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Amber Heard says she was punished for speaking out about abuse claims

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Anna Brech
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The actor Amber Heard

Amber Heard has issued a damning assessment of how society treats survivors of domestic violence

Amber Heard says she was harassed and bullied for speaking out about domestic violence.

Appearing at the Create and Cultivate conference in New York this weekend, the actor gave a damning indictment of the way in which society treats female survivors. 

The Friday Night Lights star is embroiled in a bitter legal battle with her ex-husband Johnny Depp, whom she claims slapped, shoved and choked her over the course of their 14-month marriage.

Depp is suing Heard for defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post, in which she describes being a victim of domestic abuse but does not name her ex. 

Heard again did not reference Depp directly this weekend, but instead spoke more broadly about how she had been blamed for not staying silent on her alleged abuse.

“I suffered the full force of the wrath of our culture when a woman or survivor speaks up against a more powerful force,” she said (via Hollywood Reporter). 

“I have seen that firsthand — from death, threats, harassment, bullying, invasion of my privacy, threats to my career and my safety. And yet, I’m still here. I refuse to accept those be the terms that other people, who are in positions of power, who seek to maintain the status quo, have set for me. I refuse to stand in line.”

In the 2018 piece, Heard described being hounded by the press, and receiving multiple death threats from Depp’s fans, after she went public with claims of abuse.

“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,” she said.

“I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion, and my life and livelihood depended on myriad judgements far beyond my control.”

Despite the backlash she endured, Heard says she is proud of herself for speaking out.

 “When I look back on all the things I’ve done, sure I am proud of my professional accomplishments and movies,” she said this weekend. 

“But that is nothing in comparison to the pride I feel for what I stood up for because it was right and true. I did that despite what it cost me. That wealth of pride gives back to me and will give back to my daughters and their daughters a million times over. I am proud I did the hard stuff. I would rather be unpopular. I would rather go down for being who I am than to be popular for something I’m not.”

Depp denies all allegations made against him.

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.