Next week, the defamation trial between Johnny Depp (58) and Amber Heard (36) will enter the decisive phase, and the closing arguments have been announced for May 27th. Depp accuses Heard of making defamatory statements about him in the Washington Post in 2018. He’s asking for $50 million in damages. Heard has filed a $100 million counterclaim. The two were married between 2015 and 2017.
When they met while recording The Rum Diary in 2009, Depp was at the peak of his career and Heard was a promising young actress. It should have crackled on the set. Their liaison in 2011 really begins on the promotional tour. «It felt like there was electricity in the room. I got up and when I left the room, he grabbed my face like he had done during filming and kissed me, »Heard describes the crucial moment.
The love between two people is often expressed in intimate acts that do not happen in public. Togetherness with all its secrets usually offers mutual protection because both sides are involved. Decency forbids later “unpacking” personal things about your former partner, but this quickly fades into the background with personalities craving for self-importance. Americans in particular are afraid of losing their dignity in this way. “Never let your guard down” is her advice to prevent emotional injuries.
The former intimacy as a weapon
Keeping such secrets is difficult in the process. They are ruthlessly exposed in order to destroy the other side. The trial is a public continuation of the struggle that previously raged behind the scenes.
“Maximum Love, Maximum Hate” could be the fictional title of this worst movie Depp and Heard have ever starred in, based on true events. What makes him exciting are the extremes. “He’s the love of my life,” says Heard, only to accuse him a little later: “He’s a monster.”
She describes her emotional state particularly impressively in a diary. First entry: «True love isn’t just about the madness of passion or finding the security of peace. It’s about having both. I saw friendship and respect in you, but still, more than ever, I want to tear you apart, devour you, and savor your taste.”
In an SMS to his friend Paul Bettany (50), Depp later describes his feelings even more drastically: “Let’s burn Amber! We drown the witch before we burn her. And then I have sex with her corpse to make sure she’s dead.” Ellen Barkin (68), who had a brief affair with Depp at the end of 1990, describes him as an “extremely jealous man who always wanted to control everything”.
Depp like Heard not flawless
While Barkin and Depp were reasonably equals, the power gap between Depp and Heard is clear from the outside: He’s the older, he’s successful, and he’s a man, which implies a physical advantage. In the process, Heard describes a whole series of physical attacks by Depp, who repeatedly tried to brutally kill her.
But Heard’s position is not shadowless either: In the course of the process it becomes clear that, contrary to initial statements, Heard has hit him several times. It is also revealed that she lied about the use of her divorce settlement.
The fact is: Depp and Heard are exaggerated and exalted, Heard is even attested to have a borderline disorder in the process. In addition, Depp uses addictive substances. “I never knew what version of Johnny I was dealing with,” Heard says.
They both know the importance of the audience. “Actors are always looking for the stage. Also in their relationship and now in court,” said a process observer. And in contrast to the murder trial of OJ Simpson (74), which occupied the US public with similar intensity in 1995, the new social media channels are now being added, through which both parties are making a difference outside of the courtroom.
Apart from the question of guilt, one thing is certain: the connection between Depp and Heard is toxic in nature. “There are relationships that rob more power than they give, but are still addictive,” says psychologist Regine Daniel (39).
Frequently, people with fear of loss would find partners with narcissistic tendencies. In the beginning, the magic of being in love works. Then the relationship gets more and more out of balance. One of the two dominates, through manipulation, humiliation, emotional blackmail and violence.
The consequences of toxic relationships can be deadly. In 1992 the singer Whitney Houston (1963-2012) and Bobby Brown (53) married. “He was my drug, I didn’t do anything without him,” Houston said. Eventually she manages to break away from Brown, but not from the cocaine. She dies at the age of 48.
The short marriage between singer Amy Winehouse (1983-2011) and Blake Fielder-Civil (40) is also a classic case: Fielder-Civil introduces Winehouse to hard drugs. Although she divorced, she died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
The most notable example in this case: supermodel Kate Moss (48) was engaged to singer Pete Doherty (43) from 2005 to 2007. The two share a similar, drug-clouded monster love as that of Depp and Heard. The final punch line: Moss was in a relationship with Depp from 1994 to 1998.
How the film “Depp vs Heard” ends is open. One thing is certain: without a happy ending.