a downfall in Johnny’s career. The films he would have gotten, he lost them. The good Johnny had with producers took a hit due to their accusations. In court, Johnny said that he has never hit a woman. Johnny then revealed what had happened in their relationship in detail. Remember he would be told that he was wrong.

That would be constant fights and often they turned violent. And in one incident, Amber had thrown a wine glass at Johnny. She would get infuriated all of a sudden and because of the constant attacks on Johnny, drove him towards drugs and alcohol. Johnny claims to have Amber’s career a lot. Such as reaching out to Warner Bros co so that she could get the role in Aquaman.

The response Amber’s lawyers represented how Johnny was the abusive one. In response to the allegations of extra-marital affairs, Amber said, that the doctor James Franci was her neighbor and that one night after a fight with Johnny, he had visited her at her home. He was a friend and a neighbor.

Jonny Depp Vs Amber Heard

Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard - Elon Musk Tesla CEO

                                                   Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard – Elon Musk Tesla CEO

And for the Elon Musk Incident, She said, that during the Met Gala event, she was waiting for Johnny, who did not show up, and it was there she met Elon Musk. They got to talking and later became good friends. After getting a divorce from Johnny, Amber started dating Elon Musk. During the entire trial, many witnesses were called. There were all kinds of testimonies by the witnesses.

One such example is the erstwhile marriage counselor of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. She testified to the court that both of them were abusive towards each other. They were participating in ‘mutual abuse’ with escalating violence. Johnny’s former agent Tracy Jacobs testified in court that Johnny has anger management issues. In another instance, a former clinical psychologist, Dr. Shannon Curry, said that Amber has Borderline Personality Disorder.

Along with Histrionic Personality Disorder. And because of these disorders, she becomes very violent. Especially with her romantic partners. And then starts making up wired stories. According to Dr. Shannon Curry, people like Amber Heard, are very attention-seeking. And they shift the blame on there and see themselves as the victim. There was a testimony by the ACLU as well. The same organization to which Amber Heard had allegedly donated, half of her divorce settlement of $7 million i.e., $3.5 million, she claimed she had donated.

In the court, ACLU’s statement was that Amber had not actually donated the amount. They say that Amber has pledged to donate $3.5 million over the next 10 years. And that she has donated $1.3 million, and there were no payments after December 2018. And perhaps the most interesting thing was that this $ 1.3 million was paid in 4 installments, of which only 1 installment of $350,000 was from Amber Heard in August 2016.

This was the only amount Amber Heard had donated. So who donated the rest of the money? Those were from Donor Advised Funds and Elon Musk. A similar story was told by the children’s Hospital, to which the remaining $3.5 million had been donated. The trial of this case ran for 6 weeks. Since this was a public hearing, everyone could see what was being said and by whom. These videos circulated online.

People would comment on it and they would give their judgments on the hearing. This led to online trends of I suppose Johnny Depp, and I stand with Amber Heard. During the trial, many memes were being circulated ridiculing both of them. But the biggest question here is, What was the verdict? What was the court’s ruling?

First of all, since this was in a US court, unlike the UK court where the judge had passed the judgment in Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard, here the judgment was passed by a jury. The jury held that both of them had defamed the other. The jury held that Johnny should be awarded $15 million, in damages from Amber Heard. The defamation brought against Johnny Depp by Amber Heard should be compensated by the sum of $15 million.

On the other hand, Amber Heard was awarded $2 million, for the defamation of Amber Heard by Johnny. Later, due to the Virginia State Law, the $15 million was reduced to $10.35 million. In response, Amber Heard’s lawyers said that she absolutely cannot pay this amount. So the next step would be to appeal this judgment.

After the judgment of Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard, 2 hashtags were circulating online.

1.#MenToo- where people acknowledged that men can be victims too. That abuse against men is still abuse.\This is an obvious reference to the #MeToo, where women had come forward to share the stories of abuse against them. # MenToo indicated that women are not always the victim.

2.#BelieveAllWomen- Many people criticized this judgment saying that it was in Johnny Depp’s favour because of the memes and trolling online on social media claiming that the jury was heavily influenced by that.

There have been strong opinions for both these perspectives. People believe in MenToo and the people believe in BelieveAllWomen. But friends, what you need to understand here is that there is no need for this polarisation. It is not a very complex philosophy. It is common sense. Both perspectives are correct. It is completely true that men can be victims too. That there can be domestic abuse against men as well. And it is equally true that it is very difficult for women to speak out against abuse. (Johnny Depp Vs Amber Heard)

In most cases, it is women who are victims, but there are cases where women file fake cases against men. The simple fact is that we should not make any judgment right at the start, saying that all women are the same and they file fake cases, or that all men are the same, they are abusive towards their partners. Instead, in every case, we should listen to the victim’s side. We should take the victim seriously and then after hearing all sides, we can draw a conclusion.

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