Why Johnny Depp became a victim of domestic violence – Daily Local

A fair warning: this is another Johnny Depp-Amber Heard column. Don’t say I didn’t give you the opportunity to switch to comics and coupons.

When we last got together on the subject of Captain Jack Sparrow and Aquaman’s love, the focus was on the #MeToo movement, which makes sense as it has absorbed the atmosphere and airwaves over the past few years. But I blame myself for missing the true point of the dispute, and it’s time to correct that mistake.

Johnny Depp has been a victim of domestic violence. He is not just someone who has been disgraced or simply lied to by a disgruntled partner. The evidence obtained in the trial by Depp, Hurd and all their witnesses satisfies the civil burden, more than the fact that the woman physically and emotionally raped the man. And if it was a criminal case, I have no doubt that it would also meet that standard.

Accusing a woman of harsh accusations is not so popular. We are accustomed to believing that the physically weaker sex is usually the victim, and the notion that it actually causes harm, some meet with ridicule, others – anger. I saw this when talking about my immigrants who have suffered violence. People usually nod their heads in sympathy when I talk about an illiterate woman from Honduras who was raped and beaten live on the air, but when I mention that a young Guatemalan man was kicked in the genitals by a mad American wife, they tend to smile. Men, in particular, say things like “that dude is an idiot, no man give himself a chicken.” (By the way, this is an accurate quote.)

I have been involved in the affairs of spouses for many years. This is a type of immigration petition where an immigrant who has been abused by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident seeks protection from the law and opportunities to avoid deportation / removal. They are very difficult to prepare due to the type of abuse, and after 27 years of specializing in this field I am still not used to it. (This is also one of the reasons why I laugh when I hear about journalists like Taylor Lorenz from the Washington Post who complain about the harassment on the Internet that she is exposed to. If all we had to deal with in this life were evil tweets, we should be on our knees thank God for the blessing.)

If I counted the number of men and women in the cases I led, men would win. It’s a weird way to put the percentage of “abuse,” but I want to say that I’ve seen at least as many husbands being harassed by their American wives than vice versa. And I have a suspicion that this is not even an accurate report on the type of abuse, because men tend not to want to be treated as “victims” and so they keep their trauma a secret. This is partly due to the way in which men who report violence are treated in a society that still requires us to “trust all women”. I remember when Lauren Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis, she became an outlaw heroine for feminists, and he was a laughing stock. You can imagine that a man who is a victim of violence, at best, will not like to be interrogated, and at worst ridiculed.

Which brings me back to Depp and his ex. While it is clear that Johnny Depp is a broken creature addicted to drugs, sex and risky behavior, it is also clear that he has been a victim of violence by women in his life. His mother seems to have been a horrible man who made his childhood unfit for life, and while many of the women with whom he was a partner can only say good things, his relationship with Hurd was not toxic. They were and remain two narcissistic garden masochists (sado in her case, maso in it), and it is difficult to pay true sympathy for either.

Except if you look deeper and see that Depp is really the victim here, and the fact that he had to sue this woman for libel shows that our society is completely incapable. The man who was physically beaten, had his finger cut off, was regularly shouted at, lied to and ridiculed by a woman he obviously loved, then had to sit next to her and watch her turn around and accuse him of being a beast. The beauty wanted to get her pound of flesh, and society (at least at first) was on her side.

This time, however, the “Beast” fought back and in the process revealed the prehistory shared by many male victims of violence. It’s not always physical and not always at the level of a crime, and can sometimes take the form of emotional manipulation, but it is.

One of my immigration clients was not handcuffed by his American wife, but she told him every day that she was going to report him to the immigration department “and make him deport.” Another said his American wife would threaten to pick up his children and send him back to the Dominican Republic if she didn’t buy him everything she demanded. Another was beaten with a vacuum cleaner when he tried to flush her drugs down the toilet.

As someone who knows what abuse looks like, and thinks those involved need to be locked up forever (I guess it’s an impossible dream, but my idea of ​​justice), I don’t see the gender of the victims as having much significance . The problem is that until recently, society did. Male predators, female prey. This is slowly changing, although the #MeToo movement took us back a few decades.

But the glimpses of Johnny Depp, who opens his heart and exposes his demons, hopefully will bring us back to where decency and justice do not depend on your gender.

Christine Flowers is a lawyer. Her column appears on Sunday and Thursday. Email her at

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