If you spent any time on the internet during this, the last week of April 2022, you could not escape two major, ongoing stories: The defamation trial in which Johnny Depp is seeking $50 million from ex-wife Amber Heard over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, and billionaire Elon Musk striking a deal to buy his favorite social platform, Twitter, for $44 billion.
But the two events aren’t entirely distinct. In a strange twist that either portends the breakdown of our simulated reality or the moment when all culture collapses into an infinitely dense singularity — i.e., a black hole — Depp and Musk are linked through Heard, who dated the Tesla CEO in 2017 after splitting up with the Pirates of the Caribbean actor. Moreover, she listed Musk as a prospective witness in the trial, though as he never sat for a deposition and cannot be compelled to testify in the Virginia court where the case is unfolding, it’s assumed that he’ll avoid any role in the proceedings. But that hasn’t stopped TikTok, YouTube and Instagram analysts from delving into theories that Heard had an affair with Musk while married to Depp, and speculation that Musk could have been the sperm donor for Heard’s 1-year-old daughter. Then there’s the rumor that Musk and Heard had a threesome with English model Cara Delevingne, not to mention testimony suggesting Musk might have assaulted Heard.
Oh, maybe Musk is buying Twitter to delete his DMs with her? Or planning to boot any users spreading this kind of stuff around? And some Depp stans are still convinced he’s going to show up at the trial to defend Heard. Anything’s possible when you’re overinvested and paranoid!
Given the sheer volume and intensity of the reactions, you can understand why Heard announced an official break from social media ahead of the trial with Depp. Yet silence doesn’t save her from being the common denominator in an absolute shitshow of financial, technological and sexual intrigue being covered in media around the globe and spun by countless influencers. Maybe getting famous… isn’t worth it? One minute you’re part of a celebrity couple and joining the cast of Aquaman, the next you’re fleeing the internet so you don’t have to see anyone rhyming your last name with “turd.” Also, whatever happens next at your trial could affect the stock of the company that dominates the U.S. electric vehicle market.
Yeah, it rocks not being any of these people. Must be a nice break for Grimes as well. Let’s all try to avoid initiating a love triangle with two insufferable rich dudes while behaving in an erratically volatile way ourselves. Not saying it’ll be easy, but you can’t argue with the results.