There are some advantages to be a middle-aged woman with Asperger’s syndrome, and one of those is that I lived through the 80s as a teen and remember it. And what I remember is that Johnny Depp was known as a ‘bad boy’ with a ‘temper’ and a substance abuse problem prone to attacking people.
The people who defend him online, which now tragically includes a woman I had hitherto had nothing but the utmost respect, JK Rowling, seem to have either forgotten or don’t know that the accusations of domestic abuse and assault against Depp by his ex-wife Amber Heard (which include pictures and video and a restraining order against Depp and a text from his manager admitting it and documents from other court cases involving Depp) are just the latest in a line of charges.
Johnny Depp is very pretty and (like Mel Gibson) seems to be very nice when he’s sober, but he’s also prone to getting wasted and hitting people who anger him. In 1989, Depp was arrested for assaulting a hotel security guard in Canada after the guard asked a drunken Depp and his friends to leave the premises. Charges against Deep were dropped after he promised a judge to be a good boy. (This works only if you are white or rich or preferably both.)
Then, in 1994, Depp was arrested again on charges of criminal mischief when he destroyed a hotel room – allegedly because he was having a fight with his girlfriend at the time, 20 year old supermodel Kate Moss. He had to pay almost $10,000 in damages, but again he got off. Likewise, in 1999, Depp was arrested for threatening the paparazzi in London. While it is easy to sympathize with a star threatening paparazzi, it still reveals Depp’s tendency toward violence when he’s hammered and annoyed.
Incidentally, he was involved with French model Vanessa Pradis at the time, and although Pradis has defended him as a “sensitive, loving” man who never abused her, its obvious he was still capable of attacking OTHER people during their relationship. Bill Cosby didn’t rape every woman he met … it doesn’t mean he isn’t a rapist. Moreover, court documents by Depp’s former management allege “[Depp was being] interviewed by public authorities relating to a serious and troubling issue involving his family … [Depp] knowingly lied to public authorities in several respects in connection with these matters… [His actions] marked lack of concern for certain serious family issues.” So is Pradis lying for her children?
Johnny Depp was physically abusive to Amber Heard. People accuse his ex-wife for his actions by saying she ‘egged him on’ so they can still enjoy the fandom fantasy of who he is. Just like his friends and fans claimed his rages and assaults in the past were “just Johnny being Johnny,” merely the kind of “outbursts they have come to expect on occasion from an actor who can be as otherworldly as the character he played in Edward Scissorhands.”
Just like people blamed Mel Gibson’s ex when he hit her, or the alcohol he drank when he called a cop “sugar-tits”. Just like people claim Mia Farrow lied so they can still watch Woody Allen movies in the pleasant denial that he raped his adopted daughter. Just like people have always blamed the victim and given the abuser a pass.
As for me, I won’t be watching the Fantastic Beasts sequel. I don’t watch the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I don’t listen to my old Bill Cosby comedy albums or watch his videos. I don’t watch Woody Allen films, and I am hesitant to watch films with actors who have even worked with him in the last 20 years. (Oscars are so much more important than raped little girls?) I eschew any former favorites with Mel Gibson in them.
I am torn about Miramax films … which ones were the result of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse? I stopped watching How I Met Your Mother, even the reruns, when they had Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist, on the show as a ‘good guy’. (Which was a good move because the last season was reportedly shit.) I try my best not to collude with or support abusers and rapists.
But what to do about actors or authors whom I otherwise like when they support or collude with rapists and abusers whom they insist are actually ‘good people’? Do they get a little leeway for having the same delusions about their friends and family that all human beings are capable of? I still love Rowling’s books; am I hypocritical to do so or would I be throwing the baby out with the bathwater because she defended know abuser Johnny Depp?
Denial is certainly EASIER to live with than the complexity of dealing with the fall-out of sexual and domestic violence. I can see why people prefer denial to facing uncomfortable reality.