Who Framed Johnny Depp?

The Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation case captured the attention and interest of millions of people, particularly younger generations. The six-week trial, broadcast on YouTube, amassed a total of 83.9 million hours watched. Scrolling through TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, it didn’t take long to come across videos scrutinizing every aspect of the case. Of course, it’s understandable that two well-known actors would get media attention for their divorce and lawsuit. Everyday people wanted to see how it would play out—if the truth would win out in what had started as a seemingly loving relationship and had become a disaster that desperately needed justice.

Only fifteen months after being married, Heard filed to divorce Depp in 2016. Then, following the finalized divorce, Heard began speaking openly in 2018 about Depp abusing her. Depp then sued Heard for defamation in 2019, a lawsuit which was widely followed and finalized in 2022. Throughout the process, both sides provided much ‘proof’ of abuse by the other party and evidence meant to harm the character of the other. This included text threads about drug and alcohol abuse, recordings about and photos of physical abuse, and character and expert witness testimonies, which totaled forty witnesses by the end of the trial. On June first it was announced that Depp had won the trial overall, save for a few minor points. The trial’s large following cheered, feeling that truth and justice had won out in the end—something many in culture cry out for, especially in light of laws changing around the long-held autonomy of abortion rights.

While it may be easy to leave the story there, there is much more to be said about the evidence regarding both Heard and Depp. As evidence and testimonies were revealed, it became clear that they are deeply broken people who sought out drugs, alcohol, and other remedies to ease their pain. Regardless of who won the trial, the fact remains that they both deeply hurt the other. Perfect justice for this pain is not something that can be given by a jury. It will never be found this side of heaven.

A Broken World
As Christians, we shouldn’t be surprised by the kind of behaviors seen in Depp and Heard. They are the same ones seen in countless others around the world. Many who have come to Christ have lived out these behaviors at some point in their lives. And the brokenness in our world doesn’t stop at hedonistic acts and destroyed relationships. There is deep injustice experienced by countless others, especially the weakest in our world. It all stems from the Fall of man in Genesis 3. Original sin separated us from God by a rift too big for us to cross.

God tells us that without Christ, this world and the people in it are in darkness and under Satan’s power (Acts 26:18). Because of this, he says “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). The heartbreak people experience on a daily basis backs this up. So often it is the people in our lives who cause the heartbreak, reminding us that everyone is desperately sinful. Romans 3:10 says “none is righteous, no, not one.” This can be seen clearly in the Depp v. Heard case: neither side was fully innocent—both had caused deep destruction to the other to the point where neither could take it anymore. They needed an outside source to step in to bring some amount of justice to their situation. While some measure of justice can be found in these cases, the final restoration and fulfillment of justice requires much more. We need a perfect Judge and Savior to rescue us from our mess.

The Justice Required (Longed-for Justice)
The opening chapters of the Bible show clearly that God never created us to live in the chaos of a world filled with pain, war, famine, and disasters. That is why living in the midst of these things feels so impossible. We were designed for a relationship with a just God who brings perfect peace and rest. Instead, we live in separation from him too often.

Sometimes we think that the solution to injustice and pain is kindness and ‘grace.’ If someone gets pulled over by a police officer for speeding, the person would happily accept it if the officer said “I’m a loving sort of guy, so I’m going to let you go.” But if someone died because of a drunk driver and the judge said, “I’m a loving sort of guy, so I’m not going to convict you,” the family of the victim would not see the judge as loving, but rather as unjust. A broken world filled with sin cries out for justice—a justice grounded in the Holy and Loving God of the Bible.

We often don’t realize how heinous our sin truly is and how far it separates us from God (Romans 6:16-23). Sin cannot be easily ‘fixed.’ The only solution to the rift it caused was building a new bridge that we could choose to cross. But the injustice of sin demanded the justice only a perfect sacrifice could bring.

God’s Perfect Justice
Only Christ, who lived a perfect life as both fully human and fully God, could accomplish this perfect justice. The response to the Depp v. Heard case seems to suggest that both parties got the justice they deserved, though no amount of money can heal the damage done. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us to pick up the pieces of our broken lives alone (Romans 5:8). That is why Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is so loving. We no longer have to pay the perfect, eternal price for our sins because Jesus took them all on himself. He sought us out when we were disfigured by sin and calls us to take his hand so that he can heal our trauma and pull us out of it. The truth is that perfect peace and justice will never be found in an earthly courtroom (Proverbs 14:12). Perfect peace and justice only come through Jesus Christ, the perfect Savior.

By Rebecca Sachaj

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Rebecca Sachaj

Rebecca Sachaj is enthusiastic about helping fellow believers deepen their relationship with God. After finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing, she pursued further study in Apologetics through The Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics. She plans to obtain her Masters in Apologetics, focusing on the connection between the Christian Imagination and Apologetics. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her two dogs, Strider and Samwise.