A quick note before we jump in: this episode contains discussions about abuse.
It's not often that a case goes to trial that touches on many elements that intrigue the public. Celebrity, the #MeToo movement, public opinion and the media's coverage all swirl together as cameras are ready to capture the defamation trial between Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
The former husband and wife square off in court over a $50 million defamation lawsuit Depp filed after Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post detailing her experience as a domestic violence survivor. Heard didn't name Depp in the piece but had previously sought a restraining order against the movie star for allegedly assaulting her.
In this episode, we break down how we got here, the intersection of the #MeToo movement, journalism and defamation law that the case manages to encompass, and dive into how social dynamics dictate the public's response to domestic violence claims.
- Xiyin Tang, assistant professor of law at UCLA School of Law
- Jason Whiting, professor of marriage and family therapy at Brigham Young University
- Raees Mohamed, defamation attorney at RM Warner
- Michael Balter, journalist
- Lyrissa Lidsky, dean of the University of Missouri School of Law
Sidebar tackles the top stories you need to know from the legal world. Join reporters Bianca Bruno, Daniel Jackson, Amanda Pampuro and Nina Pullano as they take you in and out of courtrooms in the U.S. and beyond and break down developments to help you understand how they affect your day-to-day life.
This episode was produced by Kirk McDaniel. Intro music by The Dead Pens. A transcript of this episode is available.
Editorial staff is Bill Dotinga, Sean Duffy and Jamie Ross. Big thanks to Joan Hennessy.
For more from Joan on three years of Depp v. Heard litigation:
- Jury selection underway in Johnny Depp, Amber Heard defamation trial
- Judge lets Heard counterclaim move forward in Depp defamation case
- Virginia judge denies Amber Heard’s attempt to toss Johnny Depp’s defamation case
- Johnny Depp files $50M defamation suit against ex-wife
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