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Law selectors, pages, etc.
My response to questions asked in an op-ed about the Depp-Heard verdict.
By Curt_Anderson
June 3, 2022 8:25 pm
Category: Law

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Charlotte Proudman wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, titled "The Depp-Heard verdict is a gag order for women". Proudman is described as a barrister. In her piece she asks three questions of the reader. My answers are yes, yes and yes.

1. Do you think itís fair that a woman had to testify before a man she says abused her, while that man sat there, smirking?

2. Do you think itís fair that, throughout the trial, the most intimate and traumatic details were broadcast for the world to see?

3. Do you think itís fair that Heard was ordered to pay millions of dollars for writing an article that didnít even name the man who has prevailed in this case?

In answer to questions 1 and 2, the Sixth Amendment provides that a defendant has a right to face his/her accusers. The Sixth also provides for the right to public trial. In this case, which was a defamation case in civil court, Johnny Depp was not technically the defendant. Of course, it being a defamation case, Depp naturally was obliged to refute the defaming comments. Amber Heard was being sued for defamation. She counter-sued Depp. At any rate the participants in a court case have the right to be there and are not obliged to remain expressionless.

It's a bit rich to complain that "intimate and traumatic details" were made public, after Ms. Heard alluded to the alleged details in her widely read op-ed in the Washington Post. By doing so, she opened Pandora's Box. As a famous movie actress, she should have expected some controversy from her op-ed. Heard was sued in a civil case, but victims of sexual and other forms of violence are forced to relive the traumatic events of the crimes committed against them. That's an unfortunate aspect of having a justice system and public trials. The alternative, secret trials in which the accused doesn't see the accuser, is worse.

Regarding question 3, that Heard didn't explicitly name Johnny Depp is an weak defense against a claim of libel. Having recently ended her marriage to Depp in very contentious divorce, Depp's name didn't need to be mentioned. Certainly, Hollywood producers would know who she was talking about as would many movie-goers. Nor did Amber Heard attempt to defend herself by saying it wasn't about Johnny Depp.


Cited and related links:

  1. washingtonpost.com

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Comments on "My response to questions asked in an op-ed about the Depp-Heard verdict. ":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on June 4, 2022 3:50 am

    Curt,

    As you know, it's rare that we agree but I would have answered the questions in the same way you do.

    As I noted in another thread, I'm a news junkie, as all of us who are currently active here are, but I don't follow PEOPLE MAGAZINE news.

    My wife likes to watch real crime shows so, when the trial began, we were watching FORENSIC FILES on HLN and saw that, at 10:00 that night, there'd be an update on the day's happenings in the Heard/Depp trial. Neither of us knew what that was. Apparently, HLN did that after every day of the trial. We never watched. Talk about much ado about nuthin!

    I did notice on my Twitter feed, after the verdict, a common take was:

    BELIEVE ALL WOMEN: except Amber Heard...and, of course, Tara Reade!


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