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Depp vs Heard: It's more complex than 'who's the victim and who's the villain?'

18 May 2022 2:56 PM
Tags:
Johnny Depp
Amber Heard
Domestic abuse

Mandy Wiener unpacks the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard court case with legal expert Lisa Vetten.
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It's the Tinsel-town trial that's got everyone talking.

Former husband and wife and Hollywood A-listers Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are battling it out in court in a multi-million dollar defamation suit filed by the Pirates of the Caribbean star against his ex-spouse.

Over the past few weeks, searing details about the volatile and violent nature of the couple's relationship have come to light.

On Monday, Heard told the jury hearing the case that she filed for divorce from the Depp six years ago because she feared for her life.

"I had to leave him," Heard said. "I knew I wouldn't survive if I didn't. I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me."

Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive "monster" when he was drinking.

Depp has denied ever hitting his ex-wife and claimed that she was the one who was frequently violent.

Lisa Vetten is a research associate at Wits Institute for Social Economic Research (Wiser).

She tells Mandy Weiner that the former couple's tumultuous relationship makes for a very complex legal case.

I think we are used to domestic violence cases that are very clear cut, where there is a very clear victim and a very clear villain.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

This is not a case like that. The evidence and perspectives are often quite contradictory.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

The case, says Vetten, makes us think about two things.

Firstly, the impact of reducing complex human relationships to morality fables about 'victims and villains'.

If you listen to some of the psychologist's evaluations, it clearly suggests something alot more complicated than good and bad.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

The second thing, says Vetten, is that is makes us think about 'what is domestic violence?'

The different kinds of domestic violence... some of Johnny Depp's testimony clearly suggests that living with him was far from pleasant.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

Depp filed the $50 million suit against Heard over an article she penned for _The Washington Pos_t in 2018 (although she did not name him) describing herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse".

Heard, countersued for $100 million and claimed she suffered "rampant physical violence and abuse" at his hands.




18 May 2022 2:56 PM
Tags:
Johnny Depp
Amber Heard
Domestic abuse

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