October 6, 2022
Monica Lewinsky delivered a harsh critique of the public's fascination with the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial that ended Wednesday.

Monica Lewinsky delivered a harsh critique of the public’s fascination with the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial that ended Wednesday.

Lewinsky, a onetime White House intern in the 1990s who was thrust into the spotlight after an affair with President Bill Clinton went public, opened up about the widespread obsession with “courtroom porn” and social media commentary, noting it was not surprising to see most of the hateful comments surrounding the defamation trial were mostly directed at actor Johnny Depp‘s ex-wife Amber Heard.

“This legal spectacle would be sad enough if it just impacted the personal lives of Depp, Heard, and their loved ones,” Lewinsky wrote in Vanity Fair on Tuesday. “It would be sad enough even if we just considered how it has impacted domestic violence survivors or those who have sought strength in the #MeToo movement. However, it’s the larger implications for our culture that concern me the most: the ways we have stoked the flames of misogyny and, separately, the celebrity circus.”

INSIDE THE COURTROOM: JOHNNY DEPP V. AMBER HEARD BOMBSHELL VERDICT

Lewinsky said many of those who tuned into the civil trial, which she compared to a soap opera, didn’t view the case as “tragic or pathetic” but instead treated it as a circus providing instant gratification.

“This blurring of public figures and private lives can do a number on us — as bystanders, as an audience,” Lewinskysaid. “We end up being torn between our parasocial relationships with celebrities (we identify with them; we pretend that, gee, we actually know them) and our need to see public personalities taken down a notch or two — and taken down publicly — so as to make our wounded selves feel better in comparison.”

Lewinsky, who is no stranger to bad press, warned that her “scars” from the backlash have never completely faded and asked her audience to consider how far is “too far” or “too cruel” when criticizing someone they do not know personally.

“I’m not talking about freedom of speech. I’m talking about social media participants recognizing that they are also part of a society of human beings,” Lewinsky explained. “Does our opinion toward this case entitle us to feel so superior — or inferior — that we can create a meme or a TikTok or a tweet saying something that gets other people to laugh at someone who is already suffering?”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The civil trial, which stretched approximately six weeks, concluded Wednesday.

A jury found Heard, who is herself an actress, guilty of defamation for a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post that claimed she was a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

In addition, Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages regarding comments made by Depp’s attorney about her allegations.

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