Media Gaslighting and Depp

Media Gaslighting and Depp

The trial is over and Depp decisively won. Sure, Amber won one of her three counts, notably the one that was sufficiently hyper-detailed that it could be called knowingly false - and many of the lawyers who'd been covering the trial live think it was a compromise verdict. The difference was still 10+ million to two, when Amber had originally asked for twice as much as Johnny.

Nevertheless, the news, and AH's lawyers, couldn't let a good spin die.

The relevant bullet points:

  • The judge improperly excluded "mountains of" evidence
  • The jury improperly was influenced by social media
  • The real trial was in the UK
  • This was a setback for all women.
  • Amber was an imperfect victim
  • Women have to meet an impossible standard

Update: There has been a set of puff piece interviews done by NBC Dateline that work to appear impartial, but it's obvious from the framing, the way they lean into the bullet points covered here about the UK trial being a win, evidence being kept out, and accepting Amber's word that she only told the truth when there are several clear cases of her misrepresenting things in testimony, like using the same image to bolster two different events, or calling what is obviously the same edited shot two different shots, or letting her get away with accusing everyone else of lying while pretending it's not so, or that the witnesses brought in to rebut ber were just "randos." Dateline also didn't push back on how Amber accused Depp's previous partners of not speaking up because "look how I was punished." - and never pushed back on her own documented history of domestic violence.

I'll link to this post later when I find a video that covers all of the problems with the complete Dateline interview.

Amber's Lawyers and the Impossible Standard

Elaine Bredehoft - only one of the Dickensian names at play, given that we literally had a lawyer on Amber's team named "Rottenborn" - and to a lesser degree, Rottenborn, are slimy.

I was willing to give some benefit of the doubt to them, even after the Waldman deposition where they tried to make it look like Waldman invoking client privilege was a scammy dodge, because it was obvious that a lot of the disastrous decisions had to be because Amber insisted.

Because of course she did.

The closing clinched that.

Rottenborn tried to make it about free speech, and also walked through a line of sophistry that had to be heard to be believed, that Amber had to meet an impossible standard of proof. If she didn't present photos, she was lying, if she did, they were faked. Elaine in interviews stated that apparently victims have to be filming themselves getting beaten to be believed.

Bullshit.

The problem, as Camille Vasquez noted in her rebuttal, wasn't that Heard had no evidence, it was that Heard recorded everything else, but somehow had nothing but some discolored skin and a couple of collaborating witnesses when multiple police, bodycams, and other witnesses testified to nothing. It was that there were no surgical or treatment records to collaborate the horrific injuries which she claimed to have suffered - and you can find plenty of pictures of other people for yourself to see what the swelling from broken noses and such look like.

As to fakes - Amber misrepresented the data and pictures. The jury never got to clearly find out how little original and unmodified imagery was handed over (though some were apparently tech savvy and may have wondered why such data was kept out), and since my last post Amber's team brought in their own expert who testified that the images where the EXIF data claimed the source was photos/iphoto were originals, which is bullshit. Even back then, you could export an unmodified original out and the exif data would still say "iphone" if that was the source. The only reason the image source would be different was because it was modified and re-rendered. It didn't help that the same image, differently cropped, with the same splash patterns, was used as proof of "damage" for two separate incidents months apart by Amber and her lawyers, or that what was observably the same image, with the same file name and export/creation date, with a pixel-perfect overlap, but two different colorations where it looked like the saturation had been pushed up on one, were offered as proof of bruising.

As to Elaine - well, it's apparently uncommon to object to closing arguments. it tends to focus the jury on what makes the case look bad for the objector - unless you clearly win.

Amber's team tried to object once to Chew on closing, and lost, badly.

Elaine was objected to several times for flagrant misrepresentations that she lost and had to stumblingly walk back.

And then after the verdict she went on interviews, where I'll cover the rest of her bullshit.

Amber may have been a disaster of a micromanaging client, but she found a set of lawyers who were willing to be slimy, not just play hard.

The UK Trial

"Johnny lost/ Amber won" - and so this case doesn't really count.

OK.

The UK trial was not against Amber, but instead against the Sun. As a result, despite Johnny requesting discovery against Amber, he never got to compel her to produce anything but cherry picked evidence, and couldn't bring in other evidence. The trial itself wasn't about whether Johnny was an abuser, but about whether the Sun had enough evidence to be able to make the claim. It was also not a jury trial, but a bench trial by a single judge who just so happened to have a child working at the Sun, and who's wife worked with the wife of the reporter in question for feminist causes.

So, with a judge that defined "conflict of interest," where Amber could pick and choose her evidence, and as a non-party was protected from providing anything that might hurt her own side of the story, Amber was found "credible."

One factor in finding her story sufficiently credible was "that she wasn't in it for the money" - having testified under oath that she donated her divorce proceeds to charity. The judge consistently ruled in Amber's favor whenever there was a conflict between her then-current testimony and anything else, even her recordings, for reasons that he ignored for other people.

Edit: After reviewing several videos from an UK Barrister (Lawyer) who goes by Black Belt Barrister, it's worse than I suspected. When it came to conflicts in testimony, the judge threw out conflicts with the police, and decided that Amber lying to Australian customs, and trying to get others to lie for her, was not a hit to her credibility, among other things.

And we know where that went.

Mountains of Evidence

Elaine specifically mentioned that there was a lot more evidence at the UK trial. This of course ignores that there was a lot more evidence brought in overall in Virginia. Much of it brought in by Johnny in this trial as Amber was now a party. Some of the evidence from Amber's side was finally grudgingly given up in the US trial due to compelled - because it didn't help Amber - discovery, and some of it never came in at the UK trial. Some of it was still not presented because Amber's team didn't provide some of the requested information.

For Amber, supposedly:

  • Medical records were not brought in.
  • These included psychiatric records

All I can say to that is: Amber's psychiatric records would be self-reported hearsay, AND was included secondhand by being provided to all of the mental health experts who testified as to having reviewed them, and for that matter, explicitly had their contents testified by Amber's expert. Amber got to testify to the events she related to her counselors herself, on the stand.

In short, they may not have "come in" as documents, but it certainly came in.

Edit: Worse, Amber had testified under oath at the UK trial, at deposition, and during her first days on the stand in Virginia that the abuse started in 2013. A picture released to TMZ as proof of abuse turned out to have metadata indicating the picture was from 2012, and suddenly, after the break, after having "reviewed" the allegedly pre-existing records that she would have presumably reviewed before testifying on all previous sworn occasions, the abuse started in 2012, and the records corroborate that.

The one medical record by an ENT should have been brought in by that doctor or someone in the office who could testify as to provenance ("foundation"), and incidentally was from a visit well after all of the supposed abuse and the marriage, with no way to validate where or how or when the internal injuries took place. My understanding is that there were also indications from the pattern of nasal damage that it was more due to cocaine than a broken nose.

In short, no wonder it wasn't allowed - without someone to attest to when and where the records were generated, and that they were faithful copies, they cannot even come in, much less be used to prove Depp injured Heard.

While we're on the subject, Depp's expert on image data was not allowed to testify as to evidence that images had been modified, from analyzing their color curves. The only reason Kate Moss could testify was Amber fucked up and opened the door through her own testimony. Finally, despite Amber's expert opining on how abusers tended to have a history of abuse (another reason it was useful to bring in Kate Moss), Depp's team never could fully bring in Amber's own earlier arrest for beating up her "wife" at the time, by a cop who witnessed the fight and moved in to stop it.

Basically, the evidence exclusion cut both ways. Some of the exclusions hurting Depp were because prior acts are restricted as prejudicial unless the door is opened through other testimony.

For Amber, if there are any legitimate medical records kept out - keep in mind Amber testified she had no treatment for injuries, and if she had they could have been brought in by laying the proper foundation - then Amber's team would actually have grounds for an appeal.

I wouldn't put money on their odds.

The Jury, Cameras, and Social Media

Elaine tried to blame the jury's decision on not being sequestered. OK, I doubt they successfully avoided all mention of the trial and people's opinions, but I'm reasonably certain they tried - in large part because the majority of the jurors actually seemed to be paying active attention to testimony, per onsite reports - to avoid non-trial information, and almost certainly weren't swayed much by it.

Why? Let's ask another question: So?

Keep in mind that in both interviews, Elaine complained bitterly that they couldn't introduce the final verdict of the UK trial. Given the media reporting, and even what was common knowledge in social media, what would be one of the first facts discovered?

That Depp had "been found guilty of domestic abuse in the UK"

Yeah, again, not quite, but that's how it's often reported, especially by Amber's lawyers and the media.

Also, if they were worried about the jury finding out how unpopular Amber was on social media, they are literally the ones who introduced that information into the trial.

Finally, given the media headlines, if the trial had not been open to observation, who would know what a total nutcase Amber was, condemned by her own words and lies?

Imperfect Victims and a Setback For Women

It's not a setback for "women" (let's ignore that per the same people making this claim, any one of us can claim to be a woman, even Depp...), it's a step forward for all victims to be believed. Note that everyone making this claim about "a setback" also assumes that only women can be victims, and that women cannot lie or be abusive.

Despite histrionic claims - like (literally, in multiple senses) Amber's - that the verdict means "imperfect victims cannot speak out", the truth is that Amber did get to speak out. Not only did she get to say her piece, but her speaking out got Depp shitcanned without a trial. People did take her seriously, for years, as without the damages from people doing so Depp wouldn't have had the basis to sue Amber and claim the damages he did. If she wasn't taken seriously, then there would not have been a trial, nor would she be given a level playing field when she was challenged.

No one blocked her from speaking. No-one prevented her from levying accusations.

Given her own admissions of hitting Johnny on tape, her mockery and psychological abuse, beratement, and manipulation of him, and her lies and manipulation on the stand, and Johnny's history of drug use, she was the abuser, and he was the far from perfect victim.

TL;DR

In short, the media is trying to get us to disbelieve our own eyes and ears. "They both lost" - as if a game where one team gets 10 points and the other two doesn't have a clear winner. They are floundering and flailing for any and every excuse to avoid people believing that women can destroy lives with false words, and so perhaps not simply taking any and every accusation at face value.

While I've generally watched Rekieta's stream, some of the other lawyers who've joined him off and on also had worthwhile points.  Below some commentary on an interview with Depp's lawyer: