Monica Lewinsky likens Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial to ‘courtroom porn’

Monica Lewinsky likens Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial to ‘courtroom porn’
Lewinsky expresses concerns over trial’s ‘larger implications for our culture’

Monica Lewinsky has likened the Johnny Depp v Amber Heard trial to “courtroom porn”, expressing concern about the proceedings’ “larger implications”.

Lewinsky wrote about the trial in an op-ed for Vanity Fair published on Tuesday (31 May) as jurors kept deliberating in the defamation case.

“Unless you’re a troglodyte, you’ve been exposed to something about the Depp v Heard trial in the past few weeks. Like many, I have averted my eyes – with guilty fascination – even as I’ve kept track of the defamation conflagration,” she wrote.

Lewinsky then referenced Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, writing: “We are hooked on soma, a drug that we think is making us feel better but is actually numbing us. … And courtroom porn does just the trick.”

“I wasn’t surprised that the memes about Amber Heard far outnumbered those about Johnny Depp. I wasn’t surprised that the cruel and vitriolic discourse was predominantly aimed at the woman,” she added. “And I shouldn’t have been surprised (but I was) that shortly after my search, I began to be served suggested posts on the trial.”

Lewinsky expressed concern over the trial’s “larger implications for our culture”, namely “the ways we have stoked the flames of misogyny” and “the celebrity circus”.

Closing arguments in the trial took place on 27 May in Fairfax, Virginia, after more than a month of proceedings. Jurors are now deliberating. Mr Depp sued Ms Heard for alleged defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post. Ms Heard has counter-sued him. The jury will rule both on Mr Depp’s original claim and Ms Heard’s counter-suit.