Amber Heard is addressing the aftermath of her domestic abuse accusations at Johnny Depp.
The “Aquaman” star made headlines in 2016 when she publicly accused her ex-husband of abuse. In a new opinion piece for the Washington Post she writes that she was first “exposed to abuse at a very young age.”
“Like many women, I had been harassed and sexually assaulted by the time I was of college age. But I kept quiet — I did not expect filing complaints to bring justice. And I didn’t see myself as a victim.”
Things changed for Heard when she finally spoke out about Depp.
“Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and 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,” Heard recalls. “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. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies ‘Justice League’ and ‘Aquaman’.”
Heard sees change on the horizon, though, thanks to movements like #MeToo and anger over Donald Trump’s election despite being accused of sexual assault.
She outlines ways to push things forward for women, including the U.S. Congress reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which expired in September with only a temporary extension passed, as well as continuing the fight against sexual assault on college campuses.
“I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats,” Heard reveals. “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,” she adds. “We can work together to demand changes to laws and rules and social norms — and to right the imbalances that have shaped our lives.”