In 2016, Amber Heard accused Johnny Depp, her then-husband, of domestic violence. The actress recently published an open letter in The Washington Post in which she speaks openly, for the first time, about her experience after having made her decision to report him: "I felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out".
"Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress, that I would be blacklisted" And unfortunately they were all too right with their predictions. "A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me."
The words of Amber Heard provide a poignant reality check to all of those who claimed that her court case was simply an excuse to take down Johnny Depp. "I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats." All while Depp's career remained intact. In the past two years he has returned to the role of Jack Sparrow in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' as well as portraying the villain in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'. He had at least five projects planned for the following years, whereas Heard was left wondering "whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies 'Justice League' and 'Aquaman'".
"I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse," Heard says, making reference to the ongoing accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump, a man who has experienced no form of repercussions in his political career. Heard confesses, "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".
Heard ended her letter with an uplifting message to other women in her position: "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".