Gloria Steinem has come out officially to support Amber Heard. The 36-year-old troubled actress has received “public shaming” since she lost her multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against ex-husband Johnny Depp, and the 88-year-old political activist is one of the 130 signatories from a variety of feminist groups who signed an open letter to her on Wednesday. The letter supports the actress against this treatment.
Amy Ziering (“The Invisible War”), a director nominated for an Academy Award, also signed the document.
Heard was found guilty of defaming Depp in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which she accused the actor of domestic abuse after a protracted and widely reported trial earlier this year.
Heard was sentenced to pay $10.35 million to her accused abuser. In his legal battle, Depp has appealed a portion of the verdict, saying the jury had “overwhelmingly” favored him and that the one count of defamation she won at their bombshell trial was “erroneous.”
Gloria Steinem’s letter
The letter read: “Five months ago, the verdict in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard deeply concerned many professionals in the fields of intimate partner and sexual violence … “
“The vilification of Ms. Heard and ongoing online harassment of her and those who have voiced support for her have been unprecedented in both vitriol and scale.”
“Much of this harassment was fueled by disinformation, misogyny, biphobia, and a monetized social media environment where a woman’s allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault were mocked for entertainment,” the long statement continued.
“The same disinformation and victim-blaming tropes are now being used against others who have alleged abuse.”
“In our opinion, the Depp v. Heard verdict and continued discourse around it indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of intimate partner and sexual violence and how survivors respond to it.”
“We have grave concerns about the rising misuse of defamation suits to threaten and silence survivors.”
“We condemn the public shaming of Amber Heard and join in support of her. We support the ability of all to report intimate partner and sexual violence free of harassment and intimidation,” the letter ended.
Neither Amber Heard nor Johnny Depp have pronounced about the letter yet.
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