Republicans Gloat Over Johnny Depp/Amber Heard Defamation Verdict - Rolling Stone
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Republicans Are Doing Backflips Over Johnny Depp Winning His Defamation Case

It isn’t hard to understand why Matt Gaetz, Donald Trump Jr., and other right-wing figures are now standing behind the actor who once joked about assassinating Trump

FAIRFAX, VA - MAY 27: (NY & NJ NEWSPAPERS OUT) Johnny Depp gestures to fans during a recess outside court during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 27, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp is seeking $50 million in alleged damages to his career over an op-ed Heard wrote in the Washington Post in 2018.(Photo by Cliff Owen/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)FAIRFAX, VA - MAY 27: (NY & NJ NEWSPAPERS OUT) Johnny Depp gestures to fans during a recess outside court during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 27, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia. Depp is seeking $50 million in alleged damages to his career over an op-ed Heard wrote in the Washington Post in 2018.(Photo by Cliff Owen/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)

Johnny Depp gestures to fans during a recess outside court during the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard civil trial at Fairfax County Circuit Court on May 27, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia.

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Johnny Depp won his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard on Wednesday, bringing an end to a lengthy trial chock-full of allegations of abuse against both the Pirates of the Caribbean actor and Heard.

The trial was ugly both inside and outside the courtroom, and, over the course of nearly two months, support for Depp became something of a stand-in for a rejection of the #MeToo movement, as well as of feminism more broadly. Republicans couldn’t resist riding the wave. Here’s the House Judiciary GOP’s Twitter account, posting a GIF of a triumphant Jack Sparrow after the verdict was delivered on Wednesday:

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who is currently under federal investigation for sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, retweeted the GIF.

Conservatives have long despised Hollywood elites, so it may seem strange that the party is making such an effort to show its support for Depp. It’s doing so because it sees believing woman as a form of wokeness. Donald Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by nearly 30 women. It’s orthodoxy within the GOP to consider every last one of them a bald-faced liar desperate for the spotlight, and suggesting anything less is tantamount to siding with Democrats. The same is true for Christine Blasey-Ford, who credibly accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct ahead of his confirmation to the Supreme Court. The party line is that she, too, is a liar, along with any other woman who dares besmirch the reputation of a powerful man — so long as that powerful man isn’t Harvey Weinstein, Andrew Cuomo, or any other avowed Democrat.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who was regularly retweeted by Trump before he was banned from the platform, summed it up nicely. “Johnny Depp has showed us what one has to do to begin to get one’s reputation back in this corrupt woke media age,” he wrote shortly after the decision was handed down.

Donald Trump Jr. feels similarly. “Believe all women… except Amber Heard,” he wrote. “$15,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to Depp, and perhaps a case that could end the effective rabid femminist [sic] notion that all men are guilty before being proven innocent that we’ve seen as of late. She’s just that terrible!”

It’s not the first time Trump Jr. railed against Heard. “Maybe the most telling part of the Amber Turd trial is that not a single man seems to have come out in her defense saying she’s great,” he tweeted on Saturday.

That defense of Depp is especially telling, considering the actor once joked about killing Trump Junior’s father. “Can you bring Trump here?” Depp asked a UK musical festival crowd in 2017. The crowd booed, so he clarified: “You misunderstand completely. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp apologized for the comments after receiving backlash from the White House and elsewhere.

Conservatives may love nothing more than Trump, but there’s a growing mound of evidence suggesting their devotion to the former president pales in comparison to their hatred of women.

In This Article: Amber Heard, Johnny Depp

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