In a new essay for The Washington Post, which implores US Congress to strengthen its protections for survivors of violence, Aquaman star Amber Heard revealed the aftermath of accusing a powerful Hollywood man of domestic abuse.
Heard and her former husband Johnny Depp married in February of 2015, and separated less than two years later in May of 2016. In court documents, it was revealed that Heard requested a restraining order against Depp, claiming he was violent with her on multiple occasions. Photos allegedly supporting her abuse claim, showing the actress with a black eye, also surfaced. (Depp has vehemently denied any abuse allegations, and continues to do so.)
Though Depp was accused of abuse, it was Heard who was allegedly punished. Without naming Depp by name, she wrote in The Washington Post that there was retaliation for coming forward with allegations against her ex-husband.
“Friends and advisers told me I would never again work as an actress — that I would be blacklisted," Heard explained in the outlet, before sharing how her career was allegedly damaged.
"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.”
She also revealed in the essay that, in the wake of her allegations, she was essentially stalked by paparazzi and that tabloids made her feel as though she was “on trial in the court of public opinion."
Today, Heard hopes that Congress can make things better for other survivors, by reauthorising and strengthening the Violence Against Women Act. Funding for the act — which includes sending money to rape crisis centres — was extended temporarily after it expired in September.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.