Opinion: The power imbalance between Depp and Heard can’t be underestimated

“I’m now the age my ex was when we began dating, and my stepson is my age: 19 vs 42. We married when I was 25, and a lawyer. But I now get why my parents were worried.”

I never thought that I would have much in common with Amber Heard – until hearing her testimony in the trial against Johnny Depp.

But we do have lot in common – uncomfortably so.

I’m not talking about the nitty-gritty details of who said what shitty thing to whom, nor what assault happened; the jury is quite literally almost out on determining those facts.

But there is one thing I do know about what’s happened between cultural icon Depp, 58, and his ex-wife Amber Heard, 36, and their brief marriage.

When you have a more than two-decade age difference, there will be a power imbalance.

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RELATED: What Johnny Depp did to silence Amber Heard

Equality is impossible

I know this power imbalance from my own experience.

I’m now the age my ex was when we began dating, and my stepson is my age: 19 vs 42. We married when I was 25, and a lawyer. A fully-fledged adult.

But I was also a third wife, and a step-mum. At the time, I didn’t get what that really meant. But I’ve since suffered the consequences of being with a man whose career has crumbled and wants to hold you back; who wants you to endure his addictions and fix his kids.

And I believe Heard has felt that, too.

Now I know why my parents were worried; I wasn’t marrying an equal partner in life. He had marriages, children, properties… life experiences and baggage under his belt. I was just starting out.

My decisions about holidays, where I lived, my career – were all based on a man I loved and was devoted to. I would never ever do that now.

And my ex knew it. He took advantage of my loyalty and my naivety because he thought I had my whole life ahead of me to recover, yet he was looking down the barrel of his third act and was becoming bitter.

It doesn’t matter what his exes say

For me, the timing of this disastrous marriage is everything. It used to surprise me that my ex was such good friends with his first ex, yet has done everything to make things difficult for me.

The truth is, I cost him a lot more; when he split from his first wife, who was the same age, he was still young and hopeful.

They say the man you marry and the man you leave are different; but throw in a two-decade age gap and a flailing career, and that’s even more so.

Heard is now a woman in her own right, and she is fighting for that.

RELATED: Johnny Depp hits back at Amber’s request for spousal support

A middle-aged man with a complex

Imagine being Depp in that marriage: middle-aged, watching the sex appeal on which he built a career wane (in his eyes), having a super hot young, vivacious wife.

I mean, I look nothing like Heard, but by comparison – by the end of our marriage – I was still 33 and my ex was 54. He felt that keenly.

So, I, like Heard, was constantly accused of cheating, planning to leave for a younger a better man. My ex was a fool because I was still in love with him until I couldn’t take the aggression anymore.

I don’t know if Heard cheated. But I do know the attacks on your loyalty from a partner drowning in insecurity, wanting to lash out because of it.

And so while social media sides with their icon, their action hero, and mocks Heard for mis-recalling details and crying and fumbling her words, I see something very different here. I see much of myself.

I see a young woman who went in way too deep, way too early in her life.

I see a woman who may have stood a better chance at a different time in Depp’s life.

I see a woman who bloody dodged a bullet and refused to go down in Captain Jack’s sinking ship.


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