Culture Feature

Stop Acting Like You Know What Happened Between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

We don't know these people, and the more we forget about them, the happier we'll all be.

It seems like every day there's a new headline emerging from the fallout of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's disastrous marriage.

More than four years after Heard filed for divorce, entertainment "news" outlets with names like PopCulture and PopSugar and PopCrush (and maybe some other sites I can't think of at the moment) continue to pore over every court transcript and deposition in various unfolding legal cases, like vultures picking the last shreds of rotten flesh from a long-dead carcass.

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A video has recently leaked via DailyMail.com showing Johnny Depp describing a physical fight he had with ex-wife, Amber Heard, that resulted in his losing a portion of his finger.

While the deposition was actually a part of his already settled case against his lawyer of 18 years, Jake Bloom, it's just another example of the bevy of evidence coming out to support Depp's claims that Heard made up allegations against Depp.

In 2016, after filing for divorce, Heard claimed that Depp had been physically and verbally abusive to her. The end of their marriage was legally finalized in January 2017, but, in 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post once again accusing Depp of severe abuse. This led Depp to file a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, which includes claims that Heard began having an affair with Elon Musk just a month after marrying Depp.

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It seems the saga of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's toxic marriage will never end.

Recently, images were leaked that seemed to indicate that Heard was having an affair with Tesla CEO Elon Musk shortly after marrying Depp in 2015. Depp accused Heard of infidelity as a part of his $50 million dollar defamation case against her, and he also subpoenaed Musk for his text messages with Heard. This follows accusations from both Heard and Depp that the other was habitually abusive.

Now, more evidence has emerged in the form of a video of Depp detailing a March 2015 incident in which Heard threw a broken vodka bottle at Depp, consequentially severing off a portion of his finger. The videoed deposition is from 2018 and details a fight that erupted when Depp brought up post-nuptial papers to sign.

Heard's account of events differs dramatically. She claims the fight was over her former co-star Billy Bob Thornton. According to Heard, Depp hit her with one hand, while "slamming a hard plastic phone against a wall with his other until it was smashed into smithereens. While he was smashing the phone, Johnny severely injured his finger, cutting off the tip of it." According to Vanity Fair, Heard also claimed, "At some point later that night, Depp had written on the walls with a mixture of paint and the bloody finger, 'Billy Bob' and 'Easy Amber.'" Depp denies this version of events.

Bizarrely, this new video is not a part of Depp's case against Heard but from a lawsuit against Depp's former lawyer, Jake Bloom. Depp filed the suit against the lawyer on the grounds that Bloom collected $30 million during their 18 years working together. A settlement was reached, but Bloom reportedly only paid a portion of the amount Depp asked. According to the Daily Mail, the finger incident was brought up in the deposition because Bloom drew up the post-nup that Depp claims caused Heard to physically assault him, resulting in the loss of his finger.

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The internet is currently overflowing with what seems like endless dire news and existential dread.

In a time like this, vapid celebrity gossip actually comes as a welcome relief from the otherwise dark churn of the media engine. Especially really, really, really juicy celebrity gossip.

You're likely already familiar with the twisting story of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's failed marriage. As previously written on our site, "In truth, we love it when celebrities have terrible relationships." It makes us feel like maybe we aren't so bad after all. We think, "Look at them! They have all the money and fame in the world and they can't get it right, either!" In truth, celebrities are just like us, even the bad parts.And in the case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, there are plenty of bad parts.

Even though their divorce has long been settled, the two A-listers have repeatedly aimed to defame one another in the public eye. It started when Heard wrote an op-ed accusing Depp of ongoing physical and emotional abuse. In response, Depp "filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Heard for defamation of character, referring to the 33-year-old actress calling Depp 'the Monster' in court documents and alleging that he often threatened to kill her throughout their two-year marriage."

Now, new evidence has emerged in the form of incriminating pictures of Amber Heard cuddled up to none other than billionaire Elon Musk.


Amber Heard and Elon Musk elevator photos



Amber Heard and Elon Musk elevator photos


The images, obtained by the DailyMail.com, capture Heard and Musk embracing as they ride the elevator at the luxury downtown LA apartment complex where Heard once lived with Depp. Of course, Musk has claimed he only began seeing Heard after her split with Depp, and the relationship only became romantic later on. But Depp is not buying it. He has accused the pair of becoming romantically involved just one month after he married Heard in 2015. As a part of his $50 million dollar case against his ex-wife, Depp has subpoenaed Musk for his text messages with Heard.

As the DailyMail writes, there is no clear way of telling when the images were taken, but "security guards have previously gone on record to state that Musk visited Heard on multiple occasions before and after she filed for divorce in May 2016."

The formal suit that Depp and his legal team have brought against Heard reads as follows: "'Only one calendar month after Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard were married - while Mr. Depp was out of the country, filming in March 2015 - Eastern Columbia Building personnel testified that Ms. Heard received Musk ''late at night'' at Mr. Depp's penthouse."

'Specifically, Ms. Heard asked staff at the Eastern Columbia Building to give her 'friend Elon' access to the building's parking garage and the penthouse elevator 'late at night,' and they testified that they did so.

'Building staff would then see Ms. Heard's 'friend Elon' leaving the building the next morning."


CULTURE

Raven-Symoné and 5 Other Stars Who Were Told Being Gay Would Hurt Their Careers

"I'm labeling myself, but in the way that I want to," says the former Disney star.

With celebrities coming out left and right and queer storylines gaining big-screen prominence in Hollywood, it seems hard to imagine that some of our favorite gay stars were encouraged not to come out for the sake of their careers.

One such star is Raven-Symoné. In a video for "It Gets Better," she discussed how difficult it was for her to come out as queer due to pressure from the media and fear that her sexuality would affect her personal brand. "I never thought I would come out because my personal life didn't matter," she said. "It was only supposed to be sold as, you know, a Raven-Symoné record."

It Got Better Featuring Raven-Symoné | L/Studio Created by Lexus www.youtube.com

She was afraid to come out because, as she said in the video, being gay "was always negative. So, if you don't see other people going through it in a positive way, why would you say anything? There was nothing that would have made me want to deal with my own issue at that time."

The pressure to remain in the closet didn't end as the years went on. She recently told Variety that she received criticism for her appearance during her years starring on That's So Raven. "I remember that I wore Abercrombie and Fitch jeans, a stereotypical lesbian vest, a tie," she said, "and one of the members of my team went up to my mom and was like, 'She looks too much like a lesbian. Can you tell her to put on a skirt and makeup? Because then they'll accept her and come to her concert.' I could not! It always happened when I was on tour, because I've always been myself in hip-hop clothes and not necessarily super feminine... So seeing the reaction of people in my own camp who were trying to mold and publicize me in the way that they think girls should look like just blew my mind."

Since she came out in college, Raven-Symoné has never been one to defer to others' expectations. After the comment about her looking too much like a lesbian, she ended up going onstage in a tutu, just to spite her managers.

Later in the interview, she said, "I do not like labels because labels have certain historic connotations that don't describe who I am fully. If I use a certain label, our world view of that word or image will go right to the negative, every single time. I think as my generation and the generations after me continue to grow, we're changing certain labels, but it's still a part of the fabric of society. I'm labeling myself, but in the way that I want to. I know that I am a 'human of the world.'"

In honor of her bravery and generally inspiring outlook on life and the media (read the whole interview here), here are 5 other contemporary gay icons who were encouraged to remain in the closet for the sake of their careers.

1. Ellen Page

The Juno star and globally adored lesbian icon (have you seen the photos of her and her wife?) was initially encouraged to stay in the closet. "I was distinctly told, by people in the industry, when I started to become known: 'People cannot know you're gay,' she said. "And I was pressured—forced, in many cases—to always wear dresses and heels for events and photo shoots." She added, "As if lesbians don't wear dresses and heels. But I will never let anyone put me in anything I feel uncomfortable in ever again."

Still, it wasn't easy for her to come out. "I remember being in my early 20s and really believing it was impossible for me to come out," she told Porter. "But, over time, with more representation, hearts and minds have been changed. It doesn't happen quickly enough and it hasn't happened enough, particularly for the most marginalized in the community. But things have got better."

Now, she has said she feels a responsibility to be out and proud, and is committed to creating queer content. She's also just enjoying married life. "I love being married," she said. "I'll be walking my dog, and I start talking to people, and I end up telling them about my wife and making them look at our Instagram. I'm that person."

celebrities told not to come out Image via ABC News

2. Ezra Miller

Miller is the new star of Justice League, but he solidified a place in many young queers' hearts when he played the queer character Patrick in Perks of Being a Wallflower. Unfortunately, he apparently faced a huge amount of pressure to remain in the closet in order to survive in Hollywood.

"I won't specify [who told me not to come out]," he said. "Folks in the industry, folks outside the industry. People I've never spoken to. They said there's a reason so many gay, queer, gender-fluid people in Hollywood conceal their sexual identity, or their gender identity in their public image. I was told I had done a 'silly' thing in…thwarting my own potential to be a leading man."

celebrities told not to come out Image via Business Insider

3. Hayley Kiyoko

Kiyoko, who has previously stated she knew she was a lesbian since the age of 6, has said that she was told to "tone down" her sexuality after the release of her 2015 single, "Girls Like Girls."

"'Girls Like Girls' was too violent and too sexual for a lot of people to premiere," she said. "When you're in the LGBTQ community and you're open about your sexuality, it's not common for you to hear your music played on the radio. It's more common to be underground and left-of-centre with a selective core that listens to that music. That's why this is an exciting time to really break those barriers of… I wouldn't say judgment, but to break out of that box."

celebrities told not to come out Image via Popbuzz.com

4. Amber Heard

The bisexual actress, who has starred alongside Johnny Depp and Nicholas Cage, was told that coming out as bisexual would ruin her career. "Everyone said, 'You're throwing it all away. You can't do this to your career,'" she said. "And I said, 'I cannot do this any other way. Watch me.'" She later said, "I told myself to describe reality in a truthful way and to offer young people someone to look up to, since those of my generation had grown up without any model of reference. Who knows." She added, "Thanks to me, maybe someone has felt less inadequate."

The outspoken star has also critiqued the LGBTQ community, stating, "I didn't come out. I was never in." She explained, "It's limiting, that LGBTQ thing. It served a function as an umbrella for marginalized people to whom rights were being denied, but it loses its efficacy because of the nuanced nature of humanity. As we become more educated and expand the facts of our nature, we keep adding letters. It was a great shield, but now we're stuck behind it." Food for thought, certainly, but at least it seems that Heard remains committed to speaking her mind and questioning norms.

celebrities told not to come out Image via UPI.com

5. Evan Rachel Wood

The Westworld star has become a feminist force of nature in recent years, due to her honesty about her past as well as her refusal to remain in the closet. Recently, she released a 20-minute confessional video along with the comment, "I recorded a video of myself walking people through my journey of self-realization—abusive relationships, suicide attempts, and finally coming out of the closet."

Still, she wasn't always this open about her sexuality. Because she had few role models growing up, she felt alone. "No one I knew was talking about it," she said in her HRC speech. "I wasn't exposed. So the only thing that I knew was fear, and confusion, and loneliness. How can you be who you are when you don't understand what you're feeling?"

Now, she's become determined to use her platform to spread love and solidarity with other marginalized people. "As an actor, my job is to look at a stranger and find myself in them—to connect the dots, to have such empathy for a character that I can read someone else's words and be moved to tears," Wood said in a 2017 speech at the HRC gala. "Turning empathy into vulnerability... and it wasn't until I saw the effect that it had on other people that I really started to see how powerful really allowing your most vulnerable parts to be seen was. I saw another side to what I did, and it was the power of visibility."

celebrities told not to come out Image via Architectural Digest