The spectacle is scheduled to end in Fairfax court next week. We were all there live when Amber Heard and Johnny Depp threw hideous things at each other. But was filming the process a good idea for all of us?

It’s Sunday afternoon and as I write this we are all getting closer to the conclusion of the Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard trial. A soap opera filmed about a sick and toxic marriage. But if I’m honest with myself, the prospect of what tabloid journalism has to offer afterward even makes me a little sad. It’s almost a disgusting way of thinking when you consider – and you should – that this courtroom was about two people having once loved each other.

No question: Meghan Markle or Johnny Depp?!

Almost every working day there was a live feed into the courtroom on YouTube. For a total of seven weeks, with a one-week break. Every night before I fell asleep, I looked back at what had happened that day in Judge Penney Azcarate’s far away room. Actually stuff from which good documentaries and series are made. Even “guest appearances” like that of the model Kate Moss took place. The paused week already drove me to scroll for hours through Netflix, Prime and Co. and to ask myself about legal series like “Suits” whether they were worth the click movement to watch compared to the Depp Heard process. Meghan Markle vs A-listers. Oh no, I’d rather watch old Depp vs. Heard episodes again. Then in the last few days I realized with horror: Depp and Heard got me addicted to their drama.

Depp is said to have been the one who advocated for the entire trial to be filmed and broadcast live. Under Virginia law, the trial judge has discretion to allow cameras in the courtroom. “Mr. Depp believes in transparency,” said Chew, an attorney for the actor. In considering the live broadcast, Azcarate noted that she received many media inquiries and was responsible for keeping the process open to observers. If cameras weren’t allowed, she feared that reporters would come to the courthouse and potentially create a dangerous situation there. So she approved the live stream.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are only human too

Millions of viewers watched as Heard and Depp opened up about their failed relationship. Anyone who has been through an ugly breakup knows what it feels like to see their ex again and can imagine what it’s like to talk about everything that happened again years later. But nobody can imagine how it must feel to do this in front of an audience of millions.

Regarding objections from Team Heard to the cameras, the judge said: “I see no good reason not to allow it”.

Me, yes. I see this reason mostly on Instagram every day. Social media is not about fair and true reporting. It’s about dragging people into the mud and about pushing do-gooderness further. And yes, while it’s worth mentioning that Johnny Depp, for example, accuses his ex-wife of doing her big business in the marital bed, it doesn’t need countless videos and memes on social media.

It must be cruel to be in Amber Heard’s shoes right now when she’s being shown jokes and photomontages of that situation. Heard, who appears far more upset than Depp, said she felt “humiliated” by the broadcast. And she’s right.

We are all now witnessing the statements live. You can certainly form a better opinion that way. But are we even entitled to form an opinion about the question of guilt in a “fucked up” marriage in the truest sense of the word? Who among us wants other people to comment on our past relationships? The only ones who should position themselves in this case are the court and the jury themselves. Not Hans and Franz or me, who follow the whole thing like a daily episode of “Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten”.

One thing is nice to know: everyone has relationship problems

As a journalist, I also have trouble staying objective. You quickly want to side with him through sympathy, triggered by Depp’s quite calm and often even funny manner. However, that is inappropriate in a case where we spectators are neither the jury nor the professional judges.

Still, part of me says, I don’t want this process to end. Because he entertains me in a sick way. But that’s because the broadcast of the toxic relationship between two great actors took away my connection to reality and portrayed the cruelty behind some of the crimes described like a daily soap opera. It’s kind of surreal that celebrities like Depp and Heard can have insane relationship problems.

Quelle: Variety