Kate Moss’s testimony in the Depp v Heard trial is fuelling the parasocial relationship between Johnny Depp and his fans.
With each new day, spectators of the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard grow more voracious. And yesterday, the courtroom served up Kate Moss on a silver platter.
After being mentioned by Heard in a deposition, the British supermodel appeared in the Fairfax County Circuit Court via video chat to testify about the romantic relationship she had with Depp from the years of 1994 to 1998.
When discussing an alleged fight she had with Depp in 2015, Heard referenced a rumour that Johnny Depp had pushed Kate Moss down the stairs at one point during their relationship. But when she took the stand on May 25, Moss stated the rumour was false.
“He never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs,” she explained. Instead, she said she slipped down the stairs after the rain had made them wet. “[Depp] came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”
To see Kate Moss speak in this setting is a pretty big deal. As one of the most recognizable faces of high fashion and beauty, it’s not surprising that she generally keeps a distance from the public eye. But with her testimony, Moss is being engulfed by the fanfare surrounding Depp as a result of the trial.
Since the beginning of Depp v Heard, fans of the actor have mobilized on social media in a show of support. And now, the seemingly tumultuous relationship between Kate Moss and Johnny Depp is getting the fandom treatment.
In the ’90s, Moss’s waifish, emaciated look epitomized the term “heroin chic.” Being thrust into the modelling world at just 14, she struggled with issues around substance abuse and body image (who can forget her infamous motto “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”?). She had the reputation of being a “party girl” (for which she lost major modelling contracts), and her not-so-stable relationship with Depp played into this controversial reputation.
At the start of their romance, Moss was 20 and Depp was 31. The pair reportedly had heated arguments and were sometimes spotted yelling at each other in public. In 1994, Depp was arrested for trashing a hotel room in New York City, where he was staying with Moss. At the scene, police reportedly found him in “a state of possible intoxication.” Despite all this, the pair have gone down as one of the most worshipped “it” couples of their time.
Decades later, after Moss’s testimony in the Depp v Heard case, the relationship is once again being idolized. On social media, Moss’s time in court was affectionately dubbed “Kate Moss Day.” Her name became a Twitter topic, which was filled with appreciation posts for her and Depp’s relationship.
In the comments section of one YouTube video of Moss’s testimony, a user wrote: “Kate Moss is everything [Heard] wishes she was. Beautiful, iconic, decades-long career, still loved/respected by Johnny [Depp] and loved by the world.”
Even if she is “loved by the world,” Kate Moss is a very private person. She rarely gives interviews and has spoken about wearing black and gray as a way of warding off the paparazzi. In an age where many celebrities are increasingly accessible on social media, Moss’s intentionally aloof image maintains her ubiquitous allure. But after successfully eluding public scrutiny in recent years, she’s now found herself front and center of one of the most controversial media events of the year.
This trial has exacerbated the parasocial relationship between Depp and his fans (meaning, a one-sided connection in which one party is completely unaware of the other’s existence). And with the return of Kate Moss into Depp’s orbit, his supporters have found another facet of the actor’s life to fuel this illusion of intimacy.
Closing arguments for the Depp v Heard case are set to be made on Friday. But in the court of public opinion and social media, Depp has already won. So, please, let’s leave Kate Moss out of this.