Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Obsession

If there is one thing that has been a theme that we have all experienced during the last few years while watching the trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard unfold it has been obsession. I’m still kind of checking up on it but…I can quit any time I want. It’s just that I don’t want to!

Being a thriller writer and primarily reading thrillers and true crime my entire reading life it makes sense for me to be completely immersed in the trial. From the crazy psychologist that testified for Amber Heard to the poop story there were plenty of notes to be taken if you’re a novelist. But what is it about these kinds of trials that make us so obsessed?

Try as we might to convince ourselves otherwise relationships are the most important thing in our lives and seeing these relationships break down will always fascinate us. This is especially true when it is people who seem to have it all. We all think that if only we had more money, a bigger house, a better job, a shorter commute that our lives would be perfect. Even if we don’t truly believe it we also think our relationship troubles will be over then too. So when we see a couple that makes literally millions of dollars every time they go to work, have multiple houses, cars, months worth of time off break up then we want to know why. That little voice that keeps us over-working and stressed about “if only” and “when I get there” has to shut up for a minute and take a look at what’s going on.

The truth that gets pointed out to us in these moments is that material things and outside recognition is never going to replace the value of a good relationship. Having an impressive job is not the same as being able to be compatible with the wrong person. The truth is that relationships have nothing to do with material things. You would definitely have more room for your kids with a bigger house but if you’re going to be divorced you’re going to get divorced no matter where you live.

Public spectacles like this also give us the chance to distract ourselves from our crappy relationships. On the flip side it has given many of us the chance to bond with people we would not have otherwise made friends with. It has called our attention to an issue that many of us never thought of (Male Victims of Domestic Violence) and it was, at times, very entertaining.

The judge faced some criticism for deciding to televising it but I think the judge knew that the court of public opinion meant just as much as the jury in this case. I, for one, am glad that Johnny Depp got the chance to present his case to the public. I hope that he and all victims of narcissistic abusers feel seen and heard a little more because of it.


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