Over two years ago, Amber Heard came forward to allege domestic violence against then-husband Johnny Depp shortly before she initiated divorce proceedings. She’s currently promoting her role as Queen Mera in Aquaman, and many of her requisite duties have involved telling madcap stories about her experience with the always enthused Jason Momoa (who apparently dislikes books), but Heard’s also using her platform for serious matters. In doing so, she penned a Washington Post editorial to discuss the backlash she suffered after speaking out against domestic abuse.
It’s worth recalling that Depp’s ex-managers backed up Heard’s claims about physical violence on behalf of Depp, who they said tried to cover it up. In her piece, Heard writes about how she was warned against coming forward against her powerful husband and told that she’d be blacklisted as an actress. Indeed, she apparently lose a film role and a lucrative fashion contract, and she wondered whether her Queen Mera role would be on the casualty list. Fortunately, she was kept aboard for Justice League and the Momoa spinoff, but Heard says she still “felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” Heard then argues for more support on college campuses to fight and adjudicate sexual assault. She writes about how institutional support for women shouldn’t be scaled back, as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been trying to do, and Heard reveals the backlash and threats she endured:
I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats. For months, I rarely left my apartment, and when I did, I was pursued by camera drones and photographers on foot, on motorcycles and in cars. Tabloid outlets that posted pictures of me spun them in a negative light. I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion — and my life and livelihood depended on myriad judgments far beyond my control.
I want to ensure that women who come forward to talk about violence receive more support. We are electing representatives who know how deeply we care about these issues. We can work together to demand changes to laws and rules and social norms — and to right the imbalances that have shaped our lives.
Following Heard’s exit from her marriage, she donated her entire $7 million settlement to charity, including the ACLU, to help halt violence against women. She also filmed a PSA for the GirlGaze charity for the same purpose. Heard was then compelled to respond to J.K. Rowling’s odd defense regarding the casting of Depp, and she later nearly experienced a run-in with Depp during the Warner Bros. SDCC panel that included Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald panels. All of that, and dealing with a cultural backlash while battling ocean undertow (in high heels) during Aquaman filming? Heard’s a tough one, and you can read her full editorial here.
(Via Washington Post)