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Violence Has No Gender: Lessons from the Depp v. Heard Case

Depp, El American

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The verdict in the defamation lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard was finally known yesterday. The jury ruled in favor of the actor on all allegations, dismissing the accusations of domestic violence and sexual assault made by Heard. In 2018, the actress wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post claiming she was a victim of domestic abuse. After that, Depp faced an avalanche of criticism and finger-pointing in the media that ended up sinking his career, allegedly causing him deep damage to his personal life.

“The jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled. My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought. From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me,” Depp said after learning of the verdict.

The actor’s words are revealing. Years ago, the accusations of a woman who joined the popular #MeToo destroyed his life, because in a society that has been carried away by the extreme ideas of feminists all violence became male. This, of course, imposed the belief that everything a woman said was always true and that social sanction should be made immediately after any accusation, no matter if there is no evidence or if there has been no trial at all.

It is comforting to see that the same society that a few years ago scorned Depp, without any proof that he was an abuser, today applauds him and reflects on the drama experienced by many men who are slandered, abused, and who have no way to prove the truth because they are not even given the opportunity to speak. The Depp-Heard trial reminds us once again that violence has no gender. People are good or bad regardless of their gender, and if we want to be fair it is best that we always wait for evidence before pointing fingers and socially condemning someone.

This article originally appeared in El American’s newsletter on June 2, 2022. Subscribe for free here.

Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editor-in-chief of El American. Economist. Podcaster. Political and economic analysis of America. Colombian exile in the United States // Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editora en jefe de El American. Economista. Podcaster. Análisis político y económico de América. Colombiana exiliada en EE. UU.

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