Depp/Heard Defamation Case: Why You’re So Obsessed With It

Our collective fascination with the Depp/Heard defamation case says a lot more about you than it does about them.

The fight scenes currently playing out in court between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are undoubtedly sensational. But our fascination with the collapse of a Hollywood couple at this level actually says a lot more about innate human nature.

Why are we so obsessed with messy celebrity divorces? It’s a question I’ve been grappling with lately, as I’ve been investing more and more in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard Defamation Case† I mean, who hasn’t studied the texts they sent each other?

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Of course, there should be a separate conversation about the allegations of abuse. But I’m talking about the finer details of the relationship. The details almost feel wrong to know, like when Taylor Swift told Joe Jonas broke up with her during a 27-second phone call on The Ellen Show

There’s just something incredibly captivating about hearing all the lecherous details of the demise of a celebrity relationship. Sure, we can blame the wider media for milking the drama endlessly, but the truth is, if people didn’t click on stories, they wouldn’t be written.

So why are we so obsessed? Why I still remember two decades later when Sandra Bullock’s Oscar win was surpassed by her then-husband’s accusations of cheating on her. Why am I so desperate for Nicole Kidman to talk about her previous marriage to Tom Cruise? Even though it’s been more than 20 years since they broke up.

Fortunately, it’s not because we’re bad people.

Psychotherapist Amber Rules explained that it is, in fact, a sign of human nature: “Humans are curious and voyeuristic creatures by nature; we are pack animals dependent on a complex system of social values ​​that dictate how we should behave.

“If people are seen as breaking our social codes or doing things that we think are outside of our cultural values, like a messy breakup, we’re naturally interested.”

This explains why so many celebrity divorces have saturated the media. Who would be interested in? Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s divorce?

There were allegations everywhere that he was cheating on his co-star, Angelina Jolie at the time. As soon as the divorce was announced, he was spotted vacationing with Jolie, and Aniston immediately withdrew from the limelight.

During the height of the break-up frenzy, celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton sold shirts that read “Team Jolie” and “Team Aniston.” At the time, Aniston famously recounted: Vanity Fair that the divorce “broke her open”.

Then there was the divorce of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. She famously poured a pitcher of water on the head of McCartney’s attorney during their divorce proceedings, making charges that McCartney would get in the way of her career and charitable work.

Or who can forget the rumors that ben Affleck had an affair with the nanny, which caused the end of his marriage to Jennifer Garner? Or when Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth broke up and she released the devastating song slide away

Interestingly enough, I found these details about the breakup of celebrities reassuring, not that I enjoy their demise, but I enjoy knowing they aren’t perfect.

Ms Rules explained that our interest stems from the fact that it also makes us feel a little better about our own lives: “It can make us feel better about seeing someone else, celebrity or not, seeing painful emotions and feeling better about ourselves. to compare them.

“Unfortunately, this better-than/less-than way of thinking isn’t really nuanced enough and we don’t feel better in the long run.”

Which makes sense when I consider there’s something soothing about knowing even a supermodel Heidi Klum can’t escape being thrown out by her ex. Remember when Seal said she was “classless”.

The reality is that when celebrities break up and release the details about the why, we all feel a little better about our own relationships.

When I was dumped via text message by a man who kept a stolen street sign as decor in his room, it was comforting to know that Taylor Swift had broken up over a phone call. Likewise, when a friend cheated on me and broke my heart, it felt good to know that it had even happened to Jennifer Aniston.

Perhaps the breakup of celebrities is cathartic and reminds us that heartbreak is not discriminatory.

This article originally appeared in Body + Soul and was reproduced with permission

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