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Johnny Depp’s Verdict Sets A New Precedent & Now Marilyn Manson’s Defamation Case Is Next

Photo: s_bukley | Tinseltown | Jakov Simovic | Shutterstock
Marilyn Manson, Evan Rachel Wood, Johnny Depp

On Wednesday, a jury reached a verdict in Johnny Depp's lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

The split verdict found both parties liable, but Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages while Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and nothing in punitive damages.

The internet was divided, many people rooting for Depp while others mourned for Heard. 

RELATED: How TikTok's Coverage Of Amber Heard & Johnny Depp Radicalizes Young People Against Women

Despite how the vast majority of the world feels about either Depp or Heard, there is no denying that the verdict of the trial has the power to encourage men accused of abuse to sue their accusers.

And the first famous man to take up that torch seems to be one of Depp's close friends.

Marilyn Manson has taken a defamation lawsuit against Evan Rachel Wood.

Just months before Depp and Heard's trial started, Manson shared his defamation suit against Wood, who had revealed in an Instagram post from 2021 that her abuser was Manson.

“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood told the world last year. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years."

Following Wood's accusations, at least 16 different women accused the artist of sexually assaulting them as well. 

RELATED: The Verdict In Johnny Depp V. Amber Heard No Longer Matters — Abuse Survivors Face The Harshest Sentence

The verdict in Depp's lawsuit against his own accuser has now offered powerful men a guide to how they will be able to weaponize their power against their victims, and take revenge by way of public humiliation because they now know they can do that.

Even before the verdict was announced, many Depp fans quickly turned their attention to Marilyn Manson, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner.

The #IStandWithMarilynManson movement has taken inspiration from the #JusticeForJohnnyDepp crowd.

It is frightening to think about how the Depp verdict will impact cases like Manson's, and how the public will receive the trial, despite the mounting evidence that Manson was the abuser in his relationship with Wood.

It has done irreversible damage to the MeToo movement, and now victims everywhere will retract their statements out of fear of being potentially sued by their abusers, and made into a public spectacle as Amber Heard was made into. 

“From a #metoo standpoint, it’s … bad and dangerous,” law professor Susan Seager told the LA Times.

RELATED: Amber Heard Is Proof We Have Learned Nothing From Monica Lewinsky

“I just think that sends a bad signal to men and women or whoever is the abuser that, you know, you just can sue your victim and ruin them by bringing them to court for a defamation case.”

The truth is that survivors will now be terrified to come forward because for weeks they watched a victim of violence speak freely, only to be penalized by both the media and the court of law. It's a dismissal of abuse and personal rights.

Heard is now the first domino to fall. It's even more concerning because she never mentioned Depp in her 2018 op-ed, yet the jury found that her allegations were not false while also finding that she had defamed Depp by making them.

Now Manson's lawyers will most likely take aim at Wood, questioning her claims and denying her experience of abuse just like Depp's lawyers did to Heard.

Again, what you believe about Depp is not relevant. Celebrating his victory is celebrating an avenue for real abusers to silence real victims.

What will be the fate of Evan Rachel Wood? Because if anyone is using the Depp verdict to choose to no longer believe women, then they never did in the first place. 

If you or anyone you know may be experiencing intimate partner violence, please do not hesitate to keep this list close to develop a safe exit strategy. There are also tons of free resources for individuals experiencing intimate partner violence — you are not alone.

Understanding the nuances of all the resources can be overwhelming, however, you can get started with the National Domestic Abuse Hotline any time of day by calling 1−800−799−7233.

Local organizations in your area, like Women Against Abuse in Philadelphia or Connections For Abused Women and Children in Chicago, as well as RAINN, are available to help you online or in person.

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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