If you haven’t given social media a very wide berth over the past month, you’ve certainly caught the wind of endless drama surrounding the Johnny Depp-Amber defamation lawsuit.
A celebrity court will have to go back to the 1995 murder trial of Oz Simpson to find a case that completely stunned the public.
Both sides have leveled horrific allegations of abuse against each other, and it should be clear to anyone who is even familiar with the evidence that the relationship was deeply toxic from the start.
Depp first took a stand and complained that he had punched hard, put a cigarette in his mouth and defecated in his bed in retaliation.
Herd completed his testimony Monday, and those interested in hearing were shocked to learn of Depp’s behavior.
Unfortunately for the actress, by then, the court of public opinion had largely made up her mind.
Hard describes an incident where a drug addict, Depp, conducted a “hole search” alleging his cocaine was stolen and concealed.
He alleges that Depp sexually assaulted him with a glass bottle during a violent confrontation that took place during the filming of the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Since the #MeToo movement began to shed light on violence and sexual violence against women in Hollywood, many victims have come forward with stunning survival stories.
Hard’s situation, however, is different from most, in that he has faced much more resistance than public support.
Not only that, many of those who are skeptical of her story are women, and their skepticism about her allegations often takes the form of hard and wounded rebellion against her supporters.
And it’s not just social media users who are angry at the actress.
This past weekend alone, Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live both played a trial for laughter, accusing Maher Heard of using fake tears to manipulate the jury.
This kind of snide comment was a constant throughout the trial, and was on the verge of receiving much more hard snacks than Depp.
The case is undeniably complicated, and it appears that both parties fought the addiction and behaved violently towards each other.
But the fact remains that Hard took a stand, made horrific allegations of abuse against her ex-husband, and the reaction of millions of Depp fans was a smog of ridicule and disbelief.
A recent Atlantic monthly article about the incident used the term “Depford Wives” to describe the army of women – many middle-aged – who have been steadfast in their support of the actor.
“Listening to Amber Hard makes me sick,” one tweeted.
“Amber literally heard the plague,” wrote another.
Only a hard supporter identified as Rebecca (she wanted to remain anonymous to avoid harassment of Depp fans) blamed this sick desire for a toxic mentality among Depp’s most obsessive fans.
“We hang a lot of our own identities in these things that we love,” he told The Atlantic.
“So if these things are threatened, you either have to admit that you are a bad person for liking these things or you have to convince yourself that everyone else is wrong.”
The article also quotes Held van den Bulk, a professor of communication at Drexel University, who described the anti-phantom phenomenon.
The term refers to people who take part in their identities from things they hate, similarly fans express themselves through things they like.
As Ben Dan Bulk explains, fans of Hards may not be fans of Depp, but that doesn’t stop them from finding a sense of belonging and community among people who hate the actress.
We probably don’t need to tell you that this mentality is annoyingly common on social media these days, and it infects everything from sports coverage to political discourse.
And now, a television trial is stirring up flames of blind hatred for a 36-year-old actress and single mother who is embroiled in a nightmare legal battle.
Even if she wins the trial, which seems likely, it is unlikely that Amber Hard’s life will ever return to normal.