How good the powerful men of this world are at denying their own superiority could be observed these days in Cannes. The film festival opened with the heavily powdered historical drama "Jeanne du Barry", in which Johnny Depp plays the leading role. After the end of the film, thunderous applause rang out in the cinema hall, and for seven minutes the audience, including prominent actors such as Mads Mikkelsen, clapped for Depp and his co-stars. As the camera panned to Depp's face, he briefly hinted at wanting to turn away, then rubbed his eyes as if he had to hide a tear of emotion.

Sarah Obertreis

Editor in the "Society & Style" section.

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That fits into the megastar's narrative. It is: Hollywood doesn't want me anymore since something was spread about me that is really nothing more than "a bunch of vowels and consonants". Depp is referring to the allegations of domestic violence by his former wife Amber Heard, which came back on the table last year in a nerve-wracking trial between the two. For weeks, you could listen to Depp and Heard and watch them humiliate each other, arguing about feces in beds, slaps and football-sized red wine glasses. In the end, Depp won the trial that had dealt with the issue of defamation.

Since then, the 59-year-old has staged himself as a victim. He told the BBC in Cannes that before condemning him, you should first look at yourself and the people around you. He is sure that none of them have a clean slate. At the press conference for "Jeanne du Barry" on Wednesday, Depp appeared half an hour later than the rest of the team. Director and leading actress Maïwenn entertained those waiting. In France, the 47-year-old routinely defends famous men who, in her view, have been wrongly convicted by the MeToo movement.

If Depp misbehaves, it will benefit his bad boy image

In Cannes, she was at Depp's side to shake her head in dismay or affirm what a great person he was whenever it came to the allegations against him. At the press conference, Depp said: "I don't know about you, but I think this is a really strange time when everyone would like to be themselves, but can't be, because they can't fall out of line, they have to follow the person in front of them." He doesn't go along with it.

The more defiant the actor behaves, the more obvious it becomes how unequal the treatment of men and women still is. If Depp misbehaves, it will only benefit his image as a bad boy. The American magazine "Variety" has just announced that its advertising contract for Dior's perfume "Sauvage" has been extended – for a record fee of 20 million dollars.

When a woman like Amber Heard misbehaves, her alleged transformation from innocent beauty to evil witch is first widely trodden, her appearance and behavior analyzed down to the smallest detail and then erased from the public eye. The constant interpretation and overinterpretation of their facial expressions during the trial, their braided hairstyles and outfits, also spoke of the audience's desire not to have to give up on the cinema hero Johnny Depp, to squeeze the two into a good and evil scheme that almost never corresponds to reality.

While Depp is defended in Cannes by the festival director ("I don't know what this trial was about. I appreciate Johnny as an actor"), the 37-year-old in exile in Madrid tries to regain control of her own story – an impossibility in a world that only listens to one side.