Opinion | Johnny and Amber: Trouble in Paradise


As an executive at a major studio told Vanity Fair, “There’s ostensibly a winner, but is there, really? In the industry, they’ve both now aired such soiled laundry that it will be difficult, for a while anyway, to place them in something that intends to invite a wide audience.”

And for the right wing, he added, “we’ve given them further ammunition about the excesses and out-of-touchness of Hollywood and its denizens.”

The trial can be viewed as a political story and a gender story.

Indeed, misogynistic tropes started with Eve, who is blamed for tempting Adam into original sin. If only God had found some other way “to generate mankind” than by woman, “this fair defect of nature,” Milton’s Adam laments. He fears the “innumerable disturbances on earth through female snares.”

I tried to visit Eve’s tomb once in Saudi Arabia. For some Muslims, tradition holds that the grave site of the woman who is the biblical Eve is in the Red Sea city of Jeddah (the Arabic word for “grandmother”). The cemetery’s caretaker said no women were allowed in.

“So I would have to be dead to get in?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he said.

The trial resonated because it was a primary story. We find depictions of vertiginous falls compelling. It is human nature to be fascinated by stories that echo how our nature became human, in darker respects, once Adam and Eve were demoted to mere mortals. According to the Book of Genesis and “Paradise Lost,” the sort of behavior described in the sordid defamation trial — jealousy, violence, excess, overindulgence — came as a result of Eve giving in to Satan and Adam giving in to Eve.

When Heard and Depp were married in 2015, one of his friends told People that he was “madly in love.” And what could be more Edenic than Depp’s $100-million property portfolio, described in Hello! magazine, encompassing a French village in the Côte d’Azur, with its own restaurant, church, skate park and house with a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed wine cellar; a private island in the Bahamas; a Kentucky horse farm; five Los Angeles penthouses with a rooftop pool in a historic Art Deco building downtown; and a five-mansion compound in the Hollywood Hills? There was also a 150-foot luxury yacht he sold to J.K. Rowling in 2016.

But the Fall came quickly, and bad acts followed. The once-radiant couple was, as was mankind, Unparadised.



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