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Exercise 2.3 – Ideology

Ideology – its there you just need to recognise it. Look again at this national press image and starting from a position touted as ‘commonsensical’ look at the photograph and text, is this promoting a view that could be misleading?

A SHOCK new photograph today showed Amber Heard’s bruised face after Johnny Depp allegedly hurled a phone at her in a row over poo found in their bed, the High Court heard today.

The 57-year-old actor accused Heard, 34, of leaving faeces in the bed – calling her “Amber Turd” – after a furious birthday bust-up. The Sun, 11, July, 2020.

Clearly we see a woman’s face appearing to have a bruise. The injury looks authentic, perhaps it is, or perhaps it is a skillful use of make-up. The photograph alone is open to interpretation and just as Roland Barthes discusses about the rhetoric of the image (Barthes (1977) pages 32-52) we have a photograph loaded with a coded message redness on the cheekbone and around the eye denotes an injury connoting violence and a victim. The photograph acts as witness and as indisputable evidence to a violent act. Or does it. It may prove an act of violence was committed but not by whom. Common sense may suggest that the perpetrator must be the accused, Johnny Depp; but many people who know him have gone out of their way to defend Mr. Depp, claiming that he is not capable of such an act and in fact that Heard is the violent one. Moreover, it is suggested that the bruise is either a fake or self inflicted. How the press presents this court case to the reader can heavily weigh opinion one way or the other through the rhetoric of the text.

The Sun 11 July 2020

In another sensational day in court, famous names including Elon Muskand Kate Moss were dragged into the Hollywood trial that has revealed sordid details of Depp and Heard’s tumultous relationship. 

In an astonishing rant revealed in court today, Depp claimed Heard was having an affair with billionaire Musk – adding he wanted karma to “take the gift of breath” from his ex-wife.

And the High Court was also told how Depp allegedly “trashed a hotel room” – causing £8,000 worth of damage – while his then girlfriend Kate Moss slept.

But proceedings kicked off of as the court was shown photographs of Amber’s bruised face after Depp allegedly threw a phone at her during a row over poo found in their bed.

The High Court heard today:

  • Poo was found in the couple’s marital bed by their cleaner – with Johnny Depp saying it was definitely “not left by a three or four pound dog
  • The faeces had been found the morning after the couple allegedly rowed over Depp being late to Heard’s 30th birthday party in April 2016
  • Depp is claimed to have grabbed Heard’s hair and hurled a magnum of champagne at her after she confronted him
  • He then allegedly left a note that read “happy f***ing birthday”
  • Heard was pictured with a bruised face after Depp allegedly threw a phone at her in May 2016
  • Depp texted astonishing claims that Heard was having an affair with Elon Musk
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean star trashed a hotel room in a £8,000 rampage as lover Kate Moss slept in bed – but says he never hit supermodel
  • Depp claimed he stood in front of Heard with a knife “asking her to cut me”

Depp today said the faeces were definitely “not left by a three or four pound dog”, referring to the couple’s Yorkshire Terriers Boo and Pistol.

The court heard that after being sent a picture of the poo from his assistant, Depp replied with a string of jokes including “Amber Turd” and “Amber’s in the dumps”.

In one message he wrote: “It’s hilarious. Not sure I’ve laughed this hard for years. At least the photographs are good.”

The star today told the court he thought Heard or one of her friends was the “the only ones crass enough to have committed such an act” with American author iO Tillett Wright named in court as a possible culprit.

But Depp said the incident later meant he “made the difficult decision not to see (Heard) anymore” – saying it was a “fitting end” to their relationship.

Then in May 2016, just a few weeks after the faeces were found in the bed, Depp went to the couple’s home to pick up some personal items.

Sasha Wass QC, for The Sun, alleged he was “spoiling for a fight” with Heard.

And she said the star then got angry after hearing Heard laugh with pal iO Tillett Wright about the incident involving the faeces. He allegedly flew into a rage – throwing a phone at her face and swinging a magnum of wine at her.

Heard apparently yelled “stop hitting me Johnny” and “you will never hurt me anymore” – but Depp insisted she was “20 feet away”.

Photographs of Heard with a bruised and red face were then shown in court, injuries allegedly caused by the phone. 

The photos were used by Heard when she applied to the court for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp on May 27.


The court was told this morning that the poo had been found in the couple’s bed the morning after Depp had been two hours late to Heard’s 30th birthday party at the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles in April 2016.

Depp is claimed to have got angry after Heard confronted him, with the actor allegedly throwing a magnum of champage at his then wife.

Ms Wass said Depp then “grabbed Heard by the hair and pushed her to the ground”.

Depp then allegedly left a note for his wife reading “Happy f***ing birthday”, something the star denies.

The court also heard an astonishing rant where Depp accused Heard of having an affair with Tesla billionaire Elon Musk.

He called her a “gold digger” and a “$50 stripper” before saying he wanted karma to “take the gift of breath from her”.

And he said his ex-wife was “begging for total humiliation” and was “gonna get it”.

He also texted Heard telling her: “You never f***ing loved me, it was all just convenience.”

Depp also used a series of derogatory and extremely graphic insults that we have chosen not to publish.


Published by shauncn512659

Hi, I am an OCA student studying for an Art degree in Photography , my student number is 512659. My e-mail is:

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