Regardless of the outcome of the trial, Johnny Depp fans are convinced of his innocence

Elyse, a 20-year-old from Chicago and diehard Johnny Depp fan, believes the bruises on Amber Heard’s face are fake. Through private messages on Twitter, Elyse tells me that she has always been fascinated by special effects makeup, which allows her to analyze with a unique talent the reddish swelling that appeared under Amber’s right eye, felt in the photos that I am. circulated in the press in 2016.

That year, Amber Heard explained that her injury was due to one of Johnny Depp’s many violent outbursts, who allegedly threw an iPhone in the face. Elyse is not convinced. Indeed, like so many other newly radicalized Johnny Depp fans, she is convinced that there is a conspiracy.

“I could tell you right away that it was makeup, given the shape and colorshe says. Not to mention that I have a chronic illness and have tons of bruises from a yes or no, and that no one has ever had this face. Now, I’m a feminist, and I haven’t really talked about it until I’ve put all the details together, because I’m giving the victim the benefit of the doubt, but once I’ve been well informed, I just realized something really was going on. mistaken”.

A sinister trial

The Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard saga is endless, labyrinthine and almost impossible to summarize in a nutshell, but I’ll do my best to keep you up to date. They met in 2011 on the set of Rhum espressoshe began dating in 2012 and married in 2015. Heard filed for divorce fifteen months later and filed for a restraining order against Depp, whom she accused of relentless physical and verbal harassment.

Two years after their split was finalized, Heard wrote an editorial in The Washington Post on healing from marital trauma, an article in which he never directly quotes Johnny Depp. Yet the actor, already mired in increasingly embarrassing financial woes, sued his ex-wife and demanded $ 50 million (€ 47.4 million) for defamation, claiming his domestic violence complaints were pure invention. Johnny Depp went so far as to say that the real victim was him and that Amber Heard had often been aggressive and cruel throughout their relationship.

“Madame Heard is not a victim of domestic violence, she is the author”we read in Depp’s complaint cited by Vulture magazine, which adds that his complaint is part of “a sophisticated scam aimed at generating positive publicity for Madame Heard and advancing her career”.

Today, everyone can witness the monstrous fruits of that altercation live on television, while the left causes Depp vs. Heard pours into the public sphere. Jurists doubts Depp’s victory, who already has a defeat precedent in this hard-fought battle against his ex-wife: his 2020 lawsuit against the Sun after attacking the tabloid calling him “of a man who beats his wife”.

Depp’s claims that he was the victim also ring hollow: Vulture’s article contains some particularly gruesome text messages sent by Depp about Heard – which I won’t reproduce here – and which seem to fit perfectly with the allegations of violence she makes against him. .

Marriage of absurd toxicity

That said, some evidence presented during the trial supports part of Johnny Depp’s defense. On April 20, the jury listened to a tape that Amber Heard admitted to having “hit it” her husband, although the details of the context remain unclear, at one point we hear Amber Heard say: “I can’t promise you I won’t be violent anymore. Damn, sometimes I get so pissed off that I lose control.

The deeper you delve into this story, the more you discover an absurdly toxic marriage between two people brutally washing their dirty laundry in public, for the benefit of a cynical and skeptical tabloid press. However, I don’t think anyone expected the wave of digital solidarity around Depp’s innocence, especially among young people.

Guy #JusticeForJohnnyDepp on Twitter and you will understand. Millions of people have come to the same conclusion: Heard is an intriguing sociopath in the same way as Amy Dunne’s character; Depp let himself be trapped without realizing anything. “Amber Crotte has a history of violence”, shoot a tweet. “Johnny Depp doesn’t need Hollywood. He never needed it. They are the ones who need him. ” complete another.

The TikTok hashtag #JohnnyDeppIsInnocent meanwhile has more than 1.4 billion views, and users are perusing the cryptographic subtext of Amber Heard’s testimonials as if they were the lost shots of the film. Zapruder. In a video that has become absolutely viral, we see, in a Starbucks drive, two flagship cans resting on a counter: on one it says “Heard,” on the other “Depp.” “Come on Johnny!”, screams the woman filming, slipping a dollar bill into the jar “Depp.”

Any publication that casts even the shadow of a doubt about Johnny Depp’s innocence is instantly won over by hordes of bubbly teens, so much so that I fear this article will make me a notorious character in some of the nastiest corners of the internet.

Mysterious world of fans

Nobody really knows what to think of this trend. Having witnessed the endemic rot within Hollywood in the #MeToo era, it’s a curious sight to see so many people implicitly side with an actor who is credibly accused of being violent and, let’s be honest, whose notoriety peak is very behind him. This is one of the dark mysteries of the fan world. If BTS Army can buy all tickets for a tour in a nanosecond, then I guess Johnny Depp’s groupies have the power to turn Amber Heard into a super-harpy.

“We wanted to raise awareness that it is men who have the most difficulty letting people know that they are being abused.”

A member of the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp Brigade

“I have made many friends in this community”, says a member of the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp brigade asking to remain anonymous. “Most of the time, everyone supports you and everyone loves each other. Overall, everyone here is very nice. ”

When asked how they joined the cause, they told me they did “I wanted to use any platform, no matter how small, to spread the truth and raise awareness of how abusers lie and that it is the men who have the most difficulty letting people know they are victims of violence. It’s a much bigger problem than most people realize and I’m happy to be able to talk about it one way or another. “

caring instincts

Campaigns like this typically attract the more deranged sections of the American right, especially QAnon fanatics and devoted Mike Cernovich fans, who are likely still convinced that Seth Rich was murdered by the Clintons. The #DeppJustice movement isn’t overtly political, but I was surprised at how many of the people I met for this article are promoting other progressive causes in their Twitter biographies. In this universe, it’s perfectly normal for #FreePalestine to go hand in hand with #FreeJohnny on social media.

The sources I spoke to have all described their passion for the Depp-Heard scandal with the kind of language typically reserved for social justice operations. I didn’t feel like they came to their conclusions with the strength of 8chan. No, they are driven by the same benevolent instincts that drive so many young people to online activism and lead them in some dubious directions.

“Many people in this community are victims themselves or have met people who have been victims” of domestic violence, continues the activist I spoke to. “Having Johnny speak and say he’s a victim and explain what it’s like to pass gives us all a voice. […] For me, it’s incredibly inspiring to see him resist all that hatred and say, ‘No, that’s the truth. He gave me the courage to talk about my story too.

They summarize the cause as follows: “In the end, we’re passionate not because we love Captain Jack Sparrow, but because we want to raise awareness of a very real problem that often gets swept under the rug.”

Bots and scammers

That said, I’m still not convinced that the #DeppJustice movement is all from below. It’s impossible to take a strong speech literally in 2022, so I’m not surprised by the Fox News report that 11% of Twitter accounts participating in the conversation on the subject are bots, most of which are on Amber’s side. Heard.

For scammers, the opportunities to cash in on any culture war dividing line are innumerable, and it’s a safe bet that these intruders have pushed the unleashing of this melodrama to its current level with many releases. many people who still care about Johnny Depp. With each cycle of social networks, we must remember that successes are sometimes cardboard.

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This will not matter to those who are already fully committed to the #DeppJustice cause. Whatever may happen in court, they confirmed their opinion. Elyse tells me that when she was little she met Johnny Depp in a film set near the city where she lived. She gave him a drawing of Jack Sparrow and he hugged her. That’s all Elyse needs to know, deep in her heart, that she’s on the right side of the story. “The kindness impression he left on me that day hasn’t left me since,” she explains. It’s a sweet memory, and I hope anyone who abuses her trust will have a hard time sleeping at night.

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