In 2016, Amber Heard accused her ex-husband Johnny Depp of physical and emotional abuse, receiving a restraining order before their divorce was finalized the next year. In a new op-ed for the Washington Post, the actress alleged that she lost work because of her claims, writing that she “felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out” against domestic violence.
“Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted," the op-ed read. "A movie I was attached to recast my role. I had just shot a two-year campaign as the face of a global fashion brand, and the company dropped me. Questions arose as to whether I would be able to keep my role of Mera in the movies Justice League and Aquaman.”
Heard did retain that role, appearing briefly in 2017's Justice League before Aquaman premiered in theaters on Dec. 21 of this year.
In addition to her loss of work, Heard also detailed intense public scrutiny that got so bad she had to change her phone number every week.
“I write this as a woman who had to change my phone number weekly because I was getting death threats,” she wrote. “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 continued. "I felt as though I was on trial in the court of public opinion — and my life and livelihood depended on myriad judgments far beyond my control.”
The 32-year-old, who married Depp in 2015, explained that her purpose in writing the op-ed was to “ensure that women who come forward to talk about violence receive more support.”
“We are electing representatives who know how deeply we care about these issues,” Heard explained. “We can work together to demand changes to laws and rules and social norms — and to right the imbalances that have shaped our lives.”
Depp has denied the allegations, calling them "salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation, and lies." He has since continued to be cast in prominent films including the latest Fantastic Beasts movie, a move that drew criticism from fans.
"I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. [Rowling] having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy,” Depp told Entertainment Weekly of the situation.
“The fact remains I was falsely accused," he continued. "J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin