When Amber Heard accused Johnny Depp of assaulting and abusing her, appearing in court with a bruise on her cheek and publishing video of her apparently drunk husband raging at her, she pitted herself against one of the biggest stars in Hollywood—but ultimately won the battle to be believed.
Despite the fact that their divorce agreement contained a litany of non-disclosure clauses, and although Depp has forcefully denied assaulting or abusing Heard (most recently in an interview with British GQ, in which he said “I might look stupid, but I ain’t fucking stupid,”) Heard has made herself synonymous with activism against domestic violence, and become a powerful figurehead for the cause.
In a new video in support of the United Nation’s “Orange The World” campaign, which seeks to draw attention to all forms of violence against women, Heard speaks about the struggle women who are abused often face to be believed.
Dressed in an androgynous velvet jacket and neck tie, Heard says: “Let’s start with the truth — the cold, hard truth. When a woman comes forward to speak out about injustice or her suffering, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame.
“Her motives will be questioned, her truth ignored.”
Heard says the process of attempting to expose and bring abusers to justice can be even worse for women than the initial abuse owing to fear of being ostracized from their communities.
Her comments echo remarks made by her lawyers after Depp’s GQ interview appeared, saying, “Mr. Depp is shamefully continuing his psychological abuse of Ms. Heard, who has attempted to put a very painful part of her life firmly in her past.”
Heard argues in her new video, however, that the “world is changing,” and says women form a “vast army of voices, and we can no longer accept silence.”
Heard and Depp settled their divorce in 2017, with Depp agreeing to pay $7 million in a settlement that Heard donated to charity (although Heard at one stage accused Depp of not paying up).
Although the settlement was reportedly bound by numerous confidentiality agreements, both sides have spoken either directly or indirectly about the circumstances behind the split.
In his GQ interview Depp forcefully denied specific and general allegations against him, saying, “The thing that hurt me is being presented as something that you’re really as far away from as you could possibly get. To harm someone you love? No, it didn’t, it couldn’t even sound like me.”
Heard’s lawyers responded: “It is outrageous that GQ never spoke to any of the multiple witnesses to Mr. Depp’s physical abuse of Ms. Heard prior to publishing its article. If GQ had done even a basic investigation into Mr. Depp’s claims, it would have quickly realized that his statements are entirely untrue.”