The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Abuse Story, From Both Sides

Content warning: Abusive relationships

When I Google "Johnny Depp abuse," every article on the first page of results except one focuses on Amber Heard's claims of abuse against Depp. If you're unfamiliar with this scandal, the story first broke out in 2016. Amber Heard, a popular actress and now ex-wife of Depp, revealed that Depp had been physically abusive in their relationship. As a result, she was pressing charges for domestic abuse.

At the time the scandal broke out, Heard claimed to have pictures showing a black-eye, the result of Depp's rage, and a video of Depp throwing a wine glass in anger. It was no surprise that everyone naturally rallied behind Heard despite Depp's adamant denial and statements from his ex-wife, Vanessa Paradis, and others who had worked closely with him.

But what's not being talked about nearly enough is the news that broke only a week ago: Depp is claiming that he was the victim, not the abuser. According to The Jakarta Post, Depp recently filled a $50-million dollar defamation case against Amber Heard claiming that she had falsified the evidence against him. He then presented evidence to confirm his claim.

So why did Depp finally take legal action? After three years? According to the same source, Heard did an interview for an op-ed piece for The Washington Post where she spoke out against domestic abuse. This prompted Depp to file a lawsuit in which he provided security footage as well as images demonstrating Heard's abusive habits.

Don't think this story couldn't get any messier? Soon after Depp decided to press charges, it was revealed the Amber Heard had been previously arrested for domestic abuse and confessed, at that time, under oath that she had physically abused Depp. Of course, this has not been officially settled and Heard continues to deny the allegations.

So here's the real question. Why should we care? Obviously, domestic abuse is a serious matter. And obviously we should care about anyone who is being abused, but why is this particular instance so important? On Twitter, Lena Blietz tweeted, "as we continue to learn more about Johnny Depp-Amber Heard... I think now is a good time to remember that if heard did lie, she's the exception, not the rule. most domestic violence reports are not fabricated. this is a fact."

We live in a society that has been taught to victim-blame, to support rape culture. So in this scandal, it is important to remember that domestic abuse is a serious topic, and as Blietz says, Heard is the exception to the rule. This scandal should not be an invitation for people to continue shaming the victim.

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