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OPINION

Is Amber Heard This Year’s Jussie Smollett?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Cast your minds back to 2019, just before COVID brought the world to a screeching halt. The world was a better place then, wasn’t it? For some, sure. For the actor Jussie Smollett, not so much. On January 29, 2019, as you may recall, Smollett told police officers that he was attacked outside his apartment by two men in ski masks. The perpetrators of this supposed hate crime racially abused Smollett. Clearly not familiar with the fact that they were in Chicago, very much a blue city, the men reminded Smollett that "this is MAGA country.” The criminals then proceeded to pour “an unknown liquid" on Smollett, according to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department. Finally, they put a noose around his neck. Smollett, somewhat remarkably, was able to fight the men off, even as he held onto his Subway sandwich.  The best word to describe what occurred to Mr. Smollett is unbelievable. That’s because none of this ever occurred. A subsequent investigation by the Chicago PD found that Smollett had fabricated the story, paying two brothers to stage the assault.

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Prior to the results of the investigation, prominent outlets like CNN were quick to take Smollett’s claims at face value.  It didn’t cross their minds to stop and ask, could Smollett be lying? Was it possible that Smollett had consciously chosen to exploit the “violence against blacks is everywhere” narrative to further his own selfish ways?

Three years on from the investigation, we have a new celebrity making outlandish claims. Her name is Amber Heard, an actress, I argue, who has exploited the “believe all women” narrative to full effect. For the uninitiated, Ms. Heard, 35, was married to Johnny Depp, 58, for 15 months, from 2015 to 2016. The pair began dating in 2012. During their time together, Heard claims that she was the victim of domestic abuse. In 2018, she wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, describing herself as a sexual abuse survivor. Mr. Depp is currently suing Ms. Heard over the op-ed, accusing her of defamation. He is seeking $50 million in damages. There is reason to believe that Mr. Depp will emerge victorious. 

As I will show here, although Ms. Heard has, for many years, painted herself as a helpless victim, she actually appears to be guilty of numerous, rather odious acts.

First off, before going any further, let me be clear: This is not an attack on Ms. Heard. On the contrary, this is a defense of the facts, a defense of the old mantra, “innocent until proven guilty.” Mr. Depp has been accused of horrible things by Ms. Heard, yet she has not produced a shred of evidence to back up her wild claims. Ms. Heard, according to a psychological expert who recently testified, appears to have two personality disorders: Histrionic Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Both of these disorders are intimately linked with the use of manipulative behavior, including pathological lying. Recently, Ms. Heard’s legal team was caught in a lie. During the pair’s relationship, according to Ms. Heard’s legal team, the actress never left the house without her Milani All In One Correcting Kit. Why? To cover up the bruises on her face given to her by Mr. Depp. However, this makeup correcting kit wasn’t released until after the couple had officially split.

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Moreover, aggressive behavior is a core symptom of BPD. Research suggests a strong link between this personality disorder and physical aggression toward others, including lovers. Ms. Heard reportedly threw a glass bottle at Mr. Depp,  severing his finger in the process. She has openly admitted to assaulting her former husband. This is not the first time Ms. Heard has been accused of violence. In 2009, according to credible reports, the Port of Seattle Police arrested Heard after she struck Tasya van Ree, her girlfriend at the time. Heard, we’re told, “was taken into custody and booked for a misdemeanor domestic violence.” During her time with Mr. Depp, Ms. Heard also stands accused of carrying out a “horrible practical joke” on her partner -- she defecated in his bed. One needn’t be a psychologist to question the mindset of a person who would carry out such a despicable act. Mr. Depp’s legal team also presented an audio recording of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor telling Ms. Heard that he is a victim of domestic abuse. In the recording, he tells his then-wife that he intends to make his thoughts public. Seemingly unperturbed, Heard responds: “Tell the world Johnny, tell them Johnny Depp… I, Johnny Depp, a man… I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence. Let's see who believes you. Let's see who believes a white man, a white man of privilege can be a victim over a woman? Go on.” Do these sound like the words of a victim? Do these sound like the words of an ambassador on women’s rights? I’ll let you answer those questions in your own time.

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How did we get here? How did we get to a point in time where a woman can level horrendous accusations against a man, without providing an iota of evidence?

"The slogan 'Believe Women,' and the clearly implied interpretation of 'Believe ALL women,' is at the core of the Amber Heard trial," Andrew Esquire, a legal expert, told me. "#MeToo, the movement which spawned 'Believe All Women,' is now widely perceived, by all but the most extreme, as a movement which pressed too far," he added. What started out as a somewhat respectable movement quickly morphed into an insidious one. "At the onset," said Esquire, "every sane person agreed that the quid-pro-quo of individuals like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein was clearly unacceptable. However, as the movement crested, more questionable accusations arose, such as those leveled at Aziz Ansari and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh." No one stopped to ask, are all of these women telling the truth, or just some of them? Esquire believes that "in the wake of the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell, we see that women can not only be guilty of the very crimes previously angled solely at men, but women such as Amber Heard appear to be weaponing the slogan of 'Believe All Women' as a cudgel and blackmail tool to silence, plunder or otherwise exploit men." 

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Indeed. Mr. Depp’s reputation has taken a battering. But, it seems, so too has Ms. Heard’s. In an effort to improve her image, she recently hired a new PR team. Nevertheless, Mr. Depp is winning in the court of public opinion. And if there’s any justice in the world, he’ll also win in the court of legal opinion.

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