Amber Heard avoided speaking out about Johnny Depp’s abuse for similar reasons many victims do

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

In light of the typical and ongoing speculation about what possible reasons Amber Heard might have had to avoid speaking out publicly about Johnny Depp’s abuse previously (Probably because accusing high powered men of abuse always plays out well for victims, who always become rich as a result… Always.), a recent statement to the LAPD clarifies.

Surprise! It’s the same reason countless women don’t call the cops on their male partners — because they don’t want to hurt their abusers and they don’t want to create what surely will be perceived as “drama.” Heard was only went public because “Johnny’s team” began making “vicious false and malicious allegations” to the media. In other words, she wanted to keep things quiet (and deal with the situation privately) but was forced to defend herself.

The Wrap, who recently published a shit-slinging diatribe by comedian and Depp’s supposed friend, Doug Stanhope, essentially accusing Heard of being a golddigger, reports:

“The statement… point[s] out that many victims of domestic violence do not file police reports against their abusers. ‘In reality, Amber acted no differently than many victims of domestic violence, who think first of the harm that might come to the abuser, rather than the abuse they have already suffered.'”

The statement from Heard’s lead attorney Samantha F. Spector and her co-counsel Joseph P. Koenig goes on to say:

“We took the high road. Unfortunately, Johnny’s team immediately went to the press and began viciously attacking Amber’s character. Amber is simply a victim of domestic violence, and none of her actions are motivated by money. Amber is a brave and financially independent woman who is showing the courage of her convictions by doing the right thing against Johnny’s relentless army of lawyers and surrogates.”

A story as old as time… Rarely do women want to go through the ordeal of calling the cops and filing reports on our abusers. We are usually forced into this situation as a last resort. And rarely do we want to speak publicly about the humiliation of abuse, risking public character assassination and further harassment.

“In domestic violence cases,” the statement reads, “it is not unusual for the perpetrator’s playbook to include miscasting the victim as the villain.”

Indeed. We are always the actual “abusers,” always manipulative golddiggers — evil women who can’t stand rejection, who lie and have ulterior motives for hurting and taking advantage of these poor, innocent men. Good god, the insane things I’ve heard about myself, due to my abuser trying to clear his name by publicly trashing and discrediting me… It would be amusing if it weren’t so common — as Heard’s representatives say, straight out of the abuser’s playbook.

The bravest thing a woman can do is come forward about abuse and, in part, this is because she knows full well that her abuser will respond by vilifying her; by lying about her complicity, motivations, and character; by painting himself as the true victim.

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Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Dave

    No other feminist website continues to be as real as Feministcurrent. Keep up the good work!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Dave!

  • Althea Tyne

    I read Heard’s statement that she is financially secure on her own and not doing this because of money yet she is seeking $50,000 per month in spousal support to maintain the lifestyle she has become accustomed to in their brief marriage. I find that completely odd. I don’t really understand why she would name witnesses to abuse that have already said they didn’t witness anything. I think it’s possible Depp was abusive but also that it’s possible she’s lying to make money. I wonder why the writer of this article is so convinced that Depp is guilty without due process and if she would write an article about how she was wrong if it’s determined through due process that her story was fabricated.

    • Wren

      I’d believe in due process, too, if there was such a thing here. But U.S. courts have shown over and over and over again that they don’t give a shit about women. In fact, women suffer significantly more trauma during the judicial process, and some experts don’t encourage women to press charges. Many times it’s in the best interest of the victims safety to NOT involve the law because abusers become enraged and seek retribution.

      In other words, the money may be the only justice she gets, so she should fucking fight for it.

  • Althea Tyne

    Good point

  • Althea Tyne

    I read Heard’s statement that she is financially secure on her own and not doing this because of money yet she is seeking $50,000 per month in spousal support to maintain the lifestyle she has become accustomed to in their brief marriage. I find that completely odd. I don’t really understand why she would name witnesses to abuse that have already said they didn’t witness anything. I think it’s possible Depp was abusive but also that it’s possible she’s lying to make money. I wonder why the writer of this article is so convinced that Depp is guilty without due process and if she would write an article about how she was wrong if it’s determined through due process that her story was fabricated.

    • Did you know you can get spousal support in a divorce WITHOUT alleging domestic violence? It’s true!

    • sabelmouse

      is she really?

  • Althea Tyne

    Sorry I didn’t mean to post the same thing twice, I’m fairly new to computers here in my 70’s. I didn’t see it posted at first and I didn’t realize it had to be approved. I wanted to explain why I think due process is so important. I was accused of being a neglectful mother by my first husband because he wanted custody of our two small children. I was basically lambasted by our community once the allegations were made. I had my time in court though and the allegations were disproved. My reputation took a beating though and it was really hard on my soul. It took me moving to a new town to get away from the gossip. It was extremely stressful, even to this day some 45 years later it makes me upset to think about it.

  • Melissa Cutler

    The principle of “innocent until proven guilty” is strictly a law term used by the government. Like censorship. Private citizens are under no obligation to presume innocence until someone is proven guilty in court, just like we are not bound by the laws pertaining to censorship. So often, women are pressured to give men the benefit of the doubt and reject their own instincts about how violent or dangerous a man is because of the ever-present pressure of “innocent until proven guilty.” So often, “innocent until proven guilty” sets violent misogynists free. I will always believe the accuser of domestic abuse. No court of law needed for me or my opinion, or the opinions expressed by this blog poster.

  • Althea Tyne

    Amber Heard is going to make millions of dollars off of the divorce, basically half of what Depp made while they were married. She should criminally prosecute Depp if he really did hit her so maybe he would learn a lesson other than just financially. I can’t understand why these celebrities get to pay off their victims rather than go to jail. Is money really that powerful to a victim? Look at Michael Jackson, I wonder how many children he raped after paying off one family $25,000,000?

    • sabelmouse

      wtf???

  • Melissa Cutler

    I’m not sure what your reply has to do with my comment. I’m talking about the silencing of women’s opinions and intuition using terminology designed and used by a patriarchal system. Other commenters on this blog post are flinging the term “innocent until proven guilty” around here in a way meant to chill and silence our opinions about an abuser and absolve themselves from taking a position.