Johnny Depp, Amber Heard: Heard fans slam ‘sexist, racist’ jury decision and claim result is dangerous for women

Supporters of Amber Heard have come out in force to blame sexism for her loss in her defamation case against Johnny Depp.

Supporters of Amber Heard have taken to to social media to blame sexism for her loss in her defamation case against Johnny Depp.

The case, which relentlessly dominated the news cycle for weeks, came to an end on Thursday (AEST) with the jury deciding in favour of Mr Depp.

Heard was ordered to pay Depp $US10 million ($A14 million) in defamation compensatory damages and $US5 million ($A7m) in punitive damages after the jury decided she “acted with actual malice”.

The jury did agree with one aspect of Heard’s claim — that she was defamed by Depp’s lawyer — and awarded her $US2m ($A2.78m) in compensation and $0 in punitive fees.

While the decision was somewhat predictable considering the evidence – which included a testimony from Kate Moss – laid out before the court, several commenters and activists remained adamant the result was a loss for women worldwide.

Others insinuated Depp’s win purely came from the jury being fans of his career.

“This jury is a racist, sexist fan-group and nothing more,” one person posted. “I have no hope for women – ever.”

The jury was a mix of white, black and Asian people. Amber Heard is white.

“My heart goes out to Amber. F*** that sexist jury and f*** this sexist country!” another preached.

Gretchen Summs, a woman who said she was a survivor of sexual assault, posted a message of support to Heard.

“I stand with you and I believe you, Amber,” she said. “You were so brave, strong and articulate in sharing your experiences. This was not justice. Sending you love and strength.”

Comedian Amy Schumer posted a Gloria Steinem quote to her Instagram page in support of Heard.

“Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke . . . She will need her sisterhood,” Schumer wrote.

An article titled “Amber Heard Verdict Sends A Message To Black Women Everywhere”, published by The Root, also claimed the jury was biased.

“Whether you believe her or not, the way the world treated Heard was downright cruel and uncalled for. Not only were her bruises placed under a microscope by forensic experts during the trial, social media joined in on the skepticism,” blogger Candace McDuffie wrote.

“Heard was turned in everything from memes to murals mocking the validity of her abuse. Some even believed Depp when he said that she was the aggressor in the relationship. If all of Heard’s privilege couldn’t protect her from such viciousness, Black women—like always—remain even more vulnerable.”

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Heard released a statement, claiming she was “heartbroken”.

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband,” she said.

“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. 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. 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.”

Depp also released a statement in the wake of his court victory.

“Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye,” he said.

“False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me.

“It had already travelled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.

“And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”


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