May 17, 2022

Why are we hearing this?

Here's a featured snippet of the long-running Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial. This is Heard on cross-examination, as she's made to listen to extensive audio of a fight the married couple had at some point in the past:

 

I can't take the time to watch the whole trial, but I am noticing things, especially the way social media is siding, apparently massively, with Depp. There's so much contempt for Heard that I'm inclined to construe things in her favor just to be fair. In the clip above, we're hearing 2 actors, doing who knows what to each other. Why does this ultra-private interaction exist in recorded form?

I looked up the answer. I found this Mirror article from 2 years ago (when Depp was losing a defamation lawsuit against The Sun): "Johnny Depp... told the court he frequently recorded conversations with Heard to remind her what had been said." That doesn't say whether she knew or whether the recordings were ever used in a constructive way.

I see that at The Spectator, Eleanor Harmsworth is speculating that the entire trial is Depp and Heard engaged in sexual role play:

At certain points it almost seems as if one of the two catches the other's eye for a moment whilst giving testimony, and you the viewer can sense a bat’s squeak of sexuality that appears to be imperceptible to the court.

Harmsworth has a fine-tuned sense of hearing. I don't know about the whole trial, but what about that fight that — through the magic of audio-recording — we're creepily listening in on? 

Now they are disentangling these intimate moments in front of each other and the world. As the trial of scorched earth continues, is it crazy to question whether the trial is really an elaborate exercise in fetishistic role play?

ADDED: Imagine if, years after the worst fight you had with your spouse, your spouse was suing you and you had to listen to that fight played back in court and respond as a lawyer sternly cross examine you about each private thing you said: "You called him [whatever you obviously said], didn't you?"

41 comments:

Kai Akker said...

That's the first sensible comment I have read about this trial.

gilbar said...

my view of the looks/crazy matrix is far different from many others..
However, She Ain't anywhere good looking enough for this

Curious George said...

"There's so much contempt for Heard that I'm inclined to construe things in her favor just to be fair."

How legally scholarly of you.

readering said...

The contrast between how tightly controlled is the Sussman trial, which started today and is expected to last 2 weeks, and this sprawling mess. Both concern brief, allegedly false, statements.

cubanbob said...

They are both crazy. Depp who can't control himself and his spending is somehow hoping that by winning he will be accepted again by those who greenlight projects. Nothing else makes sense. She certainly couldn't pay any award the court could award that is even remotely what he is asking for. Maybe when this titanic struggle of the egos is over they can have a marathon booze and drug fuel sex finale and it end with a murder suicide. Think of what a balland that would make.

Lem said...

Nobody made her write that defamatory article on a National newspaper.

Lindsey said...

They were advised by their marriage counselor to record things. She also recorded (and photographed) him at times he did not know it was happening.

TWWren said...

"I'm inclined to construe things in her favor just to be fair."

Really? But you just said you couldn't be bothered to watch most of this horrific demonstration of two very flawed people.

How do you know?

Gahrie said...

There's so much contempt for Heard that I'm inclined to construe things in her favor

Surprise, surprise, surprise.....

No woman must be made to feel bad about, or responsible for, anything, ever.

Lurker21 said...

It's all him and all her. That's enough for a nightly (or at least a weekly) wrap-up. To want to spend more time with the case you'd need a more colorful cast. Kato Kaelin, Clark, Cochran, Dershowitz, Bailey, Shapiro, Darden, and all the rest. But there wasn't enough at stake (or may be not enough money left) to bring in the really big legal guns, and I guess nobody in Johnny and Amber's world was very interesting.

Quaestor said...

Choosing the lesser of two evils is becoming increasingly difficult.

Narr said...

I want to see their (his and her) high school yearbooks. That's the only way to get to the bottom of this.

Skeptical Voter said...

Two loathsome people. It's a pity that they can't both lose.

David Begley said...

Depp’s female lawyer did a GREAT job on cross.

wendybar said...

I don't care about either one. Not paying attention.

Bob Boyd said...

A bat squeak of sexuality in the wet market of tabloid journalism is all it takes for this to go viral.

Lem said...

I love JD like he was my brother. We practically grew up together. When he put on drag and lipstick for a tv show he taught me something about commitment. When he did Edward Sisorhands he taught me something about using what you got, turning a negative into a positive, playing the hand you’re dealt. And then in Pirates… who doesn’t love a pirate?

Jane come lately Heard doesn’t have a prayer.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's too weird to listen to a recording of a married couple's fight. None of my business. I'm immediately suspicious of whoever was doing the recording.

Ann Althouse said...

“ Depp’s female lawyer did a GREAT job on cross.”

A great job of helping Amber!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

At certain points it almost seems as if one of the two catches the other's eye for a moment whilst giving testimony, and you the viewer can sense a bat’s squeak of sexuality that appears to be imperceptible to the court.

From the below article:
Vasquez opened her cross by revealing the story behind what everyone watching this trial has noticed: Johnny Depp hasn’t been able to look at Heard even once. “Mr. Depp hasn’t looked at you once this entire trial, has he?”

“Not that I’ve noticed, no,” replied Heard.

“You know exactly why Mr. Depp won’t look back at you, don’t you?” Heard said she did know why until Vasquez asked her next question. “He promised you you would never see his eyes again, isn’t that true?” Heard denied knowing that Depp told her that. That’s when Vasquez played a tape we haven’t heard yet. On it, Heard, having broken the restraining order to see Depp and beg for him to come back to her, is heard begging to touch him again and see his eyes. At one point she tries to take his glasses off. After rebuffing her attempt to remove his glasses, Depp says, “You will not see my f*cking eyes again.”

So, we have a statement at the trial that their eyes have not crossed even once the entire trial, vs someone imagining it's happening on a regular basis. I'd not believe anything the person you quoted wrote, on anything

Ann Althouse said...
“ Depp’s female lawyer did a GREAT job on cross.”
A great job of helping Amber!

I've read this: https://pjmedia.com/culture/megan-fox/2022/05/16/5-ways-johnny-depp-lawyer-wrecked-amber-heard-on-cross-examination-n1598378

What's missing? How did she help Amber?

Buckwheathikes said...

Ann Althouse Writes: "I can't take the time to watch the whole trial, but I am noticing things, especially the way social media is siding, apparently massively, with Depp. There's so much contempt for Heard that I'm inclined to construe things in her favor ..."

And there you have it folks - the American legal system in a nutshell.

A celebrated constitutional law professor, placed in the critical position of teaching others how to become a lawyer and how to think about the law, says, in essence, the following:

"I haven't seen the evidence. But I can see by the reaction from those who have seen the evidence and who are voicing disdain for the woman on social media and who are siding for the man, that I'm inclined to construe things in favor of the woman, because I too am a woman and therefore the man might be guilty, because she's so hated."

Johnny Depp is done for. Because this is the sorry state of our legal system that this law professor wrote this sentence, and then distributed it publicly, thinking nobody would notice.

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

Heard sounds pretty good on the stand. She quickly admits the obvious (that she was nasty in private) and maintains her composure.

The tapes generate sympathy for Heard. Everyone has said things in private that would sound embarrassing if played in court, so the shock quickly wears off.

By contrast, Depp sounded terrible on the stand. Hunched, slurring, snotty, supercilious.

I have no idea about the facts of the case, and I don't care enough to find out.

rhhardin said...

I class it with the Liz Taylor Richard Burton thing, which I also didn't find out the first thing about but was always in screaming headlines. Jean Shepherd remarked who in the world is interested in this stuff as part of their life.

rhhardin said...

I don't have any favorite films with either of them in it. I think there was an undependable female role in Syrup. Maybe that was Amber Heard.

Bruce Hayden said...


Bender said...

Without first hearing it, why we are hearing it any trial lawyer should be able to answer. Because it has relevance. Otherwise it is inadmissible. And we would be hearing the recording, rather than hearing from the witness, if the witness denied something or to contradict something that she had said. Recordings would be used for impeachment.

That's why.

Now, let's listen.

Gospace said...

Ann Althouse said...
“ Depp’s female lawyer did a GREAT job on cross.”

A great job of helping Amber!


Hmmm... Your analysis is different than every other one I've read today.

They're both screwed up individuals. But Johnny Deep is my 5th cousin 1X removed, so I have to side with him...

Bruce Hayden said...

“They are both crazy. Depp who can't control himself and his spending is somehow hoping that by winning he will be accepted again by those who greenlight projects. Nothing else makes sense.”

Someone who has met Depp several times, and has experience with bipolar issues in someone close to them, is convinced that Depp is, at a minimum, bipolar. This was 20 years ago, and he didn’t refute their suggestion, and they had some long discussions about the subject.

My guess is that he isn’t getting good parts because his recent work hasn’t been that popular in theaters. I think that the thing that he can do best, with his crazy eyes, is act the part of a crazy person. At his peak, I think that he was pretty good.

Bender said...

OK. So I heard three of the introductions to the recordings. On one, Heard says she doesn't remember something, so the recording was played. Then on the other two, she said something and the recording was played to contradict her.

Why is a lawyer asking why we are hearing recordings of conversations at trial?

donald said...

I’m listening to everything. She’s a fucking mean girl monster and is being caught in lies and contradictions from the very start of her testimony. He’s a dope.

So there’s your recap to date.

Mary Beth said...

Like Liz and Dick, but with fun house mirrors.

William said...

I suppose the apportionment of blame is something like sixty/forty but I wouldn't venture to guess where the preponderance lies and who except lawyers on an hourly rate or obsessive Johnny Depp fans or feminists can take the time and trouble to examine the case closely....Johnny Depp was an accomplished actor with many past triumphs. They will all be forgotten. This is what future generations will remember him for...I appreciate your effort to glean a usable moral lesson from their confusion and self indulgence. Maybe they had a thing for make up sex. It would be kind of cool if they started re-engaging gears right in the courtroom. Maybe it would help their careers. Couldn't possibly hurt.

Jon Burack said...

I am happy to report tht my brother, who is normally rabidly pro-male in these sorts of things, is on her side one hundred percent and cannot stand Depp. I only know that I am glad he is watching it and not me.

AZ Bob said...

I might rule for Depp but award $1 damages and no attorney's fees (if that's possible).

Enigma said...

Women do tend to side with women in disputes involving men. I believe it's instinctive, pragmatic, and protective, as men are typically stronger and more prone to physical violence. Women support another woman even when the facts go against her. Obviously and routinely.

In this case: "Crazy gets involved with crazy and craziness results." I blame crazy for 100% of the problems.

When it comes down to ultra crazy people, males tend to be violent while females tend to be double-super-weird-delusional-poop-in-the-bed-crazy.

paminwi said...

Readering: I read a synopsis of the 1st of the Sussman trial by a federal defense attorney. She said the government did a horrible job the 1st day & their first witness was unprepared.

Lem: Heard did not write the op-Ed. The ACLU wrote the op-Ed with her input. https://jezebel.com/the-aclu-says-it-wrote-amber-heards-domestic-violence-o-1848855450

I’m not watching the trial every day but try to read recaps by lawyers not entertainment reporters. Most say Depp’s lawyers are doing a great job showing time and time again how she has lied. Also, they specifically talk about her “so-called” interaction with the jury. When things get too dicey she won’t look at them but when she thinks she’s scored a point she frequently looks at them.

After watching & reading I personally hope she gets found guilty and has a judgement against her and if only to have to pay Depp’s legal fees. I could care less about whether Depp gets another role or not. Haven’t seen anything he’s done since the first pirate movie and never seen anything with Heard in it.

MAJMike said...

They're both losers.

Saint Croix said...

I'm not following this case, but it's interesting what his old girlfriends say about him.

Chris Lopes said...

This is one of those "unfortunately, they both can't lose" things.

Known Unknown said...

I'm siding with the guy who visits sick children in hospitals and doesn't tell anyone about it or use it for PR.

Lurker21 said...

I can believe that much of their relationship was like that -- making scenes and raising a ruckus because they got pleasure out of it -- but at this point, they probably just hate each other.

The latest story is Amber was spending time with James Franco when the marriage was coming to an end. Creepy, if true. Confirms my low opinion of her.