Amber's lawyer is really bad. It might be just because she got stuck with a shit case and has to pull at weird strings, but she's not coming off well.
She's absolutely right. If it had been a man saying (read: screeching) these things Amber Turd did to Johnny and taking her detox meds away and causing her to emotionally breakdown in her moment of weakness and shitting in her bed and snapping at her with "I didn't punch you, I fucking was hitting you! You are such a baby!" (and I'm not even scratching the surface of all the narcissistic, abusive shit AH pulled), there wouldn't even be a trial and his career would be over in an instant. Hell, I wouldn't put it past some stranger to put a bullet in his head in public (I'd almost bet money on it), and he/she'd probably be cheered for it (!), that's how rabid the blowback would be if it had been a man doing and saying what she did.
And this was a woman making these claims, who would've thunk it? It's almost like abuse doesn't have a gender or even cares to pick sides!
Oh and as a shock to no one, the ACLU confirms what we already knew: the Washington Post Op Ed was about Johnny. And it caused him to lose his Pirates role.
When will the news outlets be held accountable for the terrible work they do? I haven't followed the whole trial, was there any mention of JD wanting to sue the Washington Post?
Even if he wants to, he can't. It's an op-ed, so it's clear that Washington Post is not the speaker, they're the publisher. As such, they're not held liable for the speech (in most cases). They are effectively just saying "Amber Heard said this". Or in this case, not even that, they're directly publishing her speech. Unless they claimed to have confirmed it or something, there would be no case here.
Moreover even if we ignore that, Johnny Depp is a public figure, so to be sued for libel, he would have to show that the defamatory statements were made maliciously. (NYTimes v. Sullivan) Either that they knew them to be false, or that they had reckless disregard for the truth. Even if it was false, first hand testimony from the person who allegedly suffered the abuse is definitely going to be enough for them to show that they were not reckless. With firsthand testimony, they would probably be considered to have done their due diligence. In most cases like this, nobody except the direct participants will know exactly what happens, so if you need to personally verify the facts, no victim of abuse can ever speak about it on any platform.
So, I'm close to 100% sure they can not be sued. Nor should they be. I get the argument that they platformed what, based on what I've seen so far, seem to be lies. But, if you allow that lawsuit, then effectively, you hold any news/media outlet 100% accountable for every person they put on their show, let write an op-ed, interview, or so on. A rule that you cannot publish the words of anyone else without becoming directly liable completely guts free speech. Makes much more sense to allow a lawsuit against the person who is actually lying.
And I'm not sure the op-ed on its own is defamatory. It doesn't mention Depp by name, although you could make a good case that it was sufficiently clear without that. The issue is that what she's saying is that she's a victim of abuse, and her abuser was protected by people in power. Again, you need to meet the actual malice standard, so you have to show that she knew that to be false. If she genuinely viewed herself as a victim of abuse, even if no reasonable person would agree, then you don't really have a case against her based on that alone. If you're trying to make a case that she was unstable and has personality disorders, she could have seen things that way. Not that I'm making excuses for her, but the law requires what it requires.
Last edited by JWeinCom - on 03 May 2022