Weekend Open Thread: The Only Derpp-Head Story We Ever Plan to Write

I followed the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial — which as the headline shows I have come to think of as the “Derpp-Head” trial, achieved by moving only one letter!” — about 10% as my wonderful wife has done. (She started out pro-Amber and switched sides partway through, because she has excellent person perception skills that keep me from trying even the slightest deceit.) She is generally pro-#MeToo, but thinks (as do I) that women are the equal of men, which includes being equal in terms of deceit and perfidy. (Growing up during the Marcos regume, and following the history of Imelda, will do that to you.)

Some ask: “what did they ever have in common?” Easy: they both rock the red hair!

Others have a much easier time of it: take the women’s side, no matter what, and be done with it. For them, this verdict seals the crypt of the #MeToo era, and will bring forth the end of women’s ability to be believed. And, they apparently opposed Depp’s case simply because of the effects it would have. “Not a good day for #MeToo,” pronounced one such observer — and I wrote this reply:

Not a good day for #MeToo to the extent it instructs to always believe women’s stories about abuse. But it’s a good day for #MeToo to the extent that it wards off false claims — which I believe are well in the minority — by women making up stories for the wrong reasons, by giving additional power to women who don’t come off like Amber Heard did to so many women as well as men.

You’ve been outspoken about being Team Amber. I wasn’t pro-either of them; I was pro-“The Truth Should Come out.” Is it really true that the underlying truth didn’t matter to you, so long as #MeToo didn’t suffer an embarrassment? That’s pretty nihilistic — or else sort of Stalinist in the “need to break a few eggs to make an omelette” sense.

As an attorney (who hasn’t been following the real time trial at all, but who has been following it somewhat in highlight reels and news reports), I see a HUGE lesson here for victims of violence: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING YOU CAN and MAKE CONTEMPORANEOUS REPORTS to people whom you think you can trust to be good witnesses. (I recognize that not everyone can do the latter — and if not then just escape.) Once you decide you’re in danger, you should have one eye on a potential trial — at least if you ever make your claims outside of a court filing, as Heard did — and you should be thinking about who can corroborate. Then STICK TO THE PROVABLE FACTS if he you have them. You can get into the “he-said, she-said” material, but that’s not going to serve you even NEARLY as well as what you’ve CONTEMPORANEOUSLY documented and shared.

If Amber Heard goes down in history as a example of what can happen when you haven’t done so (at least not enough), then her loss will have done a real service to future people with complaints of abuse.

If I ever take another sexual harassment or abuse case — especially if the defense brings up Amber Heard as an example of how accusers may lie (something that, frankly, we already knew) — I’ll be using this trial to my advantage, by pointing out what my client (hopefully) did to garner credibility that Amber Heard did not. It does not kill #MeToo at all; it only harms its automatic and unthinking application.

That’s my take. If you have one, you can offer it here. (And for those who want to bring up a certain complain about Vern — you can do it in your own name with you arguments, and likely get shot down), or you can do it under a pseudonym and have you comment go into our trash. If all you can do in the wake of this is make political hay about it while you defend the Cabal or whomever you want to impress, then you get no quarter here.)

This is your Weekend Open Thread: talk about that, or anything else you’d like (except the primary, which will have its own open thread!), within reasonable bounds of … of … dare I even ask for “decency, dignity, and decorum”?

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)