Reviewing the Basics of the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Trial

Reviewing the Basics of the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Trial

By Jackie Sauer and Chloe Levy

Trigger Warning: Sexual assault, drug abuse, domestic violence (These topics might upset some readers, so be careful when continuing to read. These topics shouldn’t be glamorized, but should have awareness attached to them to educate people and society)

One of the most prominent news stories in the media today is the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard case. As of now, Johnny is suing Amber Heard for $140,000,000 due to an op-ed from 2018 she wrote to the Washington Post. As Depp has tried to clear his name and as Heard had just taken the stand, these trials could be getting confusing to people who aren’t following along, so here are the basics:

In 2009 Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met on the set of a movie they were hired to act in and started dating in 2012. Three years later they got married, but not long after, Amber filed for a divorce from her husband, Johnny. To the public eye, it all went downhill from there, but ever since the trials had started between the two, there was clearly suffering in the relationship – on both sides.

Jessica Levy, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social work with a minor in child and family studies from Syracuse University and a master’s in social work from Columbia University, now working as a behavioral health clinician licensed as a clinical social worker, described Amber Heard’s mental illnesses in depth. She said “Personality disorders in general typically stem from some type of combination of genetic factors as well as a person’s upbringing. If a person grows up with a dysfunctional family dynamic, it could potentially contribute to later development of a personality disorder.” Amber was diagnosed with two different personality disorders (Histrionic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) by Dr. Shannon Curry. Jessica Levy described BPD as “a disorder that is characterized by lability in mood, behavior, and challenges in relationships. Some of the symptoms you could see are things like an intense fear of abandonment and behavior to prevent this, extremes in relationships going from idolizing a person to devaluing, difficulty with identity, impulsivity that can be self-damaging, and difficulty regulating anger. Histrionic Personality Disorder is all about extreme emotionality that is accompanied by attention-seeking behavior. Some symptoms of this disorder are uncomfortableness when not the center of attention, rapid change, excessive and shallow expressions of emotions, potential sexually seductive or provocative behaviors to gain attention from others, and being easily influenced by others.

Johnny Depp’s childhood wasn’t easy and he is said to have struggled many times with the use of drugs, starting from only age 11. Along with Amber Heard, Depp is diagnosed with some mental disorders, including ADHD, chronic substance abuse, and depression. His struggles with drugs have continued all of his life and while he has been sober for many years, he was an admitted alcoholic while he was with Amber. Since he was not sober for most of 2012, he acted verbally violent towards Heard and even admitted to some hurtful acts, like painting threatening messages with his own blood on their walls. Even though there is evidence of Depp acting hostile towards Heard, there is also solid proof that some of her testified claims aren’t adding up. For instance, Amber and her lawyers presented the argument that she used certain makeup to cover up the alleged beatings that Depp gave her. She had said that she used the “Milani Conceal + Perfect All-in-One Correcting Kit” to conceal the bruises she had gotten. After the testimony, an invocation by Milani Cosmetics was let out through a viral TikTok, explaining that the makeup product was actually circulating one year after the divorce filing.

There is evidence pointing to verbal abuse created on both sides, but the truth of the physical abuse allegations or what actually happened is what people are trying to figure out. There are way more testimonies and moments that were not added, but important to the case. Since these are/were two beloved actors, the public has given these trials a lot of attention and awareness. Many other cases like this deal with the same issues and get less viewers, but this helps a lot of people learn what happens between two people in relationships like this. This case has spread a lot of awareness and is given the opportunity to teach people about these things because of how popular it is in the media.