Amber Heard Loses To Depp, Calls It A "Setback" For Women Everywhere

The jury reached a verdict in the Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp defamation case, finding Heard guilty of libel. She will be forced to pay $10m compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages. But she's already taken to Twitter to complain about the verdict, and it's causing quite a storm...
Depp Heard Setback
Were these crocodile tears? Or did we just want to believe they were? | © AP

After losing the case to Johnny Depp and owing $15m in damages, Amber Heard has taken to Twitter to share her thoughts on the case. In her open letter, Heard suggests that the verdict will have a huge negative social impact. And as you'd expect, there was a very "mixed" response from Twitter.

Amber Heard's Response To The Verdict

Amber Heard responded to the conviction in a longer post shared with her Twitter followers, in which she described the case as a setback for women and free speech. It wasn't well received, but then nothing Amber Heard has done during this case has been.

She argued first and foremost that her loss in court was a loss for women everywhere:

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.

Her argument is reasonable. There are probably quite a few people who will now remember this incident whenever they hear of other domestic abuse cases, and it could encourage them to suspect foul play and dishonesty. Also, if her name becomes a byword for fake abuse claims, which it almost certainly will, then this could validate the incorrect suggestion that such fake claims are common. They are not.

But you could quite easily argue that it's Amber herself causing this injustice to women. She's doing them a disservice by association, and now future victims of domestic abuse might not be as readily believed. So while it might be a setback for women, who can she reasonably blame besides herself? As to whether there even was defamation, there was enough evidence to convince a jury.

In her open letter she then went on to describe how her case was not just an assault on women but on Freedom of Speech:

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.

This last point reads as manufactured and desperate, and it forces us to question how genuine she's being. Does anyone believe that she's more upset by the abstract issue of freedom of speech than she is about owing $15m and being publically humiliated? Of course not.

Was she right to make this about more than herself and Depp? Is Johnny to blame if fewer women are believed in future incidents? We'll remain above the fray, but we'll keep you updated on the fallout from this case.