*Thank you so much to Lydia Bracken for this guest article.
There are a ridiculous amount of articles and media stories right now about how Amber Heard losing the trial against Johnny Depp is a step back for women, women’s rights, and how they are treated under the law.
I absolutely, 100% disagree.
I also vehemently oppose the statement that she represents me and all other women — especially domestic abuse survivors. Let me be clear, I have not been abused and am not claiming that title. But since the trial has ended, the statements released by Amber, her publicist team, and some media outlets are trying to turn this into a broader issue than it truly is . . . as if they are trying to pull every American woman under Amber’s supposedly benevolent shelter.
I refuse, and strongly believe that so should you.
This is not a broad issue gone awry. This is not a power struggle where men are winning against beaten, abused women. This is one single case (albeit well-publicized, due to the parties involved) of a lying, vindictive woman trying to drag a man into the mud before he can get away.
Many articles continue to portray Amber as a victim, even though the unanimous jury verdict was clear: SHE IS LYING. That was their take on the whole thing! She was declared a liar.
Many articles also decry the overwhelming support Johnny began to receive on social media throughout the trial — using that to support their claims that Johnny used his power and influence as a well-known celebrity (and more specifically, as a man) to win this verdict that is “setting women back.”
I don’t feel set back at all.
In fact, I feel greater confidence in our justice system. I feel a peace that there are seven individuals in Virginia with whom I wholeheartedly agree. I celebrate that within the confines of the courtroom, the jury was able to decipher what appeared to be the truth for anyone who went into the trial with an open mind.
From much of the news coverage, articles, comments, and tweets regarding the trial’s result — you can tell the writer had already made up their mind who was right before observing any of the evidence. Amber is a woman . . . and thus Amber was abused . . . and thus Johnny is another rich, white man taking advantage of women, and making their way harder in life.
I have seen many complaints bandied about regarding the entire trial being televised and available to live stream in its entirety. There are many people upset that that was done and who say that it created the circus that it became — with Amber suffering because of it.
True, there was no need for the viciousness that much of it turned into. The anonymity of the internet creates the ability for many to act much more harshly than they would ever choose to in person. However, I am still so glad that it was shared in total.
I remember hearing a few years ago about Johnny Depp being an abuser.
I felt disappointed that yet another celebrity had turned out to be trash in their personal life. It made me sad, and then I continued on with life, never digging any deeper.
That vague recollection of the charges from years ago was the only preface I had in entering the live stream version of the trial footage. That and two to three TikTok videos that people were making spin-offs of. When my husband started showing me those TikToks, I told him I didn’t find them funny. I said, “If what she is saying is true, she has gone through terrible experiences and now people are making fun of her for sharing them.”
I decided to look into the trial myself. I entered my examination of the trial with an open mind — mostly seeking vindication for Amber to defend against the growing body of social media mockery that was being created.
What I discovered was the opposite.
Camille is fantastic. And Amber appeared to be lying. The more I watched, the more I became convinced. I waited with the rest of those watching to hear the jury’s verdict, hoping that they were also seeing what appeared to be so clear on my screen.
I cannot tell you what my personal opinion regarding the verdict would be had I not been able to watch the trial myself. The articles and opinion pieces are heavily skewed. Even the reports on Depp winning twist their words and quotes from the trial — to leave the reader thinking he got off free from devious crimes.
Johnny may not be innocent of any wrongdoing. He certainly was struggling with substances throughout their relationship. But when watching the unfiltered, unclipped for news, full footage of the trial — the vast majority of Amber’s excruciatingly detailed accounts of abuse in her testimony seem to be entirely made up.
Without basis, without evidence, without corroboration.
Nursing notes shared during the trial quote Amber stating that she has had the “hardest week of her life” due to negative media attention, following the announcement of her divorce from Depp. You cannot tell me that if she had truly experienced the horrible abuses she claims, that negative media attention could give her the worst week of her life. Seriously?
The verdict in this 2022 case confirmed my hopes and did, indeed, give Johnny his life back.
Watching the trial changed my mind — not because of his star power; not because he is a man. But due to Amber’s accusations of sexual and domestic violence appearing to be wholly and entirely fabricated.
I wonder how many journalists, news anchors, and writers can say the same: that they began this trial with an open mind . . . That they entered their coverage of this trial with an intention of sharing the truth as it was revealed by the evidence . . . That they would assume innocent until proven guilty . . . That they would give Amber and Johnny equal weight in their assessments . . . That they would support the final verdict of which a jury decided in a court of law.
My message to the media and others is this:
Stop trying to tell people what to think! Stop trying to tell people what the verdict should have been to be correct. Stop telling me who represents me!
I watched it for myself, hours upon hours, because it was fascinating. I personally believe the jury got their verdict right. And I certainly don’t want a liar to represent me, whether woman or man. If anything in this trial has harmed women, it is Amber — her lies, her abuse of Johnny, and her attempts to control the narrative in her favor, even after her actions have been brought to light.
Amber Heard does not represent me. Stop trying to tell me that she does.
About the Author
Lydia Bracken lives in the West Ashley area of Charleston. She spends the majority of her time with her four children, ages 10 and under, and adds in her husband whenever possible. She loves the warm weather and the water everywhere, planning for Charleston to remain her home base even as she dreams of future travel once her children are older. She began her own blog in January of 2022 at www.charlestonfamilytravel.com