Actress Amber Heard faced intense backlash online Wednesday over a post-verdict statement that she posted to Twitter in which she portrayed herself as a victim after a jury in Virginia found that she defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp in a 2018 op-ed.
The jury awarded Depp $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages, but the amount was reduced to $10.35 million by the judge. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in damages for defamatory remarks made by Depp’s lawyers. In her statement, Heard claimed that “the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband” prompted a verdict that hurts all women.
“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback,” she wrote. “It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously.”
“I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK,” she concluded. “I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
Heard’s tweet, to which she effectively blocked people from responding, garnered more than 177,000 quote retweets, many from notable public figures.
Some of the top responses included:
- Justin Chandler, gamer: “Bro she’s pathological. She doesn’t realize how much damage her lies have done to her fellow women and abuse victims. Truly shocking that people like this exist.”
- Ann Coulter, author: “Only women describe their personal battles as a fight FOR ALL WOMEN!”
- Liz Katz, actress: “As a a woman and survivor of real domestic abuse. This venomous c*** does not speak for any of us.”
- Siti Kasim, lawyer: “She certainly don’t speak for all women. Lesson to men, think with your lower head, this is what u get.”
- Andrew Dickson, journalist: “Such an advocate for free speech that most can’t reply to this. False allegations and statements such as what’s here do so much harm to genuine domestic abuse victims (who can be female and male), far more than today’s verdict. No winners in a very sad case of two troubled souls.”
- Jesse Lannister, gamer: “You have freedom of speech, but you do not have the right to make shit up so you can make money in a tabloid article because you are as my wonderful troll haters would say ‘falling off’. You tried to cling onto the #MeToo movement but instead made it look worse.”
- Delia Enriquez, writer: “YOU set women back by lying just so you could get attention. There are men and women who are actual victims of domestic violence and your stunt made it harder for actual victims to come forward. Also a tip: when crying, you’re supposed to have tears.”
- Jaclyn Frank, YouTuber: “Yes, it is a setback for women. Less will be believed now thanks to you. So happy the record was set straight!”
- Patrick Bet-David, entrepreneur: “You gave the performance of your lifetime. You almost ruined a flawed man’s life. You’re correct about this being a setback for women. Single Men trust women a bit less because of your actions. You still act like you’re the victim. But you did help unify good men & women.”
- Matthew Santoro, Twitch Partner: “You evil, narcissistic sociopath. Nobody believes you. Stop gaslighting and take the L.”
- G2 Yuli, gamer: “This lady really just jammed a bunch of common catchphrases onto one page in hopes of gaining blind support from people who like freedom of speech, women’s rights and America. Really shows again how much of a manipulator she is.”
- Gad Saad, professor: “Defamation and libel are not included within the rubric of freedom of speech @realamberheard . Hence the trial that you faced.”
- Geoffrey Miller, psychologist: “Your periodic reminder that the right to free speech doesn’t include a right to defame someone with false accusations of criminal violence.”