Amber Heard

In the media trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, which began on April 11 in Fairfax County, Virginia, we have heard the full testimony of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actor, who sued his ex-wife for defamation because of an article from the Washington Post, where Heard recounted a life of abuse. Last week it was Heard’s turn to take the stand to give her version of her events, recounting, among other things, a lurid episode of alleged sexual assault with a bottle. This week, the trial is temporarily paralyzed due to a prior commitment of the judge handling the caseresuming next May 16.

In the meantime, several experts have provided their professional perspective by analyzing what we have seen so far in the contentious legal battle and its possible results. Entertainment Weekly collects the opinion of Dr. Jill Huntley Taylor, legal analyst and executive director of a consultancy, who points out two main challenges for both sides. First, “the truth itself”. “If the jury concludes that it was a mutually abusive relationship, some may view her article as technically correct. However, others may believe that Heard wrote a half-truth and would therefore be considered misleading.”Taylor says. The other refers to the article in question. “The testimony that she initially wanted me to [el nombre de Depp] was mentioned in the article may suggest malice. Y that it was published before the release of her film could suggest that her real motivation was to benefit herselfpoints out the expert.

taylor too cites the #MeToo movement as a possible point in Heard’s favor. According to her, “Juries have been more likely to defer to women who claim to be victims of abuse and are less likely to blame the past victim, which is to Heard’s advantage.”. However, this case is different because the person identified as the aggressor also declares himself a victim of abuse. “Essentially, he is also doing his own #MeToo”Taylor opines. “Is the jury willing to let him charge her with abuse as well or will they see it as blaming the victim? It all depends on credibility and evidence.”.

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On the other hand, a key testimony in the trial was that of Dr. Laurel Anderson, who was Depp and Heard’s marriage counselor, who declared that the actress had admitted to having hit Depp “to keep him there, because he would rather fight than let him go”. Her testimony was countered last week by Dr. Dawn Hughes, who testified in favor of Heard, denying that the abuse between the ex-partner was mutual, for which she claimed to have witnessed “very clear traumatic psychological effects” as a result of “intimate violence by Mr. Depp” and described Heard’s actions as “psychological aggression and reactive violence during altercations”after which he would have suffered post traumatic stress disorder.

Also through EW, Dr. Darcy Sterling, couples therapist and social worker, provides her point of view on the term “mutual abuse”: “In cases where the victim is only laying hands on their partner in self-defense, it shouldn’t be used, assuming we’re just talking about physical abuse, which is rare, because it’s almost always accompanied by emotional abuse. That said, abuse isn’t always committed exclusively by a single member of the couple”. For Sterling, the behavior of both was appalling and neither seems to be aware of their guilt. Things are easier to understand when one person is clearly the victim and another the aggressor. I wish life were more concrete, but relationships are made up of several people. In my 27 years as a therapist, the vast majority of relationships show problems on both sides.”.

Johnny Depp

Referring to this power dynamic between the couple, Dr. Ziv Cohen, chief physician at a New York psychiatric center, believes that “power has objective and subjective components”and adds, A relationship can be mutually abusive, but if there is an imbalance of power due to strength, wealth, status, intelligence, and so on, the more powerful person may be the abuser.although not necessarily. This is one of the main arguments in Heard’s defense, which maintains that the actress reacted violently to the abuse of her ex-husband, while Depp’s team argues that he was the victim of her abuse. Now, according to Cohen, the jury is out if Depp “She is also a vulnerable person with a history of abuse who was abused by Heard, rather than the other way around”.

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What will be the verdict?

The next few weeks will be key in the trial, where Heard will continue her testimony and will be questioned by Depp’s legal team. According to Taylor, the recordings of the couple will play an important role in the final stretch of the contest. In the audios, Heard admits to having committed violent acts against Depp, and Sterling believes that “people who record discussions almost always do so because they believe they are innocent”. Taylor believes that Depp’s drug use will also be part of Heard’s team’s defense, which in all likelihood will try to argue that the actor’s lifestyle was an influential factor in the alleged abuse against Heard.

With a case as complex as this, it is difficult to predict what the outcome will be, but experts are venturing to make predictions about the verdict. “It doesn’t matter who wins”Taylor says, “This is a case of a toxic relationship from which neither of them is going to come out unscathed”. However, the legal analyst gets wet and believes that “Depp has displayed charisma and charm on the stand, which may have endeared him to the jury.“. Cohen agrees with this position and, although he believes that Depp’s excesses can play tricks on him, “It seems that Depp has convinced arguing that it was a toxic relationship and that he may not have abused Heard”.

Cohen believes that Heard’s testimony, which has only just begun, may be “powerful”while Sterling believes that Depp, “a white, straight, rich man”you have more chances to winwhich “It has nothing to do with the case, but with society”.

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