Dakota Johnson has revealed she did not want to appear in the media storm surrounding the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation case.
During the trial process, a 2015 clip of Johnson appearing concerned about Depp’s bandaged finger during a press conference went viral. The video was titled, “The EXACT moment Dakota Johnson KNEW Amber Heard was VIOLENT towards Johnny Depp” and it received over 4 million views.
“Why am I involved in this?” Johnson said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember that at all, but please, take me out of this. Don’t let this go any further.”
Johnson said she did not respect the way the trial had been covered. “I can’t believe that people are watching [the trial] like it’s a show. It’s like it’s a courtroom drama and my heart breaks,” she said.
The defamation suit was brought against Heard by Depp after she wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post where she called herself a victim of domestic abuse without explicitly mentioning her ex-husband. Depp later went on to win the case.
While the decision was met with joy from some sections of the internet, there also has been widespread discontent over the trial’s coverage.
Journalists such as Michael Hobbes have claimed the media frenzy placed too much emphasis on “gotchas” and undoes much of the work done by the #MeToo movement.
In a piece titled ‘The Bleak Spectacle of the Amber Heard Case‘, he wrote: “The bad-faith scrutiny, the obsession with minor discrepancies, the confidence that vast conspiracies can be discovered on Google – is instantly recognisable from previous explosions of internet-enable misogynistic bullying.”
He explained how videos, like the one featuring Johnson, prompt true crime enthusiasts to engage in junk science like ‘body language examinations’, and causes them to miss the big picture: Depp’s history of abuse, both on-set and in private situations.
In 2020, Depp lost a libel case against British newspaper The Sun after the judge declared the contents in the article were “substantially true” and found 12 of the 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence had occurred. The article in question called Depp a ‘wife beater’ and claimed he had sexually assaulted Heard.
Depp is currently being sued by a crew member who alleges the actor punched and berated him on set.
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