Gloria Steinem and a variety of feminist and ladies’s rights organizations signed a letter this week in help of Amber Heard amid ongoing on-line harassment following the defamation trial between Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp.
“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 letter, which was shared publicly on Wednesday, learn. “The same disinformation and victim-blaming tropes are now being used against others who have alleged abuse.”
Among the teams to signal the letter are the National Organization for Women, Esparanza United, Women’s March Foundation, the Asian Feminist, the Sexual Violence Prevention Assn. and Steinem’s Ms. journal. Others who signed embrace a protracted checklist of consultants on intimate associate violence, in addition to actor Constance Wu, who in September shared that an unnamed producer had sexually harassed her on the set of her TV sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat.”
The letter expressed concern across the Depp vs. Heard verdict and the conversations since, which present “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,” the letter learn.
The contentious and extremely publicized six-week libel trial held in Virginia led to June with a jury awarding Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages after discovering that Heard defamed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” celebrity. She was awarded $2 million in her countersuit.
The case stemmed from a 2018 Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote by which she referred to as herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The op-ed didn’t point out Depp by identify however was printed across the time Heard first alleged Depp had abused her.
Depp contended that his fame and profession had been devastated by Heard’s earlier accusations in 2016 and that the op-ed led to him struggling a brand new spherical of economic losses and “public scorn,” together with being dropped from his iconic position as Capt. Jack Sparrow in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
Heard had referred to as the decision disappointing and a setback for victims of abuse. In July, she filed her enchantment of the decision.
Though Heard obtained some help on social media throughout the trial, she additionally obtained a wave of extreme backlash.
Bot Sentinel, a analysis agency employed by Heard’s authorized group in 2020, carried out impartial analysis of Twitter exercise round Heard following the June verdict. In a report, the agency stated it discovered that some Twitter accounts had manipulated conversations and developments “while targeting and abusing women to suppress any positive tweets supporting Amber Heard.”
The report referred to as the operation “one of the worst cases of cyberbullying and cyberstalking by a group of Twitter accounts” ever seen by the agency.
Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez, who testified throughout the trial and alleged being hit by Depp, was inspired by the open letter. Henriquez shared in an Instagram publish on Wednesday that because the verdict, she has confronted misogynistic harassment on-line, round which she has had a tough time elevating her two kids.
“Seeing this letter signed by over 130 experts and organizations now was a much needed breath of fresh air,” Henriquez wrote. “Finally, the tides are shifting.”