Toilet Humor: How a PR

Strategy Made it Easy to Blame the Victim

Johnny Depp's smear campaign went beyond mudslinging and convinced gullible audiences of an unbelievable story.


Johnny Depp concocted a story disgusting enough to humiliate and discredit his victim, Amber Heard.

He claims Amber Heard pooped in their bed and left it for him to find as a prank. He even went so far as to coin the insult "Amber Turd," an insult which has been a key element in the harassment of Amber Heard and her supporters.

Online audiences love nothing better than the absurd and unexpected, and Depp's story about Amber, despite being utterly nonsensical, spread like wildfire. At this point, no matter what Amber says, she is dismissed as crazy and disgusting because of this story.

Why People Don't Want to Believe Amber:

Part of the reason nobody wants to believe Amber is because it's a total buzzkill. It's no longer fun when you realize that instead of joining in on some lighthearted hilarity about the unhinged, gross behavior of a celebrity, you've actually been participating in the humiliation and continued abuse of a victim of domestic violence. So, nobody wants to think about the fact that:

  • Depp was not living there or sleeping in that bed. Itdoesn't make sense for Amber to take a shit in her own bed as a prank on him.
  • A dog with bowel issues and a documented historyof defecating where it's not supposed to is the likely culprit.
  • Depp didn't even initially accuse Amber of doing it, he accused her friend.
  • This was an easy way for an abuser to excuse his behavior and distract from well-documented abuse by publicly humiliating and discrediting his victim.
  • Depp's staff are all highly motivated to support whatever lies he tells.

What Happened?

Heard and Depp owned two teacup Yorkshire terriers named Pistol and Boo. The dogs, particularly Depp's dog, Boo, had bowel issues after getting into Depp's marijuana stash when she was a puppy.

Boo had pooped in the bed before. On October 29, 2014, Amber wrote in a text message to Kevin Murphy: “Last night she [Boo] shit on Johnny. While he was sleeping. Like all over him. Not exaggerating.”

The Shitcident in Question

The day after Amber's 30th birthday dinner (April 22, 2016), Hilda Vargas, housekeeper and longtime employee of Depp, arrived to clean Penthouse 3 (PH3). Neither Depp nor Amber was present. Vargas was "horrified and disgusted" to find a pile of excrement on the bed.

Vargas claimed she had seen the dogs' mess before and said this was bigger. She also said thought the dogs could not have been responsible for the because they were too small to climb onto the bed.

However, before leaving for Coachella, Amber and her friend Raquel put the dogs on the bed so they wouldn’t poop on the floor.

Vargas initially reported the feces to Kevin Murphy, (her line manager and Depp’s estate manager), who gave the photographs to Sean Bett (Depp’s personal security guard), who passed them on to Depp.

Depp Was Not Even Living There

The bed was in PH3, which was Amber's house 90% of the time. Depp was not living at PH3 when the incident happened. He was at a West Hollywood home where he often stayed when the couple had arguments. It makes no sense to claim that Amber shit in her own bed at a residence where Depp was not staying.

Amber testified both in the US and in the UK that she did not defecate in the bed. She called it “disgusting” and was “not in the pranking mood” as her husband had attacked her on her 30th birthday. There is no evidence that she shit in her bed. The entire story is based on the testimony of her abuser—who has ample motive to discredit her—and the people he employs. On the other hand, Amber has plenty of evidence that she was abused.

Excuse for Abuse

Depp waited a month before he used the shitcident as an excuse to attack Amber. Even if he truly believed she was responsible, it doesn't make sense for him to show up enraged out of the blue a month later, nor does it excuse the abuse he perpetrated when he showed up to PH3. So what happened on the night of May 21, 2016?

At around 7:15 PM, on May 21, 2016, one month after Vargas took photos of the bed and one day after his mom died, Depp arrived drunk and high at Penthouse 3 to collect some of his things. Amber was alone at the time. Depp was furious about feces being left on the bed weeks later.

According to Amber, she had not seen Depp since he had stormed out on her birthday dinner on April 21, 2016. His mother had died on 20 May 2016, and he had been understandably upset since. Amber said she had been in touch with him about this.

Amber became worried for her safety. She called iO Wright, because Depp initially accused iO of the prank. iO found the accusation ridiculous. Depp overheard iO laughing, came back downstairs and swore at him over the phone. Then it turned violent and Depp threw a phone at Amber's face before grabbing her by the hair.

Amber told iO that Johnny had thrown the phone directly at her face and hit her with it. At that point, iO heard Johnny say. “Oh you think I hit you? What if I pull your hair back?” The phone dropped. Amber shrieked, and she yelled at iO to please call 911.

Depp left before the police came. Amber did not give the police a statement. They left after 15 minutes, took no contemporaneous notes and admit that they didn’t examine Heard closely. iO asked her why she did not give a statement, and Amber said because then they would be obligated to arrest Johnny and it would end up on TMZ. She conceded TMZ would know Monday anyways.

Amber texted her parents, saying she is half Depp’s size, didn’t fight, and her lawyer said a TRO was the only option. She threatened to cut her dad off if he took Johnny’s side. Her mom apologized, saying, “I’m so glad you were not fighting back, that will go a long way in court”

Lying for Depp

If you’re wondering why Johnny Depp’s personal staff might be encouraged to lie for him, remember that they are well-compensated and would likely not want to risk their jobs by not supporting Depp's story.

Amber Heard explained it in her op-ed: "Imagine a powerful man as a ship, like the Titanic. That ship is a huge enterprise. When it strikes an iceberg, there are a lot of people on board desperate to patch up holes — not because they believe in or even care about the ship, but because their own fates depend on the enterprise."

After Depp arrived they called Kevin Murphy, who told him Amber said she had pooped on the bed “as a prank.” Amber angrily denied this to him over the phone, and in subsequent text messages.

Amber confronted Kevin Murphy for claiming she had told him it was a prank:

You literally told Johnny, in front of me, that I told you it was a prank! And now you want to explain? How could you? That was a complete lie - and you know it. You can not look me in the eye and tell me we had that conversation. I can’t believe you. What did I ever do to you?”

Kevin Murphy testified under oath in the UK that Amber angrily told him in a phone call that it had been a "harmless prank." He did not testify in the US trial. Attorney Wass said this story was "an attempt to make Ms. Heard appear disgusting and absurd in the public eye."

When asked if Depp had a “slight lavatorial sense of humor,” Murphy said that he “never knew that, no.

Depp's affinity for toilet humor is well-known. Depp once called himself the “Shatter,” a pun on him playing The Mad Hatter in “Alice In Wonderland.” He told his assistant Stephen Deuters that he would “poop on his chest.” Asked if his boss found “feces and things like that quite funny,” Deuters admitted, “Yes, I suppose so.”

From as early as October 11, 2013, Depp joked about Boo’s bowel issues. “Will you squat in front of the door of the master bedroom and leave a giant coil of dookie so that Amber steps in it and thinks that one of the dogs, primarily Boo, has a major problem. It’ll be funny!!”

Murphy also claimed that Depp was very upset by the incident.

However, Depp, in reality, initially thought that the pictures were “hilarious.” He even made a variety of puns. He texted Murphy:

“Poop, that story made my day.”

“My wife left a whopper poop on my bed.”

“I’ve been through a whole lot of shit with her.” “Amber Turd.”

Further, Depp's bestie Marilyn Manson gave an interview where he explained that he, Johnny Depp and Hunter S Thompson decided that a fun bonding activity would be using Depp's Hollywood Star as a bathroom.

The trio went to the Hollywood star, fully intent on vandalizing the public property, but found that they weren't able to because of constipation and dehydration.

In the US trial, Starling Jenkins III, an executive limo driver and security personnel who has worked for Johnny since 1993, claimed that Amber told him on the way to Coachella with her friends that she had pooped the bed as a “practical joke gone wrong.”

Oddly enough, Starling Jenkins did not think to mention this conversation at all in the UK trial. It appears nowhere in his entire witness statement. It stands to reason that Murphy and Jenkins swapped stories.

Still don't Believe Amber?

Exactly how much evidence would be enough for you? This is not a "he said she said" incident. Amber’s friends documented her injuries shortly after the fight. Metadata confirms the date and time these photos were taken. Furthermore, iO confirms Heard’s version of events, as do two of her friends who saw later stages of the confrontation. Her sister and a makeup artist saw bruises and chunks of her hair missing the next day.

Heard also texted numerous people and repeated her account of what happened. Depp first texted to blame her for the encounter and again a few days later to apologize. All of these texts have been authenticated and were entered into evidence. So, you cannot claim that this evidence is fabricated.

A Shitty PR Strategy

Instead of focusing on the evidence of a well-documented incident of abuse, Depp's team had the public focused on an outrageous story about shit.By associating his victim with an objectively disgusting act he successfully distracted audiences from the fact that he attacked her and furthered his goal of "global humiliation." If you believe Depp's narrative, you've been duped into helping an abuser demonize his victim. His story does not stand up to basic scrutiny. is a Project of Leave Heard Alone

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