Tabloids and gossip mags are picking sides, but not the ones you’d expect.
  1. Few people are surprised when a celebrity marriage falls apart, especially when the marriage involves Johnny Depp or Amber Heard.
  2. The 15-month relationship between Depp, 52, and Heard, 30, ended in May when Heard filed for divorce.
    Most people greeted the news with a collective “meh.”
  3. But four days later, she raised eyebrows by filing (and winning) a temporary restraining order against Depp.
  4. Heard accused Depp of physical and verbal abuse, saying, “Johnny has a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse… He has a short fuse.”
  5. She left the courtroom with a visible bruise on her face — and then things started getting weird.
  6. Magazines rushed to publish conflicting reports of Depp’s nightlife escapades.
    US Weekly called him “chatty” and “tame,” while the Daily Mail reported that Depp “stayed out swigging champagne with a mystery blonde until 4am.”
  7. They were referring to the same evening, by the way.
  8. “Friends” of the couple were also called upon to pass judgment.
    Comedian Doug Stanhope, a friend of Depp’s, accused Heard of blackmail in The Wrap (she’s suing him over that), while an anonymous friend of Heard’s told Page Six that Depp once tried to smother his wife with a pillow.
  9. One of Depp’s staunchest allies has been TMZ, much to everyone’s surprise.
    The tabloid’s track record of brutal honesty (see Gibson, Mel and Brown, Chris) suggests it should be the first to pounce to Depp’s misdeeds.
  10. Instead, it has published a steady stream of pro-Depp anecdotes, including his first wife’s assertion that he is “kind to animals.”
  11. Meanwhile, @people has thrown its weight behind Heard — an equally odd development, considering the magazine has twice named Depp its “Sexiest Man Alive.”
  12. While the magazine strikes a neutral tone with its headlines, a recent cover photo leaves little doubt that its sympathies lie with Heard.
  13. As the story progresses, only one thing is certain — it’s going to get weirder.