Along with many around the world, I predicted Johnny Depp would win his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Predictably, much of the ABC has reported the verdict today as ‘complicated’ or some kind of dead-heat, when it’s not. Heard has been found guilty of defamation and has to pay compensatory and punitive (punishment) damages.
Make no mistake, while this is a great personal victory for Depp (and, if there’s any justice in this world, he will get his career and life back), but men as a group will continue to lose the war against ‘Victim Feminism’ and their leading brand: #MeToo.
This week, new laws came into force in New South Wales that – incredibly – require men and women to seek and receive positive verbal consent for all sexual activity.
The effect of the law, as no doubt was its intention, is to expose more men to claims of sexual assault and rape.
The state is now the third party in all sexual encounters in NSW, and can, if called upon, hold hearings as to whether positive consent was sought and received, at some later date.
This is law reform in the era of #MeToo and will of course make future prosecutions of men based on false claims, much easier to push through to conviction.
Former influential criminal lawyer, Margaret Cunneen SC, has called the laws out as over-reach, but she stands alone, as a courageous woman, to do so.
Immediately following today’s verdict, Heard released a statement on her Twitter account, asserting that the jury’s decision was a setback for the #MeToo movement and an infringement of her freedom of speech.
Like an invisibility cloak, Heard is using #MeToo in a blatant attempt to shift the blame away from her allegation against Depp, toward the narrative that she is somehow struggling against ‘powerful men’.
To be clear, the jury found she lied, maliciously, in branding her ex-husband an abuser. During the trail, while tangential to the question of defamation, recorded evidence was presented suggesting that Heard engaged in abusive behaviour during the marriage.
The verdict will be a test of mainstream media, as well as the many powerful women in our society and the entertainment industry: will they present this case for what it is, the exposure of a malicious lie (as the jury explicitly states – she defamed Depp with ‘actual malice’)?
Or will they carry on the bigger lie, that we must ‘believe all women’ and that Heard’s claims should still be entertained, even after this emphatic finding against Heard?
My prediction: the ‘believe all women’ narrative will roll on. This verdict will simply be a speed hump towards Victim Feminism’s strategic goal: ever-increasing criminalisation and targeting of men as a group.
Until influential women stand up and call out the corrosive and very real phenomenon of false allegations against men (as the jury has found in this case) then we will see many more men’s lives destroyed, ground in the gears of #MeToo.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.