MARRIAGES go wrong all the time but rarely in such a highly publicised way as the falling out between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

Last week, Ms Heard petitioned a Los Angeles court for a temporary restraining order against her husband of 15 months. The contents of her deposition were dynamite for sensation-seeking tabloids.

Heard, who was sporting a black eye, claimed Depp had been “verbally and physically abusive” during their relationship and asked for a domestic violence restraining order. Sadly, this was only the beginning of a sorry saga as ‘friends’ rushed to have their say, and claim followed counter-claim.

It’s vitally important to acknowledge the fact that nobody has been found guilty at this point – we simply don’t know what happened here.

But that hasn’t prevented every keyboard warrior and armchair psychologist in the land weighing in on Captain Jack versus Amber Heard.

Column inches and message boards are groaning under the weight of a million uninformed opinions and I’m about to add mine to the list.

I’ll ignore the irony of jumping into a debate I think shouldn’t exist to say that the way the situation has been reported on has been incredibly concerning. To bastardise a phrase that’s common for a reason, there’s nobody who really knows what went on behind the closed doors of this marriage.

That hasn’t stopped the public outcry, the shaming of Heard and the swiftly-spreading portrayal of her as a gold-digger seeking to wreck Depp’s reputation for personal gain.

Heard’s bisexuality, financial troubles and unpopularity with her husband’s circle have been used to undermine her in the on-going trial by (social) media.

Never mind the photographs, court papers or (always difficult to obtain) restraining order – Heard might have her evidence in the public domain but Depp said he didn’t do it.

Friends say Depp’s not that kind of man, his ex says he never beat her, his fans say Johnny’d never hurt anyone – and let’s hope they’re right.

The global press is not helping by largely whitewashing the hedonistic Depp of the 90s, their headlines then filled with his temper tantrums and troubled relationships.

On Tuesday Heard’s lawyers, Samantha Spector and Joseph Koenig, issued a statement accusing the media of pedalling “vicious false and malicious allegations” and claiming the actress had been miscast as the villain.

The entire situation must be making survivors of domestic abuse scream with frustration.

Evidence proves people are often reluctant to make allegations of abuse because they feel they won’t be believed – I can’t see anyone being reassured by what is happening in Hollywood right now.

An abuser is forever the silhouetted man. It’s never the loving parent, the popular friend or that person you know better than anyone – except, of course, when it is.

Nobody wants to believe the worst of those they admire but as a society, we must take abuse allegations seriously. And we must ask questions of a culture that carries out character assassinations on those who dare to raise them.