Amber Heard Admits to Hitting Johnny Depp in Recently Released Audio as Bitter Feud Continues
- In recently released audio, Amber Heard admits to starting fights and hitting her then-husband Johnny Depp.
- Depp’s lawyer confirmed the authenticity of the tape and said it details a pattern of physical and emotional abuse by Heard.
- Heard’s lawyer, however, said the tape does not mean that Heard isn’t also a victim.
- The tape is the latest development in a bitter feud between the former couple, both of whom have alleged domestic abuse by the other.
Heard Admits to Hitting Depp in Audio
In audio that surfaced Friday, Amber Heard admits to hitting her then-husband Johnny Depp during a 2015 informal therapy session.
The recording, which was obtained by the Daily Mail, was later confirmed to be authentic by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman.
In it, Depp and Heard discuss their marriage in several heated exchanges.
Heard: “I didn’t punch you.”
Depp: “And I watched you lie.”
Heard: “I didn’t punch you, by the way. I’m sorry that I didn’t hit you across the face in a proper slap, but I was hitting you. It was not punching you. Babe, you’re not punched.”
Depp: “Don’t tell me what it feels like to be punched.”
Later in the conversation, Heard calls Depp a baby.
Depp: “Because you start physical fights.“
Heard: “You are such a baby, grow the fuck up Johnny.”
Depp: “Because you start physical fights.”
Heard: “I did start a physical fight.”
Depp: “Yeah, you did, so I had to get the fuck out of there.”
Heard: “Yes, you did, so you did the right thing, the big thing, you know what? You are admirable. Every single time. What’s your excuse? When there’s not a physical fight, then what’s the excuse there? You’re still being admirable, right? Just by running away? And you can sit here and call me names, but you get called a name and what do you do? ‘That’s the last insult!’”
Several minutes later, the exchange becomes calmer. Depp tells Heard he loves her and that he does not want a divorce, but he also says the physical violence has to stop.
Depp: “Because I love you, and I do not want to leave you. I do not want a divorce, I do not want you out of my life. I just want peace. If things get physical, we have to separate.“
Heard then promises to change.
Heard: “I can’t promise that I’ll be perfect. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again. God, I fucking sometimes get so mad I lose it. I can fucking promise you I’m going to do everything to change.”
While the two actors have not publicly spoken on the tape, Waldman said it displays a pattern of behavior common by abusers.
“The first confessional tape she made reveals a conversation any real abuse victim will recognize all too well,” he told USA Today. “It exposes that Ms. Heard perpetrated serial violence against Mr. Depp, and then concocted an elaborate abuse hoax to cover it up. Ms. Heard gives a motive for her violence: Mr. Depp was always trying to ‘split’ to escape her abuse.”
On the other hand, Heard’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, didn’t confirm or deny the video but said in a statement.
“The fact that a woman fights or talks back does not mean that she has not been the subject of repeated domestic violence and abuse,” Kaplan said. “It’s a myth to say, as Mr. Depp apparently is implying, that if Ms. Heard slapped him, then she can’t also be a victim. That is just not true.”
Heard Alleges Abuse Against Depp
Heard and Depp met on the set of the 2011 film, The Rum Diary. By February 2015, the two were married; however, by May the following year, Heard filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
“During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” she said. “I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.”
“Johnny has a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse,” she added. “He has a short fuse. He is often paranoid and his temper is exceptionally scary for me as it has proven many times to be physically dangerous and/or life-threatening to me. Johnny[‘s] relationship with reality oscillates, depending upon his interaction with alcohol and drugs.”
With her filing, Heard also submitted images of herself with bruises on her face.
A few days after that filing, she applied for and was granted a restraining order against Depp.
Then, in August 2016, TMZ released a video of Depp throwing a wine bottle and a glass while Heard stands nearby. In the video, Depp is yelling and appears noticeably angry. For her part, Heard later denied leaking the clip.
Later that month, she and Depp reached a $7 million divorce settlement. Heard then announced she would be donating that entire amount to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. After additional back and forth with attorney fees, the divorce was finalized in January 2017.
Heard Publishes Washington Post Op-Ed
The feud then, at least publicly, died down until October 2018, while speaking with British GQ, Depp spoke on the matter.
“The thing that hurt me is being presented as something that you’re really as far away from as you could possibly get, you know?” he said.
Heard’s attorney then responded in an interview with Page Six, calling Depp’s statement “outrageous.”
“Mr. Depp is shamefully continuing his psychological abuse of Ms. Heard, who has attempted to put a very painful part of her life firmly in her past,” the statement said. “One need only look at the physical evidence to draw the proper conclusion.”
In December 2018, Heard followed up her claims in an op-ed for The Washington Post titled, “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”
In that op-ed, Heard never directly mentions Depp by name but speaks about “how institutions protect men accused of abuse,” likening Depp to the Titanic and the institutions to workers trying to repair a sinking ship.
“Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age,” she said. “But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse,” she added, “and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.”
In the article, Heard also said her role in a movie had been recast, a global fashion brand dropped her, and she had faced doubts that she would be able to keep her role in Aquaman. Despite this, Depp’s team have largely accused Heard of making the allegations to “advance her career” and “extend her 15 minutes of fame.”
A few days after that op-ed, Depp was dropped from any future Pirates of the Caribbean films. Just prior to that in November, Depp had faced a wall of criticism on social media for his role as the titular antagonist in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Dear Mr. Tsujihara.— justme (@justme_relax) November 17, 2018
As a fan of Harry Potter and WB/DC films and shows, I am deeply disappointed by the casting of Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts series. He abused his ex-wife Amber Heard, who happened to star in Aquaman, which is also a Warner Brothers film.
Depp Sues Heard for Defamation
In January 2019, the feud between the former couple began to take a massive turn when Depp’s attorney reportedly told E! News that they had “filed a partial list of evidence that we will use to disprove the fraudulent underlying allegations against Mr. Depp.”
Among that list included “dozens of video security tapes,” “eyewitness statements” and “sworn affidavits and deposition transcripts from 2016.”
In March, Depp then sued Heard for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit, with that lawsuit alleging that it wasn’t Heard but Depp who was the victim of abuse. The lawsuit also blamed Heard’s op-ed for him being dropped from Pirates of the Caribbean.
In retaliation, Heard filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, but that was later denied.
Depp then submitted a declaration of support for his lawsuit, with that letter alleging that Heard had painted on her bruises. Depp also said that Heard caused him “serious bodily injury,” that she was abusive while on a mix of “prescription amphetamines and non-prescription drugs with alcohol,” and that she had “hit, punched and kicked” him and “frequently threw objects into [his] body and head.” Notably, this included “heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls, and paint thinner cans, which severely injured [him].”
With his allegations, Depp provided his own set of photos showing alleged bruises on his face, as well as a photo showing a partially severed finger that he said he suffered after asking Heard to sign a post-nuptial agreement. Heard then allegedly got so mad she started throwing bottles at him, with Depp claiming that one exploded when hitting a countertop, ripping off the tip of his finger in the process.
In addition to physical abuse, Depp is also alleging that Heard put him through emotional abuse, saying that at one point, she or one of her friends defecated in his bed as a prank.
During this time, Heard responded with more photos of her own that allegedly show bruises, as well as a clump of hair she said was ripped out by Depp.
See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Complex) (USA Today)
Twitch Tightens Policies on Explicit Deepfakes
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said in a blog post.
New Rules Regarding “Synthetic NCEI”
Twitch is cracking down on explicit deepfake content and will indefinitely suspend users who share or promote it after a first offense.
“The existence of this content, and its presence and distribution on various sites, is personally violating and beyond upsetting. Deepfake porn isn’t a problem on Twitch, but it’s a terrible issue that some streamers (almost exclusively women) may face on the internet at large,” Twitch said in a Tuesday blog post, explaining it wants to “help streamers protect themselves” in any case this issue arises.
Twitch referred to this content as “synthetic non-consensual exploitative images,” or “synthetic NCEI,” but many of the platform’s users have casually referred to it as deepfake porn. Synthetic NCEI involves someone taking the face of another person and editing it into a pornographic video to make it appear as though that person filmed themselves demonstrating those sexual acts. The new rise in access to this technology has concerned many, as it is easy to use it to exploit others.
While synthetic NCEI is already banned on Twitch, the company took a more actionable step against it in its Tuesday post by creating an Adult Sexual Violence and Exploitation policy. The new rule prohibits the intentional sharing, promoting, or creation of synthetic NCEI and those acts can result in an indefinite suspension on the first offense.
Twitch also updated its Adult Nudity policy to include synthetic NCEI. Even if it is only shown briefly, that content will still be taken down and result in an enforcement.
In addition to the policy changes, Twitch made available a list of resources for those who might be impacted by or wish to learn more about synthetic NCEI.
“The creation, promotion, or viewing of this content is not welcome on Twitch,” the company said closing its blog post.
Growing Concerns About Explicit Deepfakes
Twitch’s updates come as synthetic NCEI and deepfakes have become a primary topic of concern for social media platforms. Earlier this year, Twitch was home to a major deepfake controversy after a streamer known as Atrioc was caught with an open tab to a website that hosted these videos. That site specifically hosted deepfakes of female Twitch streamers, some of whom were Atrioc’s colleagues.
Many women featured on the page spoke out against these deepfakes, explaining the trauma they endured knowing their face, image, and likeness were used in a sexual manner without their consent. It’s an issue that extends far past Twitch creators. Some fear they could be used for revenge porn, and there are already several cases where the technology is used to create sexual videos of celebrities.
On Tuesday, NBC News published a report finding that Facebook and Instagram ran suggestive ads featuring deepfakes of actresses like Emma Watson and Scarlett Johansson. The ads were for a deepfake app that told users they could “replace face with anyone.”
While the ads did not show explicit pornographic content, one ad featuring Watson was clearly meant to mimic the start of an explicit video, suggesting a sexual act was about to start. The face of the “Harry Potter” actress was seen looking into the camera before bending down.
The report found that 127 ads with Watson deepfakes and 74 with Johansson deepfakes ran across Meta’s platforms on Sunday and Monday, but have since been removed. The app in question was also removed from the Apple app store after NBC News contacted the tech giant for comment.
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (Engadget) (Kotaku)
Fans Defend Pedro Pascal After Actor Refused to Read Thirst Tweets: “It’s Sexual Harassment”
Pascal has been dubbed the Internet’s “daddy,” but many think the joke has gone too far.
Pascal’s Heartthrob Status
Fans are defending actor Pedro Pascal after he refused to read thirst tweets on the red carpet, arguing that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to ask him to do so.
Pascal, the star of HBO’s “The Last of Us” and Disney+’s “The Mandalorian,” has become a major Hollywood heartthrob. He has even been widely dubbed as the Internet’s “daddy” by those posting about his handsome looks. The running joke grew last year when he did a Vanity Fair lie detector test and said he considered himself a “bigger daddy” than “Star Wars” star Oscar Isaac.
“Daddy is a state of mind, you know what I’m saying? I’m your daddy,” he quipped during the interview.
Since then, TikTokers have started posting thirst trap edits of Pascal, journalists have called him “daddy” on the red carpet, and interviewers have shown him tweets where fans call him a “cool, slutty daddy.”
Pascal has been a good sport about the public displays of lust for him, but many think the joke may have crossed a line. During last week’s red carpet premiere for season three of “The Mandalorian,” an Access Hollywood reporter went viral for asking Pascal to read thirst tweets to the camera. Pascal politely declined.
“No. Dirty! Dirty!” he told the reporter after reading through the tweets.
“For your enjoyment only,” she responded.
“Thank you very much,” Pascal said before exiting the interview.
Fans Condemn Thirst Tweet Interviews
In response, many who watched the clip condemned this treatment of Pascal, arguing it promoted constant objectification.
“I think it’s time for the internet to leave Pedro Pascal alone,” one person wrote. “It’s sexual harassment, but no one seems to care bc he’s a man + is graceful about it. It’s really gross and I would never want to be treated like that.”
“These jokes have gone way too far and he’s visibly uncomfortable,” another fan added.
Some claimed that while the Internet’s love of Pascal “started as harmless fun…the constant public objectification and sexualization must be terrible” and should stop.
“Being attractive, banking on it, selling it, and even at times enjoying some of the attention, doesn’t give everyone wholesale permission to sexualize you,” someone else argued.
See what others are saying: (IndieWire) (The Gamer) (BuzzFeed News)
Conservatives Pledge to #BoycottHershey After International Women’s Day Campaign Featured a Trans Woman
“I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too,” activist Fae Johnstone said in her Hers for She video.
Hershey Highlights Fae Johnstone
Step aside, Green M&M. Conservatives have a new candy that they’re mad at: Hershey bars.
On Wednesday, Hershey Canada unveiled its “Her for She” International Women’s Day initiative, which aims to celebrate “women changing the future.” Conservatives were quickly outraged by the company’s choice to highlight Fae Johnstone, a trans woman and LGBTQ+ rights activist, as part of this effort.
“We can create a world where everyone is able to live in public space as their honest and authentic selves,” Johnstone said in a “Her for She” video.
In addition to Johnstone, the campaign features gender equality activists, a climate tech researcher, and an indigenous rights activist, all of whom have fought for progress in their respective fields. The women will appear on Hershey’s websites, in marketing promotions, and in artistic renderings on Hershey bar wrappers.
Johnstone wrote on Twitter that she hopes Hershey’s campaign will “give more young women and girls role models” who can demonstrate how to “change the world, together.”
“It also means a lot to be included, as a young(ish?) trans woman,” Johnstone continued. “I grew up with few trans role models. Many young trans folks haven’t met a trans adult. I hope this campaign shows trans girls they can dream big and change the world too.”
A Swift Transphobic Backlash
This decision, however, prompted right-wing Twitter users to accuse Hershey of hating “real” women. Many of the posts included blatantly transphobic rhetoric, as well as promises to boycott the company because it went “woke.”
The outrage was so prominent that #BoycottHershey was one of the top Twitter trends on Thursday morning.
This backlash comes just a little over a month after conservative media figures like Tucker Carlson slammed M&M for making the green mascot character, well, less sexy.
In response to Mars changing the green candy’s outfit, Carlson accused the Mars company of making its characters “as unattractive as possible because when you’re intentionally repulsive, it’s clear you’ve got the right politics.”
Not long after the right-wing backlash, M&M opted to replace its “spokescandies” with actress Maya Rudolph.
The conservative outrage targeted at both Hershey and M&M is part of a larger culture war against any company that makes changes to address diversity, climate change, or other social issues. Brands like Xbox, “Sesame Street,” and more have at one point provoked the ire of Fox News hosts and other Republican figures.
In fact, their outrage against these progressive changes has become so common that once #BoycottHershey was trending, some tweeted that they did not even have to click on the hashtag “to know that they must have done something compassionate that the right hates.”