The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Case Reveals the Glorification of Celebrities’ Lives

Angelina Astic, Contents/Copy Editor

The world has always had an intense, unique fascination with celebrities and celebrity culture. Entertainment outlets, social media, fashion events, magazines and other pop culture outlets have glamorized the Hollywood scene and created a society that has immersed itself in celebrities’ looks, likes and lives. This has led to nationwide enthrallment with the glitz and glamor of the rich and famous but reveals a terrifying and toxic side as well.

John C. Depp, II v. Amber Laura Heard is a current defamation trial taking place in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp, the plaintiff, is suing Heard, his former wife and actress, over a Washington Post editorial she wrote in Dec. 2018 in which she alleges that she is a victim of domestic violence. In response to the editorial, Depp claims that although Heard made no mention of him, his career and further opportunities have suffered. 

In the suit, Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in damages, with Heard counter-suing for $100 million in damages. This trial has revealed intimate audio tapes, video recordings, witness testimonies, text chain documents and further evidence which divulges into deeply personal situations and multifaceted realities. As celebrities who have chosen to lead more private and reserved lives, this trial has undone much of that privacy and security that both Depp and Heard have attempted to create for themselves. 

A majority of very polarizing and battered statements made during the trial have attracted a heavy following, especially through social media. Many creators, including those on YouTube and TikTok, have begun to promote and publish content related to the case, often focusing on key explosive moments in the trial. 

This glorification and zeroing in on a celebrity trial, nitpicking certain details, events and timeframes dehumanizes a very human experience. Depp and Heard are, despite being painted otherwise, human and have families.

Paparazzi footage uploaded to YouTube in previous years has featured Depp’s children at airports, out on the town or in other instances being questioned regarding their father and Heard’s relationship. Family members on both sides of the case have suffered as a result of watching their loved ones be torn apart on the public stage, as the public watches, judges and dissects both Depp and Heard.