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More than a month after the Heard/Depp verdict, the professional haters just won’t let Amber Heard go

During the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp defamation trial, videos taking aim at Heard filled up Tik-Tok and YouTube. Some posted them because they genuinely hated Heard; others jumped in because they knew money could be made off the vast audience clamoring continually for more Heard content.

Well, it’s been more than a month since the verdict in the case came down; Heard lost. But her haters on YouTube just can’t seem to quit her.

Here’s a tiny collection of Amber Heard videos that have gone up on YouTube in the last several days. There are dozens, if not hundreds of them, some with hundreds of thousands of views.

Even the thrift store video has gotten more than 100 thousand views in the five days it’s been up. Even though she wasn’t in a thrift store but rather shopping at TJ Maxx.

Meanwhile, fans of Marilyn Manson (who knew there were any of these left) are talking about turning “Westworld” actor Evan Rachel Wood, who has accused Manson of rape and abuse, into “Amber Heard 2.0.” MAGA types fantasize about giving Jan 6. commission star witness Cassidy Hutchinson the “Amber Heard 2.0” treatment because she testified to things they really didn’t want to hear.

What this is really like is Gamerrgate 2.0; it’s the same nasty tactics, the same sort of obsession, that we saw directed at former Gamergate bete noires like Anita Sarkeesian and Zooey Quinn, just on a larger scale.

I suspect Amber Heard is going to have a long career as an internet punching bag. Once the Great Internet Lady Hating Machine picks out a target, they tend to fixate on them for years to come. Amber Heard is going to be Amber Heard 2.0.

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Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Obviously there are some people who just used this trial as an excuse to post misogynistic abuse.

A lot of the coverage though has just been reporting on the trial and the surrounding issues. Some of that has been quite non-sensationalist and measured. Some of it has been sensationalised and bombastic. But that’s just how new media is now. There are plenty of commentators that are admired round here that also use a somewhat less formal approach to reporting on matters.

And yes, a lot of the coverage, perhaps most, has been critical of Heard.

But that fact is, whether, rightly or wrongly, a lot of people honestly think she is in the wrong. So is it ok to mock people if they are seen to be wrongdoers?

Well, we certainly mock people who we feel deserve it. So is that a privilege that can only be enjoyed by the ‘right’ people? Are some people off-limits just because we may sympathise with them?

As for monetising commentary, well, that’s how journalists and online bloggers make their income. Just the same as old media. Newspaper journalists and TV reporters don’t work for free on days they are reporting tragedies.

This matter has dragged on; but that’s down to Heard. Her PR machine (ironically run by this guy) has been in full swing. And that’s fair enough, this is all about reputation management. And it’s a pretty full spectrum approach.

There is a lot of commentary because of a motion Elaine Bredehoft has filed. Which is exactly what she wanted want. It was Elaine’s office who released that to the public. They had no need to unless they wanted it out there.

But perhaps understandably the legal commentary has been very critical. The motion is an abuse of process. It raises completely unarguable grounds (some of which they concede in a footnote). And it reads like it was written by someone who hadn’t seen the trial. It is full of demonstrable inaccuracies about the trial and the verdict. It may get Elaine sanctioned by the court (note that Ben Rottenborn hasn’t put his name to it).

But that doesn’t matter. It wasn’t written for the court; it was written to retcon the trial. It’s the Donald Trump approach. Make a claim setting out the facts you want people to believe; even though they’re demonstrably false. But then when the court inevitably dismisses them, you can blame the corrupt judges; and your supporters will still go with the alternative narrative that you set out.

I should also point point out that her PR team has tried to block any commentary they don’t approve of (i.e any that doesn’t suggest the verdict was wrong) through frivolous take down requests. But perhaps more insidious they have doxxed people and engaged in plenty of abuse themselves. Including of DV survivors who accept the verdict. They have literally accused survivors of making their stories up (even where they have been talking about them for years).

They also promote the incel rhetoric that any woman who supports Depp only does so because they go gooey at the thought of a handsome abuser.

So yes, the misogynistic abuse of Heard by the usual suspects is abhorrent and inexcusable.

But automatically equating any criticism of Heard as misogynistic falls into the same trap as when people say any criticism of Candace Owen is racist.

Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out I am one of the few lawyers certain people haven’t targeted. Possibly because I’m about the only UK lawyer defending the UK judgment; and I have publicly suggested Heard could have won; with a better trial strategy.

Ironically a lot of Depp supporters are worried this might give Heard ideas for a re-trial so they don’t think we should have explained it.

(I stop rambling and actually answer the questions from around 1:18 and 1:30)

Last edited 6 months ago by Alan Robertshaw
An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
6 months ago

“Some people?” For weeks on social media, I was inundated with reminders of the Depp/Heard “hype train” and it was consistently absolutely abhorrent. Every single day I had to hear about this shit until something bigger showed up, namely the death of Roe v Wade. Even in videos posted on this site about the issue (except the pro-Heard ones), the comments were exactly the same shit. The vast majority was a firehose of sexist tropes and ableist slurs, but some people tried to act all smart and pass off face-reading as reasonable justification, including apparently the jury if we’re to believe that one dude who spoke up.

This goes far beyond mocking. I can’t believe this even has to be said.

Not all criticism of Heard is misogynistic, but if there’s a single person who believes that Depp won (he didn’t; he just got the net reward) and it was deserved, who hasn’t based those beliefs in any way on misogyny or ableism, I have yet to find them.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
6 months ago

Interesting how all those video links look exactly like the tabloid covers that scream at you from those grocery store shelves by the checkout.

OT: is DeviantArt useful or a flaming garbage pile?

OT 2: Site feels sluggish again. Seems reliable, but … slow. Significantly slower than on July 1.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
6 months ago

Is a celebratory “ding dong the witch is dead” appropriate on a feminist site?

https://apnews.com/article/boris-johnson-resignation-60da3c4b29a4e9c93c7db9f53034ad0e

Lollypop
Lollypop
6 months ago

@Alan Robertshaw

I am very sleepy so your analysis has gone somewhat over my head, but it’s nice to see a mammother on video!

Jono
Jono
6 months ago

Not all criticism of Heard is misogynistic, but if there’s a single person who believes that Depp won (he didn’t; he just got the net reward) and it was deserved, who hasn’t based those beliefs in any way on misogyny or ableism, I have yet to find them.

Well you’re looking at him, regardless what other people have said about me. If you want to know why I think that, i.e. that I think that the verdict is not actually contradictory, then you’re free to ask.

P.S. Alan Robertshaw might actually be another one, if read his posts. That’s not to say that there’s not some misogyny involved in some of the criticism, there is. However, dare I say that most of law-tubers or lawyers commenting on the case on youtube also seem to believe that Depp won but I see no misogyny in their analyses, just a discussion of the evidence and the verdict.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jono
Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
6 months ago

Methinks the obsessed Depp fanboi doth protest too much …

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
6 months ago

@Jono

You keep thinking you’re so slick.

From Tim Lieder:

TheLilithian,

Congratulations. You didn’t pay attention to the trial. Or your abuse victim friends if you have any left. Or any if depps girlfriends who vouched for him.

Or amber heards ex whom she abused.

But an adult woman cam be considered a child in your eyes.

So you love the patriarchy

From Elaine the witch:

@tim

I don’t know how to tell you this but a 17 year old is not an adult. That is a minor. Still a child. A man 10 years older then her doesn’t have any business trying to stick his penis in her

Source: this comment thread, where you inexplicably go after Surplus to Requirements even though his comment was in response to this charming character, and continue to engage with him in such a petty manner across multiple other threads.

It’s so weird how “please understand that not everybody is like that” and “I’m just stating the facts” only seem to be valid for one side. It’s even weirder how only DV survivors who side with Depp are ever brought up as an argument.

Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

Speaking of law, here’s a really good summary of the implications of the Forstater decision.

Might be useful for Brit Mammotheers; esp trans peeps about what their work colleagues can and cannot say.

https://transsafety.network/posts/dont-overblow-forstater/

Jono
Jono
6 months ago

You keep thinking you’re so slick.
From Tim Lieder:

TheLilithian,

Congratulations. You didn’t pay attention to the trial. Or your abuse victim friends if you have any left. Or any if depps girlfriends who vouched for him.

Or amber heards ex whom she abused.

But an adult woman cam be considered a child in your eyes.

So you love the patriarchy

From Elaine the witch:

@tim

I don’t know how to tell you this but a 17 year old is not an adult. That is a minor. Still a child. A man 10 years older then her doesn’t have any business trying to stick his penis in her

Source: this comment thread, where you inexplicably go after Surplus to Requirements even though his comment was in response to this charming character, and continue to engage with him in such a petty manner across multiple other threads.

Dude, the comment was in response to Surplus saying that he had to use “mental gymnastics” to defend Depp, when I simply responded that the jury in the US found in his favour. What’s wrong with that? That’s actually what happened, (with the exception of one case in Heard’s favour). Now maybe I misunderstood something but I don’t know what Elaine was referring to in Tim’s post, Amber was in her 20’s when she started dating Depp I would never ever in my life defend people who exploit children.

My engaging with Surplus is in response to them continuously going after me, just as an example they just did exactly the same thing in the post just before yours

Methinks the obsessed Depp fanboi doth protest too much …

And I predict that they will do exactly the same bloody thing whenever I comment on any blog post relating to depp v heard case. If they want me to stop going after them then they must stop going after me, I will not make comment about them if they don’t make a comment about me.

It’s so weird how “please understand that not everybody is like that” and “I’m just stating the facts” only seem to be valid for one side. It’s even weirder how only DV survivors who side with Depp are ever brought up as an argument.

I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve tried to engage with people on both sides of the argument, never said that it only applies to me. I’ve never brought up DV survivors at all who side with either side but I do know that some identify with Heard and some with Depp, I’ve never disparaged either of them.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jono
Jono
Jono
6 months ago

Oh and one more thing,

Methinks the obsessed Depp fanboi doth protest too much …

Whatever, shut up. I will not engage with you any further.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
6 months ago

How did I get brought into this. I haven’t even been in this thread

Jono
Jono
6 months ago

@Elaine the Witch,

Sorry about that, you were quoted from a thread in an earlier blogpost. I’ve been having an altercation with someone else on here. Didn’t mean to bring you into it.

Alyson
Alyson
6 months ago

Amber Heard is the new Zoe Quinn
(would have been a good headline)

Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

As this is a bit of a law thread…

They’ve been doing luminescence analysis of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Some interesting ‘tracked changes’ (they literally did that with edits!).

Like this one; subjects became citizens:

comment image

And my favourite comment on this:

“Given the current Supreme Court, I can see this becoming a new sub-specialty in Constitutional Law practice.”

Jono
Jono
6 months ago

@Alyson, Zoe Quinn never deserved anything that happened her. That whole Gamergate was ridiculous.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
6 months ago

@Jono:

Zoe Quinn never deserved anything that happened her.

Amber Heard didn’t either.

zuzu
zuzu
6 months ago

@Alan Robertshaw

You may want to slow your roll there. You don’t practice in the US, so you may be unfamiliar with post-trial motions.

First off, you’re just factually wrong that Rottenborn isn’t on this motion. He is (see signature block on page 2 here). Bredehoft signed on behalf of all counsel; it’s not at all necessary for each and every attorney to sign as long as one attorney who’s admitted in the jurisdiction signs.

It’s a bog-standard post-trial motion, and one that attorneys file all the time. It seeks relief from the verdict on the following grounds:

  1. The damages awarded by the jury were not supported by the facts and the law and should be set aside;
  2. The verdicts on the complaint and counterclaim are inconsistent and should be set aside;
  3. The First Amendment bars recovery for defamation by implication when the statements at issue are true on their face and are on matters of public concern;
  4. The jury’s finding of defamation of implication is contrary to the law and unsupported by facts and should be set aside;
  5. Depp did not present evidence of actual malice;
  6. Depp did not present sufficient evidence to support a finding of evidence by innuendo;
  7. The court should conduct an investigation into Juror #15 and whether jury service was proper and due process was protected.

The first item has a lot to do with the scope of conduct that the jury’s award of damages covered — there was no evidence of monetary damage from the actual article’s statements, but they awarded punitive damages in excess of the statutory amount, as well as for conduct that had nothing to do with the conduct that was subject of the lawsuit itself, vs. Depp’s allegations of abuse.

The rest of it is essentially asking the court to fix the hash the jury made of the verdict, by taking the decision away from the jury and making the trial judge write an opinion laying out her decision, but supported by facts and law. Again, this is a standard thing to do, particularly when you find out you have a juror who took their parent’s juror summons and reported for service while lying about who they were. That’s a HUGE issue, and enough to set aside the verdict on its own (remember the Ghislaine Maxwell trial?).

Of course Depp people are criticizing this move. But it’s not like they’re a good yardstick. And let’s be real, this thing isn’t going to end until it reaches the Virginia Supreme Court, and we all knew that.

zuzu
zuzu
6 months ago

Also, if the motion is “full of demonstrable inaccuracies about the trial and the verdict,” then Bredehoft will probably be sanctioned, yes. But she did sign her name to it, and she’s not going to put her career and reputation on the line for a broke client’s PR purposes, don’t you think?

Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

@ zuzu

asking the court to fix the hash the jury made of the verdict, by taking the decision away from the jury 

I very much appreciate your comments. I am afraid though I have a slightly different take on the issues. And I get what you say about jurisdiction; but I’m not totally unfamiliar with the local rules; and perhaps more importantly, these just aren’t my own views. We spend a lot of time liaising with other lawyers, inc VA ones, for their opinions; and there very much is a consensus here.

But it was no surprise to us that the judge dismissed the main grounds just on the face.

And as for the jury point; that was a total red herring. The juror filled out all the paperwork correctly, and that includes date of birth. As the judge noted, Elaine B had put in no evidence whatsoever that there had been any sort of irregularity.

I do understand the PR aspects of this filing. However I must confess I find it highly distasteful that AH’s team are insulting the integrity and competency of the judge and jury just to create a false narrative.

I also find the idea that ordinary citizens aren’t capable of making decisions and a more technocratic approach should be adopted a bit elitist.

I think the judge’s dismissal of the motion is very correct on legal grounds. And again, that is very much the consensus amongst the LawTube community.

But happy to address any points you may have. I’m always willing to stand corrected.

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Alan Robertshaw
6 months ago

@ zuzu

she’s not going to put her career and reputation on the line for a broke client’s PR purposes, don’t you think?

That is a good question. We have been puzzling over Elaine’s actions somewhat.

She does have a bit of form for, shall we say, going the extra mile for her client.

https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/print-edition/2012/10/19/defense-lawyer-removed-in-dyncorps.html

Fundamentally though this is all about reputation management. Elaine is trying to compete with Brown Rudnick; but I’m not sure she’s succeeding. It is perhaps unsurprising that her post trial media appearances were curtailed.

She may though be in more serious trouble. It appears she may have knowingly mislead the court and the jury.

You will recall that AH’s testimony was that she had not paid the ACLU/Children’s Hospital monies because she had had to spend on legal fees. Elaine repeated this to the jury.

However we now know, from the NY Marine and Travellers Insurance claims, that AH’s legal fees were paid by the insurance companies. And Elaine can’t claim she didn’t know that as she was the insurers nominated lawyer.

It will be interesting to see what happens there. Although as ultimately it appears to have made no difference to the outcome, BR probably won’t push for sanctions, and leave it up to the local Bar Association to deal.

Acid Kritana
6 months ago

Nope. Not gonna say anything. Just gonna observe everyone and see how it unfolds. Not saying which side I’m on. But yeah, I wanna hear both sides anyway. So yeah, I’ma listen to see what you all have to say on it.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
6 months ago

And now we know which side you’re on, since you wouldn’t have had any reason to keep that close to your vest here if it was Heard’s side.

Makroth
Makroth
6 months ago

@Acid Kritana

You ARE saying something.

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