It’s been available for a few days now. on Netflix Depp vs. Heard, a three-part documentary series that tells the story of a court case involving actor Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp accused a woman of libel who gave an interview to the Washington Post in 2018 in which she identified herself as a victim of domestic violence. According to Depp’s lawyers, this statement, which was found to be false and defamatory, caused serious damage to Depp’s acting career, which, among other things, was kicked out of Disney as the main character of the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, and also fired from the blockbuster Fantastic Beasts. The two ex-spouses then face each other in court, in a high-profile, on-camera trial that has been held in Fairfax, Virginia since April 2022. The courtroom is open-ended and in which jurors have the opportunity to hear the couple’s statements and the story of Depp’s alleged abuse.
A feature of the lawsuit (and a significant reason why Netflix chose to report on it) is the story’s massive impact on the media. In fact, the trial was watched live by millions of viewers, causing a huge uproar on social media (especially on TikTok, where “modified” videos of the testimony were wasted). A full-scale show in which the public immediately sided with Depp.keeping a very hot and extremely critical tone towards Heard.
Emma Cooper, director of the documentary series, put together over two hundred hours of footage, putting it into shape and consistency. The first two episodes of the factual series show, mostly in chronic form, various court testimony, expert statements, video reports and listening to audio recordings regarding Depp and Heard’s conversations. Everything is interspersed with inserts from various YouTubers who comment live on what they say in class. Thus, the overall impression of a large summary is created, which organizes all the available material..
Only in the third and final episode – entitled “Viral Verdict” – in addition to the announcement of the outcome of the trial (the jury favors Depp and requires Hurd to pay a multi-million dollar settlement, then reduced – by agreement between the parties – a million dollars, which Depp donated to charity ) discuss some of the key elements that played a fundamental role in this process. First of all, whatpublic opinion, the media, social media, and the judge’s order for the jury not to view online news (difficult, if not impossible, given that jurors returned to their homes every night to sleep, presumably in the presence of other family members and without being freed from various technologies).
What is behind the scenes of this story?
As mentioned, the most poignant part of the docu-series (and the only one really worth watching) takes place in the second half of the last episode. Here, in addition to asking legitimate questions about the appropriateness of such a process initiated by the media and the role it has played in the #MeToo movement (with all the differences in this case), unpublished details that have so far remained at least a little muted. In particular, two months after the verdict, more than six thousand documents were made public (which can be found in an abbreviated form here), in which correspondence between Depp’s personal assistant and Heard was published, in which the man reveals the relationship. It is reported that the actor is very aggressive towards his ex wife, as well as some of Amber’s statements that were refuted during the trial and which instead seem to take shape in these writings. All this documentation was rejected by the judge as unrelated to the libel suit and therefore not subject to litigation. The implication is that despite the media coverage of the event, there are many gray areas that Hollywood attention has certainly failed to illuminate.
What is the tone of the confrontation between Depp and Heard in two lines?
“It’s a collision of phenomena.”
“They are both wrong. One lie. Who do you trust?”