The courtroom showdown between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp ended last week, but the show’s not quite over.
The 36-year-old actress and her team have claimed the ripple effects of this case will directly affect the #MeToo movement and domestic abuse survivors – and her supporters are taking the first hit — all while Depp’s team insists it won’t impact #MeToo.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has experienced an onslaught of hatred from Depp fans since the high-profile case, especially after expressing they stood with Heard.
In a statement posted to their website, NCADV analyzed the implications the case might have, saying, “What spilled out of the courtroom and into the media, including social media, was an abuser exerting control and manipulating the media and a loyal fan base to attack his victim on his behalf.”
The organization claimed that the non-sequestered jury “could have very well been influenced by the well-paid and highly-targeted smear campaign,” which could have a “chilling effect” on women seeking justice.
Naturally, the lengthy and controversial statement was met with polarized reviews online, especially on Twitter.
The organization’s CEO Ruth Glen told TMZ that while some outcry is directed at NCADV as a whole, there are direct jabs towards Heard calling her a “liar” or “psycho.” Other impassioned Depp supporters shot back, saying the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor is really the victim.
“You can be appalled all you like. The simple fact of the matter is that no one believed her. Her stories didn’t add up and we all saw it,” tweeted one anti-Heard user. “If you are upset, be upset at her. Fantastic stories require fantastic evidence and it simply wasn’t there. She is mentally ill and needs help.”
“Amber literally said that she hit Johnny and no one would believe him because he was a man. NCADV approves of domestic abuse as long as it is against a man,” wrote another.
Yet, Glen said the NCADV will hold their ground, sticking to their statement in support of Heard, despite the verdict which awarded Depp, 58, a grand total of $10.35 million in damages while Heard only received $2 million.
The whirlwind six-week trial unearthed social conversations surrounding #MeToo and victims of domestic violence, but the verdict “disappointed” Heard, which she expressed in her post-trial statement.
“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,” part of her statement said.
However, Depp’s lawyers aren’t convinced it’s going to have negative implications on domestic violence victims.
“We’re here to talk about the case that we tried, right? We encourage all victims to come forward, have their day in court, which is exactly what happened in this case,” Camille Vasquez, one of Depp’s attorneys, said on “Today.”
But Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft doubled down on calling it a “setback” when she appeared on “CBS Mornings” and “Today” last week.
“This is a setback for women inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom,” Bredehoft told Gayle King of CBS. “What this jury said is if you don’t record it, it didn’t happen.”
In an earlier segment of the show that day, New York Times investigative journalist Jodi Kantor, who brought down media mogul Harvey Weinstein, also suggested the case could have a “chilling” effect on #MeToo.
“The way Amber Heard was attacked was, in one way, very familiar,” Kantor said. “There was a lot of misogyny that we’ve seen before. There was a kind of weaponization of the reputational warfare online. There was almost this hate machine built against her.”
“I had never seen it at that level and directed at one woman at that intensity,” she added.