Wednesday’s verdict in the defamation trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard marks the end of the legal proceedings. But the impact of the case will reverberate. The court of public opinion handed a decisive victory to Depp early on, spotlighting huge cultural blindspots that extend far beyond Heard—whatever you may think of her. Until we reckon with these blindspots, ordinary credibility judgments will be distorted in ways that disadvantage everyday accusers.
This excerpt from the book CREDIBLE: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers by Deborah Tuerkheimer explores 19-year-old Mechelle Vinson’s experience of sexual assault and how the world has changed since then.
Survivors of sexual violence face a kind of discrimination that has, until now, gone unnoticed.