Johnny Depp destroyed his reputation to win verdict — but man, it was a show

As Johnny Depp once said to Amber Heard, “You want to see crazy?”

Turns out we all did, in a big way. Like 3-D, IMAX, “Game of Thrones”-The-Wall big.

And man, did we get it.

Name me a wilder, more original, compelling, can’t-look-away tragicomic serial viewing experience than “Depp v. Heard.”

It’s enough to make you forget about the Oscars. Will Smith slapped who?

“Depp v. Heard,” thank you. This was the perfect “Are-we-post-pandemic-but-hurtling-into-full-recession-and-maybe-World-War-III?” distraction, the id of two spoiled celebrities unleashed, macabre and hilarious, replete with human feces, a severed appendage, literal blood on the walls and blasé testimony from Lady Gaga’s ex-fiancé and supermodel Kate Moss.

What on earth will we do without it?

At the same moment that Tom Cruise has successfully rebranded himself from bats—t crazy couch-jumping Scientologist to the world’s biggest, most reliable movie star—oh, the reassuring pleasures of “Top Gun: Maverick,” not least of which is a major theatrical release — Johnny Depp has performed the opposite feat.

A movie star beloved by Gen X peers and little kids was revealed to be an alcoholic, drug-addicted mess whose alter-ego was “The Monster,” a man ruled by a UK court as a wife-beater.

He did it to himself. He didn’t have to bring this suit. But because he clearly avoided good advice from expensive people, Johnny Depp determined that this was the only way to salvage his reputation.

Johnny Depp won his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, but his reputation is still in trouble.
Johnny Depp won his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

In he came every morning, in a flashy suit and chauffeured SUV, blasting Bob Marley, waving to his fans regally, the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia just another red carpet. Johnny Depp, in a different universe.

Oh, the laughs Johnny had! In between munching on gummy bears, smirking with his lawyers, doodling and coloring, Johnny found nothing shocking.

Not the s—t on the bed. “On my side of the bed, um, was human fecal matter,” he testified.

Could it have been the dogs in gastrointestinal distress?

“The dogs weigh — they’re teacup Yorkies,” Depp said, his deadpan impeccable. “They weigh about four pounds each.”

Depp greeting a crowd of supporters as he left court.
Depp greeting a crowd of supporters as he left court during the case.

Relatedly, Snopes tried to confirm whether Depp’s friend Gina Deuters farted on the stand. Their findings were inconclusive.

Johnny’s doorman, deposed in his car, frantically vaping and driving away in an attempt to escape this entire mishegoss: Chef’s kiss!

The texts between Heard and talent agent Christian Carino — so brutal! So refreshing! As Heard moans about losing billionaire space colonizer Elon Musk, Carino responded like the bitchiest Real Housewife of Hollywood.

“Dealing with breakup,” Heard texted. “Hate when things go public. See I’m so sad.”

A photo of Depp's bandaged finger presented as evidence in the trial.
A photo of Depp’s bandaged finger presented as evidence in the trial.
Johnny Depp Legal Team/Handout via REUTERS

“Sounds like a press release,” Carino shot back. “You weren’t in love with him and you told me a thousand times you were just filling space.”

Carino told her to get real. “You could avoid all this if you stop dating über-famous people,” he wrote.


That said, I think Heard’s testimony was persuasive. Clearly, they had a damaging marriage, but Johnny Depp is still regarded as a rapscallion, a charming bad boy (ugh), while Heard is considered vile, ac–t, any number of vicious appellations the incel online hive mind has thrown at her .

Women still have to be perfect victims. Men, as this trial has shown, do not.

As for Johnny: He may own a private island, but we learned he lives in a shack. Who else pictured a glass-walled compound to match that $27 million yacht — you know, the one he was forced to sell to JK Rowling?

We heard how embittered he was about that, as well as how his security team felt about “Boss,” as they called him, drinking and drugging. Working for late-stage Elvis sounded more fun.

“I’m going to stay with this f—ing idiot in case he gets sick,” said one bodyguard.

Asked of another: “Mr. Depp was trying to urinate in the foyer, wasn’t he?”

We got Depp’s delicate parsing of the finger incident. The he-said-she-said paled in comparison to the photos — the damage he did, the bloody stump itself, a zonked-out Johnny on an ER stretcher, sunglasses still on.

Heard leaving the Fairfax County Courthouse after the verdict was read on June 1, 2022.
Heard leaving the Fairfax County Courthouse after the verdict was read on June 1, 2022.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

“I recall painting on a lampshade, on a wall, on a mirror,” Depp said. The regular Marcel Duchamp. “I remember dunking my finger into paint thinner and using it to paint when I had run out of blood to paint with.”

The trial’s coda gifted a plot twist none of us saw coming — the possible rekindling of ’90s It Couple Depp and Moss.

I’m chic. I’m messy. Better than Brad and Jen.

As for the verdict: Depp won, but he also lost. Disney will never hire him again. It’s hard to think of a major studio or streamer that ever would. He’s pushing 60, seems a hopeless addict, and will never outrun what he wanted more than anything: A celebrity show trial for the Internet age.

Memories fade. Memes are forever.


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