Gloria Steinem, along with several experts on intimate partner violence, are “very concerned” about the verdict in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Steinem and organizations including the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, Equality Now and the Women’s March Foundation published an open letter supporting Heard Wednesday.
“The vitriol and scale of Ms. Heard’s blaming and continued online harassment of her and those who have shown her support is unprecedented,” the open letter says. “Much of this harassment was caused by misinformation, misinformation, biphobia, and a monetized social media environment where women’s allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault were ridiculed for entertainment.”
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The signatories added: “The same disinformation and victim-blaming tropes are now being used against other alleged abusers.”
The experts called the verdict in Depp’s favor “a fundamental misunderstanding of intimate and sexual partner violence and how survivors respond to it. … We are deeply concerned about the increasing misuse of defamation suits to threaten survivors and to silence.”
“We condemn the public shaming of Amber Heard,” concludes the open letter.
The outpouring of support for Heard comes one week after Depp’s appearance on Rihanna’s “Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 4” sparked controversy.
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What happened in the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard defamation trial?
Earlier this year, Depp took his ex-wife Amber Heard to court during a highly controversial trial in which he accused Heard of defaming him in December 2018. In June, a Virginia jury awarded more than $10 million in damages. Heard also won part of the suit and the jury awarded her $2 million in damages.
The trial resurfaced Heard’s allegations of abuse by Depp during intense testimony, which was live daily. Depp said he never abused Heard and claimed she abused him.
Heard said after the trial that she was “heartbroken that the mountain of evidence was still not enough to stand up to my ex-husband’s disproportionate power, influence and control”. She also expressed concern that it “sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke out and spoke out could be publicly shamed.”
“Even someone who is convinced that I deserve this hatred and vitriol, even if you think I’m lying, you couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me what you think on social media that I was fair there. representation,” she later said in a “Dateline” interview with Savannah Guthrie. “You can’t tell me you think this was fair.”
Meanwhile, Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez told “Today” host Savannah Guthrie that the actor, who was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read, had a “tremendous sense of relief.”
The attorney added that a mutual friend of hers and Depp said, “I haven’t seen Johnny smile like that in six years.”
“We encourage all victims to come forward and have their day in court, and that is exactly what happened in this case,” she said.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Amber Heard’s open letter condemns Johnny Depp’s ‘public shaming’