I didn't follow much of the Heard - Depp trial but enough of it to know she was going to lose, the only question was how big? The jury answered and it's real big. Winning a defamation trial of any kind is no small task. Winning a defamation case as a celebrity is about as common as being struck by lightening. Why? The standard to win a defamation trial for public figures is incrementally higher then if the defamed person was a private person. Public figures in this country not only need to show defamation and monetary damages but they must show the person acted with actual malice. This is a very high bar. Its rarely happened in the courts and certainly not in favor of a man whose accuser is a scorned former lover.
It remains to be seen what the long term impact will be but there are now many men who are coming out of the shadows to admit they'd been victimized by a woman either physically or psychologically. Its endemic in the nature of toxic relationships with toxic women that men are either not believed or more often never admit they were themselves victimized. A system meant to protect women is from time to time co-opted by equally sociopathic women who use the courts or public forums to cause harm out of spite, or jealousy or revenge. So it would seem to be in the case of Amber Heard, so sayeth the Jury to the tune of a 12 million dollar debt that was mercifully cut down to a little over 5 million dollars by the Court after the verdict. Maybe the Washington Post should pay the tab.
Johnny Depp took an enormous personal and professional risk bringing this case to trial where all the world would be privy to his own weaknesses and missteps in his own personal life. By doing so he has not marched back the Me Too movement but expanded it to make it a #mentoo movement. Abuse is not the province of sociopathic men. Sociopathic women just manage to get away with it more often because of how far the pendulum in this country has swung in what has become an all out war against men in the courts. Most of the men caught up in it all well deserved it and are a stain to all men. Very few men , however, who are defamed and beaten and run through the mud like Depp was have a legal arsenal that could engage these kinds of fights.
Amber Heard cried today that this was an injustice to abused women. I digress. Amber Heard would have emboldened more disaffected women to continue to abuse the process to cause harm which would only sully the legitimate claims of legitimately abused women all over the country. Today was nothing short of a huge victory not just for the men who are harmed by these women but for the millions of women legitimately harmed whose accusations may later fall on deaf ears.