Depp defamation verdict excites the right: "A win for all men who have been wrongfully accused"

Twitter flooded with rejoicing from the GOP and men after a jury ruled in favor of Depp vs Amber Heard

By Kelly McClure

Published June 1, 2022 5:22PM (EDT)

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Over the long holiday weekend, and into the start of Pride Month, followers of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial have been keeping a watchful eye for the held-over jury to return with a verdict. Wednesday afternoon that verdict was handed down in favor of Depp.

"The disappointment I feel today is beyond words," Heard wrote in a statement after the verdict was delivered. "I'm heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.

"I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."

RELATED: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's ongoing defamation trial: Here's everything you need to know

Determining that Heard had acted with "malice" in a 2018 op-ed she wrote about Depp for The Washington Post in which she detailed abuse suffered during their marriage and called for him to pay her $15 million in damages, the verdict awarded her $2 million in compensatory damages for her counterclaim, according to Variety, while awarding Depp with $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. 

Just as the verdict itself was in favor of Depp, many reactions shot off on Twitter skewed in that direction as well. 

The official Twitter account for the House Judiciary GOP reacted to the verdict with a fan GIF of Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

Trump-endorsed author, Nick Adams, calls the verdict, "A win for all men who have been wrongfully accused of sexual assault."

Pop culture commentator, Andy Signore, posted a screenshot of Heard's statement with photoshopped red editor's "corrections," referring to her evidence as "lies" and Depp's power as "the truth."

Comedian Andy Milonakis quips that Heard, "seems like the type of girl that would call Johnny Depp after the lawsuit is over and see if he wants to get back together."

Host of "Human Rights," Jack Posobiec, calls for the ACLU to apologize to Depp.

Even Donald Trump Jr. is celebrating Depp's win, echoing Chris Rock's joke, "Believe all women . . . except Amber Heard," and adding, "$15,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to Depp, and perhaps a case that could end the effective rabid femminist notion that all men are guilty before being proven innocent that we've seen as of late." 


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Depp, basking in the support, posted a statement on Instagram after the verdict reading, "Six years later, the jury gave me my life back . . . I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up.

"I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media. . . .The best is yet to come," he adds.

Musician Ryan Adams, the center of abuse allegations himself, reacted to Depp's statement on Instagram by posting a string of supportive emojis.

While the reactions in favor of Depp make the weight of the jury's verdict feel extra heavy, those who are coming forward in support of Heard show signs of hopefulness that women who bravely speak out against their abusers aren't always up against the seemingly immovable wall of the judicial system, and the darker side of public opinion.

Moira Donegan, a gender and politics columnist for The Guardian, took to Twitter to say "If women can't speak about their experiences of gender abuse without incurring ruinous defamation suits, then functionally that speech by women is not free."

Ej Dickson, a senior writer for Rolling Stone, reminds us of the vast amount of evidence Heard had against Depp, which was ultimately not enough to sway the jury's decision.

Jessica DeFino, a beauty critic for The New York Times and other outlets, responded to the verdict with a thread pin-pointing how society simply wants women to give up and shut up.

Isaac Chotiner, a New Yorker staff writer, comments that cheering for Depp is "less morally grotesque than going to a fascist rally or something."

Taylor Lorenz, a writer for The Washington Post, highlights one of the most dire aspects of this verdict, the fact that hundreds of abuse victims are pulling out of court cases after seeing the results of this trial. 

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Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Amber Heard Defamation Trial Johnny Depp Verdict