I was scared watching Johnny Depp rage in his kitchen. Scared for Amber Heard, who was secretly filming as he slammed cupboard doors and stumbled and yelled in the early hours of the morning. Terrified when he discovered the video tape. The situation felt so close to being out of control.
Now their divorce is settled, and the pair have released a joint statement.
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,” the statement read, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity. There will be no further public statements about this matter.”
Heard has retracted her allegations of domestic abuse – that on May 21 Depp brutalised her. She did this with prejudice, meaning she can never re-file. She also withdrew her request for a restraining order and has settled the divorce out of court for $7 million.
She did all of this, even though she was certainly more scared that I was.
I don’t buy it.
We’ve all seen the video where Heard repeatedly asks Depp:
“I just woke up. This morning you were fine, really sweet. What happened?”
As if something had to “happen” for Depp to behave like that. As if he needed a reason for throwing things around and intimidating his partner of four years. But that’s the catch: men who behave like this don’t need a reason.
Heard's questions of "what happened" is echoed again in the couple's statement. Instead of naming Depp for what he has done the blame is shifted.
There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future.
I feel sick.
I am sickened by the fact we, as a public, have been asked to buy this. But, even more so, I am terrified that Heard has had to stomach her fear and her terror with two paragraphs of empty words sent out to the entire world.
Words that ignore the real problem; that Johnny Depp has allegedly abused his wife. That he is, at best, a threatening drunk, at worst, a violent drunk.
Words in a statement that say his behaviour was simply a symptom of a "volatile relationship". A "relationship bound in love".
(As if only true love can be seen through violence and screaming matches. As if out-of-control manipulation is a sign of intense affection. What a dangerous premise.)
Feelings of powerlessness, a constant feeling of fear that something said or done will spark outrage, violence or accusations will stay with someone in a 'volatile' relationship, just like they would stay with a domestic abuse victim.