Of Truth and Lies

Of Truth and Lies

“Truth never perishes.”

from Johnny Depp’s statement after winning his defamation case versus Amber Heard

It’s a victorious day for Johnny Depp and his legal team when a jury in Virginia ruled in his favor, winning the defamation case against Amber Heard.

I’ve closely followed the trial, watching the lawyers arguing and the statements of witnesses — including Amber Heard. 

And I am shocked at seeing her commit lie after lie after lie. Shocked even more that she had the gall to utter each lie smoothly and sleekly, believing them to be the truth even as the mountain of indisputable evidence and indubitable testimonies of credible witnesses pile over them.

Judging from the same reactions together with the deafening clamor and discussions on social media, I didn’t have to be a psychiatrist to arrive at that assessment.

The judge’s decision to allow the trial to be streamed live had mixed reactions. Some lawyers criticized it as “a single worst decision” for abuse victims. When the case blew up online, a few cried foul and lamented why this case is followed closely by most people over more urgent, serious matters of the world.

They have a point. The trial has literally been exhausting, degrading and triggering. The lives and dignity of the two actors have been cruelly torn open for the whole world to see and feast on.

But the world also witnessed far more than that.

The world witnessed . . .

  • how a liar acts and reacts
  • the vast difference in demeanor between an abuser and the abused
  • the unprofessionalism and professionalism of medical, technical and other authorities
  • paid, scripted statements versus candid, truthful testimonies
  • perjurers lying through their teeth versus straight shooters speaking from the heart
  • incompetent lawyers with no love lost for their client distorting facts and committing blunder after blunder, versus dynamic attorneys making a steadfast, caring stand behind their client based on hard evidence and strategic offence.

All these helped the truth to come out—albeit at an unavoidably high cost. 

There’s a saying by American author David Foster Wallace: “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”

Sad, but too true.

Amber once taunted Johnny: “Tell the world, Johnny.” 

Well, he did. The world listened, learned about the truth, judged, —and ruled in Johnny’s favor.

But in reality, truth won over the lies.

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