“I’m proud of my movies, I’m proud of the things I’ve done. But it is nothing in comparison to the pride I feel for the things I have stood up for because they were right. And not only did I do it because they were right and because they were true, but I also did it despite what it cost me."
During the Create & Cultivate conference in New York on Saturday, Amber Heard spoke about the consequences she had to face after she alleged ex-husband Johny Depp of domestic abuse. She also spoke about why she opened up about her bisexuality years ago during the conference, according to HuffPost. The actress spoke with moderator Mandana Dayani, who is the founder of the nonpartisan group “I Am A Voter,” about being a survivor and how she's dealing with ongoing harassment and death threats. “I’m somebody who has obviously suffered the full force of the wrath of our culture when a woman or a survivor speaks up against a more powerful force,” 33-year-old Heard said. “I’ve seen that firsthand ― from death threats to harassment to bullying to invasions of my privacy, to threats to my career, to my livelihood, my safety, and yet I’m still here. I’m here because I refuse to accept those be the terms of my silence."
“I refuse to accept those be the terms that other people who are in positions that seek to maintain the status quo have set for me,” she added. “I refuse to stand in line. It can work and it will work as long as you stand up for what’s right and speak your truth. If you’re quiet, you’ll be ignored.” In 2016, during Heard's and Depp's divorce proceedings, the actress said in a sworn declaration that Depp had been physically and verbally abusive “during the entirety of our relationship.”
Depp filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against her earlier this year, and as an attempt to dismiss the lawsuit, she submitted a graphic new court filing to a court in Fairfax, Virginia. The filings had detailings of all the allegations of abuse by Depp, whom she sometimes called “the Monster." In the filings that were obtained by Page Six, Heard spoke about the multiple times Depp had physically abused her.
"We got into a fight that Johnny made physical, and I barricaded myself in one of the rooms. That didn’t stop Johnny from busting through the door of the room I was in," she said. “By nightfall, Johnny had hit me multiple times, shoved and pushed me to the ground, choked me, and spit in my face." Then, during a trip to Thailand, "Johnny picked a fight with me and started hitting and pushing me against a wall by grasping my throat and holding me there. I remember being afraid that Johnny might not know when to stop, and that he might kill me.”
Even though Heard claims there have been times that Depp himself has apologized for his behavior, he's denied all the allegations against him. But for Heard, she said on Saturday that the one thing she's proudest of is speaking up for what was "right". “I’m proud of my movies, I’m proud of the things I’ve done. But it is nothing in comparison to the pride I feel for the things I have stood up for because they were right. And not only did I do it because they were right and because they were true, but I also did it despite what it cost me,” she said.
The actress also spoke about why she decided to speak out in 2008 about being a bisexual and also about “falling madly in love with a beautiful woman”, a photographer named Tasya van Ree. Heard said that “not one person said that this was going to be okay” to talk about her sexuality. “I never came out. I was never in. But like any actor, people started paying more and more attention to me and taking pictures of my personal life or unplanned events and people started to care as I started to work more in this industry,” Heard said.
“And at this same time, again great with timing, [I was] falling madly in love with a beautiful woman with whom I am very close with to this day and have a tremendous amount of respect and love for,” she added. “But I see that this is increasingly problematic as people in my life are telling me you’re a romantic lead, you can’t do this.” She added that people around her told her to say she did not want to talk about her private life, instead of saying she had a girlfriend.
“They listed a lot of reasons and said ‘No one else has done it; if you’re so sure and you won’t lose your career name one actress who is working that [has gone through the same thing].’ And I couldn’t think of anyone,” she said. But, she decided to speak up because she wanted to help someone, much like her younger self. She hopes that there will be some major changes when people become really visible about their sexuality. “We have come out of the closets, we have come forward out of the dark, we have connected to one another and we’re saying we’re loud, we’re here, this happened, this is real and we want to change a world that gives respect to survivors, that believes survivors, and where we can address this so that we can make a safer space for us,” she added.