The Amber Heard & Johnny Depp Divorce Drama Has Taken Such a Sexist Turn

The internet has been dominated with news of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s divorce and a possible domestic assault for the past few days — and it’s all been a huge bummer. Not only has Amber accused Johnny of physical abuse, but an army of Johnny supporters have come forward to accuse Amber of blackmailing the star.

None of us know what the truth is, but it’s crazy to see how many people are buying into sexist stereotypes of a hot, blonde, much-younger wife manipulating her poor lovestruck rich husband — especially due to a totally unnecessary column by Doug Stanhope, a friend of Johnny Depp, entitled, “Johnny Depp Is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard — Here’s How I Know,” published on The Wrap.

Now, Amber Heard’s lawyer has broken his silence by writing a letter to The Wrap to deny claims that Amber’s “blackmailing” her husband with the abuse allegations.

Stanhope’s original mess of a column said that Amber was basically Meredith from “The Parent Trap” — a cartoonishly manipulative and nasty gold-digger who’d stop at nothing to make her richer, older husband miserable. Stanhope claims Amber has been “manipulating” and “fucking with” Johnny for years, and that everyone around him knew it.

From Stanhope’s column:

My girlfriend, Bingo, and I have known Johnny Depp for a few years now. We have watched Amber Heard f— with him at his weakest — or watched him at his weakest from being f—ed with — for the entire time we’ve known him.

And we didn’t say s—.

Because he’s Johnny Depp.

And we didn’t want to be thrown out of the circle for saying that The Emperor was being Stripped of His Clothes.

There are a few ways you could look at this. Maybe one side is just lying. Or maybe, more likely, Amber and Johnny had a rocky relationship that culminated in abuse for the precise reason that no one wanted to say anything or intervene. Either way, to paint Amber as a manipulative, evil gold-digger and Johnny as a completely innocent party is so overly simplistic, and so easy thanks to sexist stereotypes, that it just doesn’t ring true.

Then there’s also Stanhope’s insistence that Johnny had called it from the beginning and predicted Amber would throw him under the bus one day:

But any one of my friends will tell you I always call them out on bulls—. Abusing women is bulls—. Johnny doesn’t abuse anyone. And he told me that day ahead of time that she’d pull some kind of s— like this.

But obviously, just because Johnny had predicted Amber would tarnish his name in the press one day doesn’t mean he’s innocent of what Amber claims — it just means he was smart enough to know his other famous friends would have his back because he was nice to them.

The final line of Stanhope’s column is the real kicker: “I stand up for my friends and I tell the f—ing truth.”

How could Stanhope know “the f—ing truth” about a relationship that doesn’t involve him?

The funny thing is that for all these claims that Amber’s slinging Johnny’s name through the mud, I’m seeing wayyyy more dirt about Amber in the gossip media. In addition to Stanhope’s completely baseless claims, “sources” are saying that Johnny’s kids hated Amber, that she manipulated him into not having a pre-nup, that she’s lying about the assault, that she deliberately filed for divorce just after his mom died to kick him while he was down.

Plus, we also saw Johnny’s former long-term partner, Vanessa Paradis, and his daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, come to his defense this weekend. I’m sure they truly believe their family member isn’t capable of abuse. But just because a guy didn’t abuse one partner, and just because a guy is a loving father, doesn’t mean he can’t also be abusive to a different partner.

We’ve all seen friends whose relationships seemed completely happy and healthy, only to find out things were much darker after they finally broke up and felt free to speak up about the reality of the situation. None of us can know what really went down between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp. But what we can do is mind our own business and not speculate on whether or not a man is an abuser just because he’s beloved by millions and seems nice enough.

Domestic abuse is called domestic abuse because it usually happens in the privacy of the home. By its nature, it’s not public, so it’s pointless to speculate on if it’s going on in any given relationship.

Again, I’m not saying Johnny Depp did it — I’m saying none of us know the truth besides him and Amber. And it might not even matter to his career whether he’s eventually found guilty or not. Whether or not Johnny Depp assaulted Amber Heard, I bet you anything his livelihood will be fine. That’s just how it works. Just look at Sean Penn and Donald Trump — they’ve both been accused of assaulting women in the past and one’s a majorly respected movie star and the other might be our next president. Dr. Luke is still writing hits for the likes of J. Lo while Kesha’s stranded in career purgatory. This is just the way the world works.

If anyone’s reputation is being ruined, it’s clearly Amber’s. Pay close attention to who’s being most petty throughout this entire process, because so far, it’s not her.

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