Eleanor Harmsworth

Is Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard really role play?

Both characters seem to be in on their act

  • From Spectator Life
Image: Getty

The Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial is now in its fourth week, and so many of us are still gripped. People are either consciously ‘following’ or ‘not-following’ the trial as if it were a television drama, which in more than one way it is. The two main characters are actors, after all.

Kimberly Lau, a partner at the New York legal firm Warshaw Burstein, said this week that ‘the testimony of the witnesses and documentary evidence will be even more essential for the jury to determine who is really telling the truth and who may be acting out a role.’ The more slippery truth, however, is that both parties are playing out roles. As in reality TV, or any good court fiction, the thrill comes from trying to figure out who is faking what and when.

My view is perhaps more sordid. Watching the trial quite closely, I can’t help but wonder: is this some sort of legal-themed role play? Is it possible that Heard vs Depp is actually one big sexual fantasy being played out in a court of law before the world’s media? If the testimonies have taught us anything it is that Johnny and Amber appear to enjoy degrading each other, and for two people who have very little left on their sexual bucket lists, this exceptionally high profile case could in fact be the most elaborate role play ever.



Is it crazy to question whether the trial is really an elaborate exercise in fetishistic role play?

At certain points it almost seems as if one of the two catches the other’s eye for a moment whilst giving testimony, and you the viewer can sense a bat’s squeak of sexuality that appears to be imperceptible to the court. At one point Rottenborn asks Depp, ‘you’re a lot bigger than Amber, correct? Physically.’

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