Heard Of Amber?
© Copyright 2022, By Austin Brookner. All rights reserved.
On the evening of May 21st, 2016 the police were called to Amber Heard’s downtown Los Angeles penthouse apartment. Her then husband Johnny Depp had been there earlier but had left. She claims Depp was violent to her and threw a phone at her face and damaged property in the apartment. The police officers testified that they saw no signs of domestic violence, no injuries to Ms. Heard, did a protective sweep of the property and saw no signs of any damage, and no police report was filed. One of the second sets of cops that arrived to the apartment that evening had a body cam on him and the video from that body cam was played in court. It showed no signs of property damage.
On May 23rd Ms. Heard filed a petition for dissolution of marriage, three days after the death of Depp’s mother. On May 27th, the birthday of Depp’s eldest child, daughter Lily-Rose, Ms. Heard filed a domestic violence temporary restraining order against Depp. There was press outside the courthouse on May 27th, including ABC news as evidenced by video footage, showing Ms. Heard with a visible red mark on her right cheek.
In a draft prior to the final draft of Heard’s op-ed in the Washington Post on Dec 18th, 2018, which Depp is currently suing Heard for defamation over, it was written that: “The day I left the courtroom and walked into a pack of hundred of photographers. I didn’t have a team of bodyguards - my lawyers used their own bodies to block out space for me to walk to my car. The whole way there, I heard press yelling the same question in one form or another: ‘Is it true you’re making all this up?’”
Is it usual for her to have hundreds of photographers following her? Does that happen when she goes out for coffee? Heard testified she is typically photographed by paparazzi when out in Los Angeles. But the media outside the courthouse was on another scope. Or was it? From the video it didn’t look like “hundreds.” In any case, the final draft of the op-ed says, “Once, I had to walk into a pack of hundreds of photographers…” which doesn’t indicate frequency. Who tipped them off as to her whereabouts? And why were they asking: “Is it true you’re making all this up?” How would they know about anything being made up between her and Mr. Depp? Was the press inside the courtroom with her when she filed the paperwork for the domestic violence temporary restraining order against Depp and saw the details of what was written in the report, alleging abuse? I don’t believe so. Did the police report on May 21st make news? Not that I recall. Ms. Heard testified that she didn’t indicate Depp’s name to the police.
Maybe Heard should like us to believe that the press was so swift on their feet and agile of mind to draw the instantaneous assumption that the bruise on her face must have come from her husband, and therefore concluded that she must be walking into the courtroom to testify to an incident or incidences of physical injury done to her at the hands of Depp. Such quick thinking sleuth-like minds like theirs, all the while remaining skeptical inquirers as to the nature of her injury, would’ve easily deduced that she must’ve been appearing at the courthouse to file a temporary restraining order – because she could’ve gone to the police to just file a report of physical misbehavior. But not just any TRO. One that reports alleged abuse as its reason. All this they surmised from the red mark on her right cheek as she walked out of the courthouse. Hence the questions “are you making all this up.”
Heard said in the UK witness statement from the libel lawsuit against The Sun filed by Depp that as of May 21st, 2016 “she wasn’t ready to be in the middle of a media storm.” She also says: “over the next few days I left the apartment a few times,” and there is no mention of media hounding her. Did the petition for dissolution of marriage on May 23rd, 2016 cause a media firestorm? There has been no mention of media hounding her on May 24, 25, or 26 as of yet. On the stand Heard said she was remarkably lucky that TMZ had not gotten news of her petition for dissolution of marriage. She also said that Depp’s attorney Laura Wasser had ties to TMZ.
In a letter her lawyers sent to Depp’s lawyer on May 24th, 2016 it states: “she strongly insists that we do everything possible to keep this personal matter out of the media spotlight, which is why she has not yet sought a CLETS DV TRO.” So at least as of May 24 she wants to keep the matter away from the media. Later in the same letter it asks for “reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees in the amount of $100,000 and $25,000 in forensic accounting costs, to be paid to my firm by close of business (5:00pm) on May 27th, 2016.” There is no mention of that money being paid on May 27th, 2016, or of the other demands in that letter being agreed to. Demands that included herself, her sister and her friend being able to continue to live rent free in three penthouse apartments that Depp owned with all utilities paid for by him and continued use of an SUV. Later in the TRO filing she asked for 50K a month in spousal support.
According to the declaration of Samantha Spector, Amber’s attorney, she left a voicemail for Ms. Wasser, Depp’s attorney, at 9:45am on May 26th, 2016 advising her that Amber would be appearing at 8:30am on Friday, May 27th to file a TRO. According to Ms. Wasser’s declaration, she explained to Heard’s counsel that Johnny was out of the country. Her understanding was that Depp was in Spain at the time in a different time zone and would not have returned before Jun 7, 2016, at the earliest. Ms. Wasser states in the declaration that she communicated with Amber’s counsel by telephone and email throughout the day on May 26 in an effort to resolve these matters. The TRO was filed the following morning.
Amber has reportedly claimed to others that it was the lawyers who made her file a TRO on May 27th. Though on the the stand she should make it seem she was the impetus for getting the TRO. Did the lawyers also make sure the press was there? Did Amber even ask her lawyers why the press was there? Did she ask her publicist why the press was there? Who knew she was going to the courthouse on 8:30am May 27th? Depp’s attorney Ms. Wasser was given notice of the TRO the day before but she would have no motivation to tip off the press at the detriment and public embarrassment of her own client. Did Amber’s friends know? Did she inquire at all to anyone she knew as to why the press was there? Was she at all curious? Or in the six days from May 21 to May 27 did Amber change her mind and decide that she did want to be in the middle of a media storm, and contradict the statement in her lawyer’s letter sent three days prior to May 27th that she wanted to keep it a personal matter?
Ambers testified in court that she thought the filing for the TRO might become public but she didn’t expect the media circus that appeared. She said there was no media when she walked into the courthouse but was bombarded upon leaving. Let’s assume it was a genuine surprise to everyone that the press was there. Amber didn’t know, the lawyers didn’t know, her publicist Jodi Gottlieb whom she brought with her to the courthouse didn’t know, somebody leaked it but they never knew it was coming. According to Christopher Melcher Esq.in his appearance on the Youtube channel Popcorned Planet hosted by Andy Signore on May 13th 2022, the entrance that Amber is seen on video walking out of is the main public entrance to the courthouse. Mr. Melcher says “there’s a side entrance, there’s an underground entrance, you can coordinate with the bailiff’s office for all of these access so your client isn’t having to do the perp walk or do all this stuff…There’s no reason to use this highly publicized known public entrance and exit to the building.”
There were options to avoid the media upon walking out of the courthouse. Amber had experienced counsel, there were more discreet ways to access the court, but this was handled in a noisy way. It doesn’t end there however. Also according to Christopher Melcher Esq., TRO’s are not argued in court in Los Angeles County, CA. Instead, paperwork is submitted to the judge, the judge reads it in their chambers, and the judge hands the clerk either grant or deny. Melcher says: “We don’t bring our clients to court, we often just send a runner down there and file the papers and wait ’till the afternoon and see what happened.”
The language then used in the prior draft of her op-ed to show that it was such a burden to pass through hundreds of photographers without bodyguards (a possibly dig at Johnny who does have bodyguards) to walk to her car as she left the courtroom loses credence when it is in fact true that there were options access the courtroom discretely instead of using the public entrance, and when it is in fact true that it wasn’t even necessary for her or her lawyers to be present at the courthouse to file a TRO that morning in the first place. Heard said she appeared that morning to court in order to testify. That statement is inaccurate. If the judge wanted to hear testimony from Amber before granting the restraining order, the court will typically do that in the afternoon, giving time for both sides to prepare. Amber could have been on call close by so she could testify without the media circus that was created. The court granted the order without testimony or argument. It was done solely on the papers Amber submitted.
As for the red mark on her right cheek, Heard testified on the stand that she always wore makeup, specifically foundation and tint, and had a kit she used to cover bruises she allegedly sustained by Depp. However, on May 27th, 2016 when she went to court to file the DV TRO, “It was the only day I actually walked out of my house without makeup on. I had to be stopped. My best friend saw me in the bathroom starting to put makeup on and told me not to.” In Heard’s deposition on August 13th, 2016 she admits to trying to contact Depp on May 24th, 2016 so that he could find out about her intention to file for divorce from her and not from some source online, and to “find out from some other source other than TMZ, which was alerted…” Heard then puts her hands on her face and her words tail off.
In my humble opinion either Heard or a representative of hers made sure the press was at the courthouse on May 27th and also told them Depp had hit her (if you believe Amber’s retelling of what the press was asking her); they did so because their demands in the lawyer’s letter sent on May 24th were not being immediately met and so they orchestrated this publicity stunt as leverage to get as much in a divorce settlement as possible. They did this TRO ex-parte (meaning Depp was not present) so that Depp couldn’t give testimony on his own behalf. Also Amber deliberately went to court at 8:30 in the morning because that way she could get a jump on the news cycle early in the day showing her with a bruise, rather than wait until the afternoon to see if the judge needed her to testify. As it turned out, she wouldn’t have needed to be there to testify at all. Ms. Heard then plays the role of a victim in her op-ed article in response to being hounded by the press, a role she continues to play now. At least that is my theory.
In my belief Heard is a liar and a bully. For those who have had to deal with those types of people, it is known that once you stand up to them they fold. Because there is no substance to them. There is simply nothing there. As Depp says better to Heard herself in an audio recording, “You don’t exist.” And when I speak of a lack of substance I could be speaking about far more than just Heard. There are organizations, institutions and people that have shown their lack of substance through the unfolding of this case in the past few weeks.
Not for nothing, Ms. Heard has testified to possibly breaking her nose twice at the hands of Johnny Depp and never once seeing an ear, nose and throat specialist during her time with Depp. Speaking from someone who has broken his hence hooked-nose snout three times – once by a canoe paddle, once by being hit with a baseball in the face, and a third time with an elbow to the nose at a basketball game – the later incident requiring me to have a thin surgical exacto knife handle stuck all the way up the top of my nose in order to push the bone back the other way, if Amber’s allegations of physical abuse are accurate then this broad has got one resilient schnoz.
Also, during her blocked tear duct show, Heard testified to seeing Depp ingest eight to ten tablets of MDMA, a synthetic drug otherwise used interchangeably with the drug ecstasy although technically different, otherwise known as the love drug that clogs ones pours. I once took one MDMA tablet at a warehouse club bachelor party in Brooklyn, New York in the cold of winter in 2015 and could do nothing but sit in a corner and not move nor say a word to anyone. If what Heard said about Depp was true, I dare say if it didn’t lead to him taking a dirtnap then it wouldn’t have given him much energy left over to rape, which is what she alleges he did to her.
In the end this case is so straightforward that anyone who has been following it with two working eyes and two working ears can see who is lying and who is telling the truth. Scratch that – even one working eye like Johnny Depp (no offense meant) and one working ear like Iggy Pop would suffice. Heck, Judge Judy coulda knocked this out in thirty minutes. With commercials. I don’t need seven jurors from Fairfax County, VA to tell me what I can surmise on my own. I don’t even need to watch the rest of the trial, although I probably will because I have nothing better to do. Upon weighing the evidence and testimonies so far and having an instinctive gut, the verdict is as obvious as the fact that Sonny Liston was forced to take a dive in his two fights against Muhammad Ali. Amber is lying and Johnny is telling the truth. In watching this trial I am reminded of the age-old wisdom passed down through Marvin Gaye in “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”:
People say believe half of what you see / Son and none of what you hear.
That is of course unless you are hearing it from me. I hear of ‘woke’ whatever. When will people wake up and stop believing without scrupulous inspection what they read on the friggin’ Internet? I knew someone who had two birthdays on his Wikipedia bio page. That’s right – Wikipedia – the tool that college students are now allowed to use as a source for research papers.
Johnny Depp might win. He might lose. But the bigger win, the more unprecedented win and less likely to happen, would be for all those culpable to be held accountable for their ulterior motives, lack of character substance and plain old sloth. Where is the retraction from The Washington Post? As Asra Q. Nomani astutely points out in her piece “How The Washington Post And ACLU Helped Amber Heard Attack Johnny Depp” published online in The Federalist on May 9th 2022, “getting a pitch from the deputy director of editorial and strategic communications at the ACLU is a huge red flag that they wrote the piece. Did the Washington Post editors even ask?”
Where is the apology from the ACLU for using an op-ed from a Hollywood celebrity as a guise for nothing less than an advertisement of legislation they wished to pass? They originally wanted to run the piece before the primary elections in November, and when that didn’t pan out they coordinated it with the release of Heard’s film Aquaman. How about arguing your own points yourself based on merit? Or how about an apology from the ACLU’s Stacy Sullivan for pitching the piece to the Washington Post’s Michael Larabee with the words: “Hey Michael, wondering if we might interest you in a piece by Amber Heard (who you may recall, was beaten up during her brief marriage to Johnny Depp)…” How does Ms. Sullivan know she was beaten up? In the affectation of Amiri Baraka’s masterpiece “Somebody Blew Up America?” I ask, who do the knowing? Who? Where is the civil liberty in being guilty before proven innocent? Where is the civil liberty in making such a serious nationwide allegation that can have real personal consequence on a human life without proof? Did they not consider that even though Depp is a public figure he is also a person with children?
In this one op-ed the ACLU signified their disregard for Amendment I of the United States Bill of Rights: freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Far from being free press, the op-ed was - again as Ms. Nomani accurately depicts: “ ‘earned media’, which is much more lucrative and trustworthy than a paid advertisement. The Washington Post sold newspapers and got clicks. The ACLU got a donation. Heard earned status as a women’s rights activist.” As for being free speech, it was not an idea of Heard’s nor did she write it with the aid of an editor at the Washington Post opinions section. Pardon me, I mean an editor at the “Leadership” of The Washington Post Opinions section. The ACLU was the impetus for the op-ed and they wrote the article in conjunction with Heard’s PR team.
Or how about culpability from Ms. Heard’s counsel headed by Eric George who let the piece pass through their eyes knowing that Heard had signed an NDA in her divorce from Depp, and unless they claim to be blockheads, knew full well the only reason the op-ed could be of interest and make sense was due to her insinuating she was abused in her marriage to Depp?
Where are the private apology to Johnny and the public apology from Sean Bailey at Disney for wrongful termination, firing him from Pirates 6 four days after an op-ed that had no evidence or facts to substantiate its claims of domestic violence was published? Where is the apology from Warner Bros. for removing Johnny Depp from his role from Fantastic Beasts on the same grounds? As Jim Carrey said after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars this year: “Hollywood is spineless, on mass.” By blackballing Depp, the Hollywood studios were spineless to stand up to left wing politics exemplified by an organization such as the ACLU, and they were also spineless to stand up to media such as The Washington Post and all other media forms and people that ran with the story without questioning any of its context or even who actually wrote the article. Depp is a man who had been acting in movies for three decades without ever having such claims made against him, had been known for being beyond generous to people, had a family with a woman who he’d been with for fourteen years and who spoke out in support of him, and had made Disney billions of dollars with his creation of the role of Captain Jack Sparrow. Maybe the state (political organizations / ACLU) and media – both written (Washington Post) and visual (Hollywood / entertainment) – and flacks are all in bed together through that great equalizer: mula. Maybe they believe a stupid populous is a good populous. Maybe they live in fear. Maybe the game is rigged so as to suppress real voices and real people such as Ms. Nomani, Mr. Melcher and yours truly and try to relegate them as far into the periphery as possible. Hence the reason you are reading this on Substack (don’t feel bad for me though; my grandfather just died and I stand to inherit a good chunk of change). Maybe George Orwell saw this entire thing coming.
But one thing we can do is not buy into what they are selling. Don’t buy a movie ticket to anything Disney or Warner Bros puts out. Don’t buy their products or expose your children to them either. Don’t donate to the ACLU or attend their shindigs. I removed all my Bandcamp music webpages after learning about their association with the organization. What if nobody voted? Say you don’t like any of the candidates running and demand better ones. What if nobody paid income tax, which was instituted in this country as a “temporary” war-time measure during World War I to raise money for the war and never was taken off the books, are they gonna throw everybody in jail? It’s just money that is pissed away anyhow. Why not skip the middle man and let me flush my tax dough down the toilet myself? While we’re at it, why not vote on making “Great Balls Of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis the national anthem. I’ve heard enough of our hackneyed current anthem and it’s not getting any better. I’m sure Jerry Lee would get those ballplayers more revved up than the “Star Spangle Banner” does. Enough with this already. We have Beethoven living and breathing right under our noses. Why isn’t September 29th, Jerry Lee’s birthday, a national holiday. And why do black Americans get just two icons in this country - Martin Luther King and Malcolm X? What about Howlin’ Wolf High School? Or Muddy Waters Middle? Or in the vein of the great leaders at the Washington Post opinions section, how about The Lightnin’ Hopkins Leadership Academy. I’d go to those schools. I digress.
Ms. Heard may lose in court, but if she does then she is far from the only one with guilt on her hands. Perhaps I am cynical by nature but I don’t see any of the aforementioned being reconciled. Like Dean Martin sang in “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You”: The world still is the same, you’ll never change it.” And as far as a retraction from the Washington Post goes, they don’t have a good track record on those. There is a book titled Jewish History, Jewish Religion that was written by Israel Shahak and was critical of the Israeli government. After the book was published the Washington Post printed Mr. Shahak’s obituary. Mr. Shahak walked into the offices of The Washington Post with obituary in hand and asked them to print a retraction. They never did. He is probably the only person in the world to have two obituaries written of him.
I am biased. I hope Johnny wins because I believe he is telling the truth. But I hope he wins not just for himself. Also for Amber Heard. By Depp’s account he dealt with childhood abuse and trauma by retreating and numbing himself. If you believe his side of events, then Amber dealt with her childhood trauma in the opposite fashion – lashing out violently and uncontrollably. A loss in court could maybe be a wake up call to her that her approach in life is not a constructive one. For a while it seems that her pattern of behavior - while impressive in the respect of going from a clerk in Austin, Texas to being a Hollywood actress and starring in Aquaman – has also been destructive and has now reached an ultimate breaking point. It is behavior that is ruinous to working relationships, ruinous to friendships, ruinous to a marriage, ruinous to familial bonds whether they be genetic or not, and ruinous to contentment. I am skeptical however that a transformation of character would happen, and am reminded of the song “People Don’t Change Blues” by the music group The Growlers.
After the second day of Amber Heard’s testimony I heard a moving and touching show on the Youtube channel Popcorned Planet, hosted by Andy Signore. Angered by Amber’s perceived feigning of abuse, real victims of abuse called in and shared their stories. It was such a beautiful show of human empathy and a coming together of caring people through honest expression. It showed that abuse happens to men and women, it comes in various forms and the abusers may not even realize the harm they cause. This was an open outpouring of people who bravely shared what was difficult for them to utter. It nearly brought me to tears. It was not a movement nor had any association with one. And it was not gender based in anyway. It was human based.
Look, any person who beats on their partner is scum, and such behavior is historically rumored to be a sign of repressed homosexuality. But does one really think that the person who beats their partner is a saint to his or her children if they have any, or do they abuse them in some way too? And if he or she has pets, do you not think that pet is the meanest one on the block, and for good reason? And this narrative that Ms. Heard and her lawyers have been pushing that Johnny drinks therefore he beats is absurd. As though a sober person can’t abuse and a lush (and I’m not saying that Depp is one) can’t have a heart of gold. Often the most harm that is done to us as humans is done at the hands of other humans. Such is the nature of our strange species. But if we are our own forms of ruination, then we are also our own forms of salvation.