Our brains are predisposed to interpret information in a way that confirms what we want to believe.
I was biased in favor of my own sex (Depp) hence the cherry-picking.
Like many others who have brought libel actions to clear their names, Depp has found that using the law to defend your reputation is a very expensive way of shattering it—in this case, probably beyond hope of repair.
https://quillette.com/2020/11/07/a-reas ... -in-ruins/
Allegations of greed also featured prominently in the Depp case. One of Depp’s central claims was that Amber Heard had falsely accused him of domestic violence in order to obtain a more generous divorce settlement. Indeed, Depp’s Shakespearean facility for invective provided one of the guilty pleasures of this sad case. Heard wasn’t just a gold-digger, Depp announced, she was a “gold digging, low-level, dime-a-dozen, mushy, pointless dangling overused flappy fish market…” But the facts, as Nicol J prosaically pointed out, suggested otherwise:
"The principal element of that settlement was payment to her by Mr Depp of US$7 million. Ms Heard’s evidence that she had given that sum away to charity was not challenged on behalf of Mr Depp and the joint statement issued by Mr Depp and Ms Heard as part of the Deal Point Memorandum acknowledged that this was her intention… I recognise that there were other elements to the divorce settlement as well, but her donation of the $7 million to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger."
Many of Heard’s allegations of violence were corroborated by contemporaneous documents—for example emails, diary entries, or text messages.
High street criminal lawyers quickly become familiar with the alcoholic client who says “I definitely didn’t hit her but I was so drunk I’ve forgotten exactly what happened.” It can be a tricky defence to run in the Swindon Crown Court, particularly when it has evolved, under pressure of undeniable evidence, from the defendant’s earlier protestations that “I can remember everything clearly and I wasn’t drunk.” It’s not any easier in the High Court.
One could go on, but the judgment is available to read in all its damning detail. The judge meticulously examined the evidence for all 14 allegations of Depp’s violence relied upon by the Sun, and found that all but two were more likely than not to be “substantially true.” It is impossible for a fair-minded reader to disagree. The court did hear a recording in which Heard admits to throwing pots and pans at Depp and even to hitting him, but the judgment places this in the context of a relationship in which he was usually the instigator of violence, not her. The judge may have been wrong to skate over the implications of the recording, but even if it were true that Heard occasionally hit Depp, it would not disprove the various allegations made against him. Bluntly: even if she sometimes hit him—and the judge made no such finding—it would not absolve him for using violence against her.
The judge might have ignored or misunderstood vital evidence that most readers of the judgment would not know about: if so, Mr Depp’s appeal will no doubt succeed. But my overwhelming impression of the judgment is that it is fair and careful. There are areas of doubt, there are unanswered questions, and there is some criticism of Heard, but on the central allegations of Depp’s violence the judge gives a reasoned and credible explanation for preferring, in almost every case, Heard’s evidence to that of Depp.
The case raises some issues beyond the obvious one of why Depp decided to take what he should have been told was the extraordinary risk of exposing his turbulent private life to public examination. First, whilst campaigners against violence to women have been understandably quick to welcome the judgment, some of them may not be quite so happy about one of its implications. Nicol J’s decision had nothing to do with a philosophy of “believing the victim” or “standing up for victims of domestic abuse.” It was based on a careful and impartial assessment of the evidence, a large part of which came from contemporaneous text messages recovered from Depp’s or Heard’s phone.