I was informed today that on 5.29 I wrote the wrong opinion about the Depp-Heard defamation trial. “They both lied, they’re both guilty,” I said. “It was just a bad marriage that turned ugly, to a significant extent due to Johnny’s drinking and drugging.”

I wrote that as one who had a vodka-and-lemonade problem in the early to mid ’90s and to a lesser extent in the early aughts due to nightly wine-sipping, I know for a fact that unless you’re Peter Pan or Mickey Mouse or Tom Hanks in Big the proverbial demon can emerge when alcohol is influencing your system and that harsh marital arguments…well, they’re rarely good for anyone’s mental health but you always want to argue sober. I know that much.

“No”, I was told this morning. “It’s NOT true that both are guilty. She is lying and he is not. Your judgment is colored by your experience as an alcoholic. This is not that. You are coming from a place of bias and ignorance,” etc.

I’ve watched many Depp-Heard trial excerpts, and I think I understand what the basic dynamic is. If there’s one thing I know it’s that in any failed relationship there’s never just one bad guy.

Anyway, here’s part of what Sasha Stone wrote a couple of days ago — the piece is titled “Johnny Depp Has Won In The Court of Public Opinion“:

“There is nothing fun about domestic violence. There is nothing fun about sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. The #MeToo movement, like the George Floyd uprisings in the early summer of 2020, put power in the hands of victims of sexual abuse to finally be heard. It was no doubt a direct response to the election of Donald Trump in 2016, because the first stories of sexual harassment and abuse started back then. I participated in a N.Y. Times article that preceded the #MeToo movement in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein saga.

“However, in both the Me Too movement and the Social Justice revolution of 2020, there came a time when the reckoning was weaponized. The #MeToo movement became a tool of power for victims, mostly women, to accuse anyone of anything and be believed, no matter what. In fact, to not believe them was and is considered a moral crime. The idea that we must “believe all women” created an environment where due process and presumption of innocence vanished. In their place, instant guilt and punishment rendered, just by the accusation itself.

“The first time I noticed something had gone very wrong with the #MeToo movement was the forced resignation of then Senator Al Franken. I still have never gotten over it and it’s one of the reasons I am no longer a Democrat (I am a non-affiliated voter at the moment). Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all joined in to push him out with no due process. I knew the accusations against him were lies and distortions. But it didn’t matter. He was now guilty in the court of public opinion.

“I have put myself in the crosshairs of defending men who have been, I think, wrongly accused. Since the Franken accusations, I have regarded accusations against men at a time of weaponized power critically. I never simply believe women. Or anyone. But when I am asked to ‘believe’ something that comes way too close to organized religion, no thanks. I will listen and assess. But I will speak up if I find the hive mind on Twitter has it wrong or is enacting unfair punishment.

“Anyone who knows me knows this about me. I hate bullies. I hate seeing people bullied. It is my one trigger. I will always defend people whom I believe are being attacked unfairly. Whether it’s Ansel Elgort or Joe Biden or Nate Parker or my own friends — no matter what I receive in exchange for doing that, keeping my head down and saying nothing isn’t my thing.

“The Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial is Me Too’s own reckoning, or rather, those institutions and hive minds that punish people who are falsely accused. The agonizing think pieces that have bloomed in the wake of the trial — I can’t even bear to google them — are worse for the #MeToo movement than even a verdict that sides with Depp. Because the whole world [has seen that] Heard was lying. That means that the activists are demanding allegiance to a concept that supports and defends liars. That means any time a woman accuses someone and everyone goes along with it, without due process, everyone’s credibility is out the window.

“How can anyone ask the public to side with someone who so obviously is not telling the truth? How do I know she is not telling the truth? Because Johnny Depp’s lawyers have proven their case. It’s as simple as that. Camille Vasquez’s cross examination of Amber Heard the second time she took the stand was devastating to Heard. She never should have taken the stand that second time. The only reason she did it is because she always has to try to destroy Depp. He testified a second time and explained what this trial had done for him, so she had to take the stand a second time. But for her, she had to meet with Vasquez who was not holding back in her confrontation of Heard’s side of the story.

“Heard seems to think, and why shouldn’t she think, that she can talk her way out of the mess she has made. She denies having assaulted her ex-wife when a police officer testified to having seen it with her own eyes. Heard then charged the officer with homophobia but unfortunately for Heard the officer was a lesbian. She and her friends testified that Johnny not only trashed the trailer in Hicksville but then digitally raped her that night. She didn’t expect the manager of the hotel to see the testimony and show up to correct the record. Heard then tries to call him a nobody coming out of the woodwork to be part of the trial.

“She didn’t expect a reporter from TMZ to show up and testify that it was her team that dispatched TMZ to the courthouse and were instructed by her to pause when she comes outside, turn her head so they can get a picture of her ‘bruise’. Her lawyer accuses him of trying to be part of the trial too. Then, Vasquez shows a picture of Heard the very next day with no bruise on her face,” etc.

It’s a strong, well-written piece. I know for a near-fact that the jury is not going to go along with the Depp view of things, but Sasha is right about who’s won in the minds of the public.

If I was a Warner Bros. exec I would cast Heard in the Aquaman films and whatever else because she’s “bigger” now than she’s ever been before.

@hankj.clarke Actresses don’t make the best witnesses. #amberheard #johnnydepp #defamationtrial #justiceforjohnnydepp #justiceforamberheard #fyp ♬ original sound – Hank J. Clarke