How to expose a sociopath. A masterclass by Johnny Depp.
A white middle-class feminist can’t have close Black female friends without having some very uncomfortable conversations. And it takes years to not wince at anything they say that starts with ‘You people…’ Because ‘you people’ means white middle-class feminists. And trust me, Black women don’t hold us in as high regard as we'd like to believe. After what I've witnessed this last week, neither do I.
Where do I hand in my badge? I don't want to be a feminist any more.
This blog is going to piss off almost all my white middle-class feminist friends. I don’t care. You claim the Depp vs Heard judgement will stop Survivors coming forward. Well, here I am telling my story. Opening myself to a defamation case. Bring it.
The white feminists are right that Depp vs Heard is the story of two trials, but I suspect they are taking this very literally and presume it’s the age old struggle of a powerful white man using his influence to abuse and then regain his reputation by destroying the woman.
It’s actually far more sinister. Instead of glorifying Ms Heard we should be in awe of Mr Depp’s legal team and experts. Especially the women - they pulled off the impossible. They exposed a sociopath.
I know a lot about sociopaths. I spent 16 years of my life with one and the last 20 years escaping him. Here’s a perspective I’m sure you haven’t heard. Only 4% of the population are sociopaths. 1% are female. If you are unfortunate enough to have one latch on to you, every therapist, psychiatrist and social worker gives exactly the same advice CUT. THEM. OFF. If that doesn’t work, RUN.
Johnny Depp had absolutely nowhere to run to except his island in the Bahamas. The cost? His children. No wonder he took on the fight of his life.
Why is exposing a sociopath so difficult? Well the main reason is it’s not a diagnosable condition. When I made my escape, the medical professionals described my ex as having a disassociative disorder. Today there are a whole cluster of personality disorders that can be medically diagnosed, not all people who suffer from these personality disorders are sociopaths. They really are that rare.
So how did they expose her? It was a beautifully executed plot in three acts. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of the trial. I’m going to parallel some of the events with my story to show how a sociopath works.
21 May 2016 Amber Heard claims Johnny threw a phone at her.
23 May 2016 Amber files for divorce
The deal: Three penthouses, a Range Rover and various upkeep and legal costs to be agreed by 27 May or she will file a DVO
Johnny does not agree.
27 May 2016 Amber files DVO.
16 August 2016 divorce settlement signed DVO dropped.
11 Sept 2002 Physical assault.
13 Sept 2002 Mediation with therapist to organise separation.
The deal: He gets 2/3rds of the money and pays school fees. I get the kids and the car. To be agreed by 20 September or he will file for full custody.
13 November 2002 Separation deal signed.
Let’s not forget that white women’s #MeToo didn’t start for another year and five months after Amber got her DVO against Johnny. At the time Johnny probably thought he could just get the DVO removed, lay low and ride it out.
April 2018 The Sun publishes the article claiming Johnny was a wife beater. Johnny files a suit against The Sun
Sometime in 2004 my ex discovers that the hastily drawn up settlement where I agreed to share all costs didn’t include his capital gains tax. He tried to sue. He didn’t succeed. He stops paying school fees and attempts to take the kids.
December 2018 Amber writes the op-ed saying she’s a survivor of sexual abuse.
Got her! She published it on her Twitter feed, they could sue her - not the mainstream media.
Now this is where it gets interesting. I don’t believe Johnny and his team held any hope of winning the UK trial. They were up against Rupert Murdoch who only had to prove it was 'substantially true' that he was a wife-beater. But they could discover all her evidence and work out the story she was telling. A sociopath has no concept of truth so it’s impossible to predict what cock and bull story they will come up with to try to take you down. That’s a tricky fight.
The medical documents that the white middle-class feminists are so passionate about are Amber’s therapist’s notes. They were crucial in the UK trial but inadmissible in the US as hearsay. You can tell a therapist anything - doesn’t make it true.
My ex and I went to couples therapy for years. I had had enough, he’d already had me officially declared mentally ill, I couldn’t find anything hidden in my privileged upbringing and felt I’d looked at my issues forever. So I paid for four sessions and told him to go and deal with his stuff. The therapist said it made absolutely no difference, he spent all four hours lying and blaming me for everything that was wrong with his life.
November 2020 Depp loses the UK trial.
December 2020 Adam Waldman releases the tapes of Amber confessing to hitting Johnny that weren’t admissible under UK law and lays out the hoax theory. Amber countersues. Perfect! The trial will tell both sides of the story.
Now we get to the good bit - the US trial. I have avoided conspiracy theories throughout this whole process but I have a fantasy that Aaron Sorkin was writing the whole thing. I imagine him watching the proceedings during the day and furiously typing dialogue for the highly-researched plot lines overnight.
Here are the highlights:
Camille started with “Ms Heard you wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled ‘I spoke out about sexual violence and faced culture’s wrath - this has to stop.’ You wrote this about Mr Depp, didn’t you?”
Amber claimed it was about her and what she experienced after she ‘escaped’ the marriage.
Then came Doctor Curry straight out of central casting, a smart, clever beautiful woman who knew her stuff and wasn’t taking any crap. She very calmly explained the two personality disorders she had diagnosed and gave us a roadmap of how Amber would behave in any given situation.
Amber didn’t disappoint. It was as if she’d taken Dr Curry’s testimony as stage direction.
The whole proceedings ended with Camille listing lie after lie after lie Ms Heard had been caught out in during the trial. Amber got so flustered she blurted out.
"That's his power. That's why I wrote the op-ed."
I was ecstatic at the verdict, the world had seen a sociopath in action and Johnny truly looked like a man who had the weight of the world lifted off his shoulders. I know a massive burden was taken off mine.
Then the white middle-class feminists started posting about how #MeToo was dead.
Tarana Burke, who founded the movement ten years before they created their version put out this tweet:
That should have been the end of it, instead a powerful Black woman was totally ignored. All week I have been bombarded by posts from ‘you people’, women I love and admire telling me Amber Heard should have been believed regardless of the evidence.
I started getting triggered. This morning I woke to find my body feeling like it weighed ten tons with my head buzzing. PTSD. I immediately rang my friend who supported me through my entire escape. She reminded me that every decision I made was the right one and what an amazing job I have done raising my daughters. She told me to ignore my white sisters, silence is strength, running away is strength, protecting your kids at all costs is strength and all that I am doing for midlife women is real feminism. I felt better.
Lunch with my daughter cheered me up further, she knew what I had been up against - even if she didn’t at the time. Then she politely reminded me what a cunt he is.
Later I had dinner with a white working-class feminist friend and a sincere discussion about how ‘whack a mole’ feminism isn’t getting us anywhere.
To my white, middle-class feminist friends I know how hard this is. The worst thing about being the victim of a sociopath is they destroy every ounce of truth you ever held dear. One of the hardest things to come to terms with is how you could have been taken in so badly. It’s fucking embarrassing. But if the idea that a woman could abuse your goodwill and profit from the plight of real abuse Survivors is still unthinkable to you, imagine explaining to your 19 year old daughter why her father is incapable of loving her. Then imagine hiding that for 16 years.
Do you believe mine? Or do you still believe Amber? Because if you think Johnny Depp is a sexually violent abuser, then you have to accept my exes story too which makes me a crazy psycho witch who stole his children, took all his money and everything I’ve just written is lies.
If you can believe that, I need a new sisterhood.
Alice Walker, can I please become a womanist? Lavender doesn’t suit me.