#MenToo trends after Johnny Depp beat Amber Heard for defamation

In 2006, Tarana Burke, an American civil rights activist who has herself been a victim of sexual assault, invented this phrase and founded the MeToo movement. What started as local grassroots work gained global traction in 2017 when #metoo went viral after the Harvey Weinstein saga came to the fore. The movement spawned countless stories of women being sexually harassed by predators over a period of years. The skeletons had finally tumbled out of the closets!

Shortened to the year 2022, the “MenToo” hashtag has been gaining momentum online following the much-anticipated trial verdict between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. There was incessant tweeting and dialogue on social media in support of Depp. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the whole world was excited about the trial. The case was eventually closed with the jury’s decision in favor of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. Heard now has to pay Depp $15 million in damages. Shortly after his landmark win, #MenToo secured a spot on Twitter’s trending list.

The tweets, mostly in support of Depp, claimed “men can be victims of domestic violence too.” British author Greg Ellis wrote on Twitter: “Today’s win is a signal. The jury spoke. We had a judgement. The verdict was clear. The truth has triumphed. 6 long years.”

“‘Tell the world Johnny. Tell them I, Johnny Depp, am a victim of domestic violence. See if the judge and jury believe you.” The jury and judge and the whole world believed this man. He waited 6 years and spoke his truth and his truth now takes precedence for #MenToo #JohnnyDepp,” another fan tweeted in support of Depp.

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While part of the internet is celebrating the verdict in Depp’s favour, there were others who expressed concern following the verdict. Journalist Moira Donegan wrote: “Amber Heard did not even name her accuser. Which woman will report now? What woman is talking to a reporter? What woman confides in a friend? #MeToo was in many ways a movement for women’s freedom of expression. The impact of this backlash on freedom of expression is staggering.”

The much-discussed case concerned a lawsuit filed by Depp against Heard in December 2018, in an op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post, in which she described herself as “a public figure who advocates domestic violence.”

While the Virginia court jury found Amber Heard’s article defamatory of Johnny Depp, it also found that Heard had been defamed by one of Depp’s attorneys, who said she fabricated a detailed fraud that included stealing the apartment of the couple cleaning up to look worse for the police. The jury awarded her $2 million.

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