Jun 2, 2022Liked by Parker Molloy

Great write-up. I was ignoring this trial on social media and tv, particularly because of how laser-focused it was on discrediting and mocking a victim of abuse, it's really unfortunate that this strategy seems to keep winning again and again.

I really appreciate the thoughtful weighing of the arguments and evidence, without infantilizing either of them.

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I tried very hard to avoid/ignore everything about this case because I'm just not interested in the dirty laundry of celebrities and don't feel it should be in the news given how much truly important stuff we have to deal with in the world right now. That said, a little bit of it did seep into my normally very carefully curated social feed -- and it was all about how "men can be victims of abuse too". I was very surprised to see it -- I'd sort of assumed Depp was a drug and alcohol fueled misogynist and all-round entitled jerk, based on other things I'd heard about him over the years (and I still believe he is all that), and so I'd expected to hear about his abuse of her, not the other way around.

Michael's article reads much more true to me than what little I couldn't escape seeing on social media and it really is a sad indictment of both our media and our justice system... and the level of anti-Heard vitriol out there truly boggles my mind... that people would spend so much time and effort defaming her and supporting him... It really is all very depressing.

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Here’s the thing. I wanted to believe Amber Heard. And when the trial started I didn’t really believe that she was lying or any of the Qanonish hatred towards her. And tbh, I still don’t understand why they hate her so much.

But, I don’t believe she was physically abused by Depp. I don’t believe any of it. Which was something I wasn’t prepared for.

She lied about things in her testimony that didn’t require lying. Like leaking the video to TMZ, the publicist deal when she filed her TRO, she could’ve copped to just protecting her career, but her explanation & denials there were hard to accept as plausible on its own. It affected her credibility and put other episodes into a different context.

I have no doubt Johnny Depp is an entitled Hollywood celeb & brat. What I wasn’t convinced of was that he actually hit her or assaulted her. That it was him that inflicted any of those physical injuries.

One thing I do feel confident about though: this was an exceptional case & not something that can be associated with typical domestic violence cases. Those cases are much more complicated, even more graphic & rarely every brought to trial until it’s too late.

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I'll also add I really appreciate this article as it is a breath of fresh air in that it gives a serious analysis that's hard to come by in these times. Some people complain this trial has taken the oxygen from other far weightier issues in the news, however, I think the ongoing phenomenon of worldwide worship of Johnny Depp is of major concern. (A new religion? The JohnnyGod?) To see his zealous, relentless army of extras (fans) carrying out what appears to be their role in his epic production - The Global Humiliation of Amber Heard - by dragging and slagging one woman, Amber Heard (serial killers get a fraction of the negative attention and vitriol) is grotesque and immoral in a way that's hard to describe adequately.

This is a huge red flag on our society, what it has sunk to... and it is deeply alarming.

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Really appreciate this piece. The author, Michael Hobbes, summarized the trial very effectively and readably, along with the undetachable public reaction to it, to the main players, JD & AH, and his view about all of that. 

Since this trial began, I learned more than I ever imagined I would about Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (previously, Amber Who? But also, Pirates What? And I last had Depp w/K Moss!) That said, I still learned a few new things from this piece, and overall, I am mostly in agreement with the author's view, but there are a couple of things that I think might be added for accuracy and completeness.

1) The TRO and TMZ.

MH said: "Victims have numerous reasons to hide their injuries, from internalized shame to fear of their abuser to, in Heard’s case, legitimate worries about ending up on TMZ."

I think that phrase “in Heard’s case, legitimate worries about ending up on TMZ” will red flag a lot of people because, actually, there was seemingly credible testimony from a TMZ ex employee that Amber, or someone on her behalf, tipped off TMZ about the TRO filing, which made it possible for them to photograph her leaving court, with the bruise showing. That was extremely damning testimony for her bc she had already claimed she was completely shocked to see the throng of media outside and denied ever contacting TMZ. 

If she did try to get one over by lying abt this, it just adds to her credibility problem, which obviously has been globally dragged and slagged beyond all reason and decency. I loathe this shameful, vile witch hunt, but that doesn't prevent me from saying Amber does come across as embellishing at times, sometimes outright lying. That said, it leads to my thought about what would make this piece more complete, which moves the spotlight off Amber’s lies and onto Johnny’s whoppers, the BIG lies he needed to make to get the win.

2) MEDICAL EVIDENCE of DEPP's PHYSICAL & SEXUAL ABUSE of HEARD (blocked as hearsay by Judge - testimony from multiple medical professionals with firsthand knowledge of Heard & Depp.)

MH said (after citing lots of evidence against Depp): "This is a lot of documentation. Heard had more evidence in her favor than the vast majority of abuse victims and the bulk of celebrated, widely accepted MeToo cases. And that’s not even the best reason to believe her."

I expected MH’s “best reason to believe her” would be the stack of striking (no pun intended) medical records - firsthand knowledge from professionals, which was disallowed by the judge. It only came into trial thru the 2 main psych witnesses, Dr Curry (on Team Depp, it was elicited from her in cross exam) and Dr Hughes (On Team Heard - was elicited in direct exam, and echoed a bit by Dr Spiegel, also Team Heard, who also got to see the records) Because they’d evaluated Ms Heard, they were able to review these records, which spanned from 2012 - 2016. If interested in this evidence, I suggest listening to the cross of Dr Curry, where, for about 10 minutes, Ms Bredehoft framed a series of statements from the records as questions which Curry struggled NOT to confirm w much “I don't recall"

TWO HUGE RED FLAGS that put the LIE to Johnny's most important claims on the stand, the dramatically delivered: “I never struck Ms Heard" and "I am obsessed with the truth” are from Dr Bonnie Jacobs and Dr Amy Banks.

Dr Jacobs, a therapist who saw AH regularly from 2012 - 2014 provided contemporaneous notes showing AH reported escalating physical and sexual violence by Depp over that time period. That is very strong evidence. Perhaps the most powerful evidence, what should be the knockout punch, is from Dr Banks (top IPV expert, Harvard) who saw BOTH AH and JD together, in 2 couples' sessions. Banks concluded AH was a victim of JD’s physical abuse, the kicker (again, excuse the pun) being that Amber described Johnny’s violent acts, incidents HE initiated. She recounted these with JOHNNY PRESENT, and I believe the quote was, "He said nothing." HE SAID NOTHING???!!!

He said NOTHING to refute what he has spent millions of dollars, 6 weeks of trial, 6 yrs of his life, to refute as being false, to holler to the world is a pack of lies? Yet, while in the relationship, in a private therapy session, when his dirtiest laundry is spilled onto the floor to a therapist, and HE SAID NOTHING?! That’s insane! And it’s extremely powerful evidence against him. Funny, how this man who claims to be so all about the truth, made an exception here? No, not just here... there are many, many "exceptions." 

The prevention of the witnesses’ testimony at trial, the “medical records” from therapists, doctors, nurses, will figure prominently in the appeal, as Ms Bredehoft has said in post-verdict interviews, and I was glad to hear that. After the jury was dismissed one day, one of Heard’s lawyers read them aloud, as a “proffer for the record" and it was stunning to me. I thought Team Amber should’ve done more to highlight those key statements in closing arguments, and when Dr Hughes was on the stand,, but it probably wouldn’t have changed the jury’s verdict. 

Would be great to hear what the author and/or readers think of what I've expressed here.

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Clarification for the author: No, Johnny didn’t send the texts about “Molly’s pussy” or “what it is like to be trashed about like a pleading Mackrel… I NEED. I WANT. I TAKE.”

And how do we know this? Because in the very exhibit they are marked as INCOMING texts, as in, he received them from someone. Maybe his assistant Stephen Deuters? Maybe someone else.

All of the other texts we’ve seen from Johnny, as evidence in this trial, were marked as OUTGOING texts.

So the snarky suggestion that someone "hacked into his phone" isn’t helpful here. The evidence is clearly labelled, and Amber's lawyers misrepresented it. Why?

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I don't care about this case. There, I said it. I'm tired of Hollywood stars getting more attention than dead people who've been shot to smithereens. It's infuriated me that this was international news. And apparently the jury found Heard's story less than credible, which is a lot different than "wildly plausible," a non sequitur if I ever heard one.

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