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Johnny Depp, Male Victimization and IPV: An Ideological Quagmire



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Since the conclusion of the Depp vs. Heard defamation trial in Fairfax, Virginia, there has been on-going conversation surrounding abuse, intimate partner violence, and male victimization. Many vehemently believe that Depp was a victim of Heard, whereas many others believe Heard was a victim of Depp. The polarization, though plagued with frequent vitriol and impassioned opinions, has also reignited the discussion surrounding not only female perpetrators of IPV, but their male victims. A somewhat “forbidden narrative”, research pertaining to male victimization at the hands of female intimate partners is extremely limited. However, we are starting to understand the ways in which men identify with their victimhood and why.

Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a worldwide epidemic that causes negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of victims, families, and communities (Hamberger, Larsen, & Lehrner, 2017; Bonomi et al., 2006; Coker et al., 2000; Cooper & Smith, 2011; Pico-Alfonso et al., 2006; Sheridan & Nash, 2007; Whitaker et al., 2007) To date, there is a substantial amount of literature and empirical research that focuses on women’s experiences of IPV victimization, however what is less frequently explored, studied and analyzed are men’s experiences of IPV victimization. This is despite the repeated finding that men and women self-report perpetrating physical violence at similar rates (Mennicke & Kulkarni, 2016; Langhinrichsen-Rohling et al., 2012). As far back as 2007, over 100 studies found that men and women were equally likely to perpetrate violence (Robertson & Murachver, 2007; e.g., Archer, 2000; Magdol et al., 1997; Schumacher & Leonard, 2005; Straus, 2004).

These findings have prompted a surge in empirical research concerning the role of gender in IPV perpetration, the conceptualization of power and control as it relates to violence, and the ways in which men and women recognize and articulate their victimhood at the hands of an intimate partner (Hamberger, Larsen, & Lehrner, 2017).

“Men are less likely than women to claim the status of ‘victim,’ even though they are more likely to define their experiences as ‘violent’ (Durfee, 2011; Owen, 1995). When they do acknowledge their victimization, they attempt to balance the roles of ‘victim’ and ‘man’ to conform to the characteristics and ideals of hegemonic masculinity” (Durfee, 2011).”

Hegemonic Masculinity and Feminist Theory

Ingender theory, hegemonic masculinity is “the [set of] qualities defined as manly that establish and legitimate a hierarchal and complementary relationship to femininity that, by doing so, guarantee the dominant position of men and the subordination of women” (Durfee, 2011; Schippers 2007). Some characteristics of hegemonic masculinity include, but are not limited to, dominance over women, power, physical strength, aggression and control (Durfee, 2011). Feminist IPV conceptualizations view the perpetration of physical violence as a means of power and control within intimate relationships (Mennicke & Kulkarni, 2016; Dobash and Dobash, 1979).

Men are widely believed to be the primary perpetrators of IPV. This presumption was shaped and supported by feminist activists, who posed that IPV arises out of a patriarchal social system in which men feel entitled to gain and maintain control of women (Robertson & Murachver, 2007; Dobash and Dobash, 1979). Indeed, these feminist conceptualizations birthed the Duluth Model, which focuses on intervention and community responses (Bohall, Bautista, & Musson, 2016). The Duluth Model is a model for intervention, specifically “for men who batter women with no consideration for women who batter men or same-sex couples” (Bohall, Bautista, & Musson, 2016). It has received increasing amounts of criticism because it all but negates all other fields of the behavioral sciences and has not incorporated any research updates outside of feminist theory that have emerged in understanding IPV, such as theoretical explanations for family violence (Bohall, Bautista, & Musson, 2016).

Gender theory’s hegemonic masculine qualities and feminist theory have a synergistic relationship, where a man’s inherent drive to exert control over women and their physical strength and aggression create increased risk for the use of physical violence as a means for control over their female partners. However, given the inherently biased foundation of feminist theory as it pertains to IPV, negating women who perpetrate violence against men, and that it has “difficulty accounting for and explaining same-sex, same-gender, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) violence” (Coston, 2021), it would seem that more research is needed to understand IPV from varying sociocultural and gendered perspectives. If feminist theory was able to account for all instances of IPV, how do we reconcile male victimization and female perpetration?

“The finding that women can and do perpetrate IPV has stimulated further debate surrounding the comparability of male and female violence” (Robertson & Murachver, 2007)

Male Victimization and Female Perpetration

The differences in how men and women experience IPV cannot be understated. Gender stereotypes, such as hegemonic masculinity, create gender barriers for male victims of IPV (Brooks, Martin, Broda, & Poudrier, 2017). Men fear disclosing violence against them due to anticipated ridicule and feeling emasculated (Brooks et al., 2017). Similar to female victims, male victims experience depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation as a result of IPV (Randle & Graham, 2011). Power and control are considered a centerpiece for IPV. Male victims often attempt to preserve their own power and control, whether that be in the form of denial of their own status as a victim or not expressing fear related to IPV victimization, even minimizing their injuries or belittling their abuser and her acts of violence (Brooks et al., 2017; Corbally, 2015; Durfee, 2011).

Male victims will often describe the violence they experienced, but focus on how they were still in control of the relationship (Durfee, 2011). By separating their identifies as “man” and “victim,” male victims are able to describe the assaults they endured, but never vocalize their identity as a victim of IPV. In fact, they seemingly carefully craft their narratives to ensure that they note active resistance to the abuse, but are careful to note that they were not the abuser (Durfee, 2011). When their female partners initiate assaults, many men attempt to temporarily leave their home, try to hide, try to calm themselves, and drink alcohol (Machado, Santos, Graham-Kevan, & Matos, 2017). Male victims also describe trying to resist self-defense, however if necessary, they will restrain their female assailant until the assault discontinues (Durfee, 2011).

“After an argument, I was attempting to leave our house to “cool down” when she attempted to restrain me from leaving by repeated blows and holding me from the door. I backed her into a wall. After checking to make sure she was not seriously hurt I left the premises. . . .” (Durfee, 2011)

In an effort to balance out the stereotypes related to hegemonic masculine traits of physical strength, dominance, and aggression, male victims position “themselves as having power and control in the relationship while simultaneously experiencing violence at the hands of their partners…[only] using physical force to repel their partners’ attacks” (Durfee, 2011). The need for control and a lack of fear, as well as being able to repel attacks, places men in precarious positions where they run the risk of not being believed by friends, family, and law enforcement because conventional images of victims “include powerlessness and helplessness, while stereotypical abusers have control over their victims” (Durfee, 2011).

Male Victimization and Johnny Depp

Cases of IPV are immensely complex and Depp vs. Heard is no exception. We heard from both parties about incidences of verbal, psychological, emotional, and physical abuse that seemed to ebb and flow throughout their short, but tumultuous relationship. As an alleged victim, Heard claims Depp’s abuse was due to his drug and alcohol use. Whereas, as an alleged victim, Depp claims Heard at times had uncontrollable rage, yet could be exceptionally caring. Both claimed the abuse, whomever the perpetrator, was seemingly cyclical, but escalated as their relationship continued.

“If things get physical, we have to separate. We have to be apart from one another, whether it’s for fuckin’ an hour or ten hours or fuckin’ a day, we must. There can be no physical violence” — Johnny Depp

What struck me was Depp’s consistent pleading for peace and attempts to separate when arguments seemingly escalated between he and Heard. On multiple audio recordings, we hear Depp emphasizing the need to separate, cool off, and regroup once they’ve calmed down to avoid unhealthy and volatile confrontation. Heard even accuses him, multiple times, of leaving the second things become escalated, running to one of his other houses. We hear Depp explaining how he would lock himself in rooms to avoid Heard’s alleged assaults. We also hear Heard taunting him, emasculating him for running away, for “splitting,” telling him sarcastically “that that’s what a real man does.”

“It’s not to get you mad, it’s not — it’s just to get out of a bad situation while it’s happening before it gets worse. In Australia, when we had the big fight where I lost the tip of my finger, at least five bathrooms and two bedrooms I went to — to — to — to escape the fight” — Johnny Depp

Depp testified to “bear hugging” Heard to discontinue an alleged assault and, accidentally, head-butting her. When she exclaimed he had hurt her, he testified to showing compassion and asking to examine her injury. Prior to the most violent incident in Australia in 2015, Depp testified to a barrage of demeaning insults by Heard, which drove him to break his sobriety and drink alcohol. At one point we even hear Heard calling Depp a “fucking baby,” for “bitching” about her allegedly punching him in the face. She also minimizes her admitted violence.

“You didn’t get punched, you got hit. I’m sorry I hit you like this, but I did not punch you. I did not fucking deck you. I fucking was hitting you. I don’t know what the motion of my actual hand was, but you’re fine. I did not hurt you, I did not punch you, I was hitting you” — Amber Heard

“You are such a baby! Grow the fuck up, Johnny!” — Amber Heard


Having an understanding of IPV and the ways in which men and women experience victimization differently, and similarly, is critical when analyzing a case like Depp vs. Heard. Though there is acknowledgement of gender symmetry in the perpetration of IPV, more empirical research is needed to fully understand the role of gender in IPV perpetration, the conceptualization of power and control as it relates to violence, and the ways in which men and women recognize and articulate their victimhood at the hands of an intimate partner (Hamberger, Larsen, & Lehrner, 2017). For me, Depp vs. Heard has forced me to acknowledge my biases and ignorance pertaining to IPV and gender bias. Perhaps, despite the polarization, this will encourage us all to challenge our worldviews and examine such cases with new perspective.

*This article is not a comprehensive or empirical study of IPV, gender symmetry, male and female victimization, male and female perpetration, gender bias, hegemonic masculinity, coercive control, feminist theories, or family violence theories. I am not a professional psychologist, psychiatrist, scientist or researcher.

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Sondra From “The Cosby Show” is Now a 64-Year Old Interior Decorator




In 1984, The Cosby Show, on of the greatest TV sitcoms of all times, aired its first episode and its cast and stories have continued to affect today’s media in good and bad ways. Much focus and controversy have been placed on the actor Bill Cosby, who played Cliff Huxtable, the main protagonist of the series. However, not many wonder what happened to the many other actors on the set of this show.

Sabrina LeBeauf, also known as Sondra Huxtable, surprisingly didn’t remain an actress for long after her time on The Cosby Show. Instead, she began her new profession as an interior decorator. After the sitcom ended in 1992, she began studying at UCLA in a professional interior design program, according to AmoMama.
When asked by People magazine why she took such a drastic change from theatrical arts, LeBeauf states: “Whatever part of the brain and the heart that acting feeds in me, design does the same thing.” These days, LeBeauf lives in New York City and serves high-earning clients, and occasionally dabbles in her original career of acting.Follow her on Instagram @SabrinaLeBeauf

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Actor Hal Williams, ‘Lester’ From “227”, is Now 84 Years Old and Still Handsome As Ever




Hal Williams is an accomplished African American actor, renowned for his notable contributions to the entertainment industry. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, he went on to gain recognition for his recurring roles in popular television sitcoms like Sanford and Son, The Waltons, and 227.

In the early 1960s, Williams began his acting career in community theaters in Ohio while working part-time as a postal worker and a corrections officer. He relocated to Hollywood in 1968 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional actor. In 1970, he decided to pursue acting full-time, and his career took off from there.

Williams appeared in several movies, including Clint Eastwood’s The Rookie, Paul Schrader’s Hardcore, and Howard Zieff’s Private Benjamin, where he played the role of Sgt. L.C. “Ted” Ross. He was also featured in the television series of the same name. During the early to mid-1990s, he played the lead role in several of comic Sinbad’s plays, including The Sinbad Show and The Cherokee Kid. He also portrayed the granddad in the 2005 Bernie Mac movie, Guess Who, which remains one of his most recent motion pictures.

In addition to his acting career, Williams has been married twice and is a proud father of three children. He is now 84 years old and continues to inspire aspiring actors worldwide. Some of his notable film credits include Private Benjamin (1980), Guess Who (2005), and Flight (2012).

He is a remarkable actor whose dedication and hard work have earned him a place in the hearts of many fans worldwide. He remains an inspiration to aspiring actors, and his contributions to the entertainment industry will continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

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This is what Chris Rock saw when Will Smith slapped him, according to AI




Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars 2022 CREDIT: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

An artist has shared a series of AI images that have recreated Chris Rock’s point of view from the 2022 Oscars, where he was slapped by Will Smith.

During the 2022 ceremony, Oscars host Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head – a style she chose as a way of dealing with the alopecia she suffers from. Will Smith, who is married to Pinkett Smith, then walked on stage and slapped the comedian. He later shouted “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

The clip quickly went viral but an artist has now used the Artificial Intelligence-driven software Midjourney to create a series of images that show the altercation from Rock’s point of view.

“POV: You just talked smack about Will Smith’s wife at the Oscars (Big mistake),” wrote Barsee as he shared the first of four images.

The images have been shared across Twitter, with many users scared by the realism.

“I’m sorry but this AI thing is beginning to scare me,” wrote one user. “This makes me deeply uncomfortable,” added another while a third declared the “age of deep fakes is here!”

It comes days after an AI-generated image of Pope Francis apparently wearing a Balenciaga-inspired puffer jacket also went viral on Twitter.

Shortly afterwards, Midjourney temporarily disabled the platform’s free tier “due to a combination of extraordinary demand and trial abuse.”

Over the past year, Will Smith has reportedly “tried unsuccessfully” to make amends with Chris Rock.

In July last year, Smith posted an apology video to address his actions. “I’ve reached out to Chris [Rock] and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out,” he said.

During a Netflix stand-up show last month, Rock addressed the Oscars slap and said he “wasn’t a victim”.

“Everybody knows it happened,” Rock said. “I got smacked a year ago. I got smacked at the Oscars by this motherfucker. And people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts. I’ve got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ear.”

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