For its first few weeks, the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial was the news story that just kept on giving. From the start, it was genuinely flattering that the brain-damaged pirate from those mega-budget children’s movies had chosen London to air his dirty laundry with the long-legged, bisexual star of, well, nobody’s sure what films she’s been in, but she’s definitely been in some, or he wouldn’t have married her. Or even met her.

It made one’s patriotic heart beat a little bit quicker: that Johnny Depp chose us, little old England, to publicly deny, for weeks on end, being a violent, oafish, drug-raddled booze hound (he insists he is a perfectly gentle, oafish, drug-raddled booze hound). What an honor! It’s like when Tom Cruise or Dick Van Dyke look out at the audience on some shonky BBC chat show and say, “I travel all over the world but (pauses, squints at autocue) Great Englandland is truly my home from home” and everyone cheers and claps.

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