"She is the one who has set back the cause for women." Columnist Sarah Vine says Amber Heard proved a setback for all women and gave them a 'bad name.'
Heard, 36, has reportedly been told that she has no one to blame but herself for the impact her trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp will have on women's rights.
The Aquaman actress lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Pirates of the Caribbean star after the court found her guilty of fabricating claims that she was abused by Depp before and during their brief marriage.
Heard was ordered to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
While she lost on two of her three claims, she won on one claim that a statement from Depp's lawyer was defamatory and was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but none in punitive damages.
Heard claimed the jury's rule was a "setback" for women's rights following the verdict. But journalist and columnist Sarah Vine has challenged that assertion, describing Heard as part of the problem.
Writing on the DailyMail, Vine said that she and a pal celebrated the court's verdict, and even her 'woke' pals supported Depp in the trial.
"When the news was announced that Johnny Depp had won his defamation case against Amber Heard, I was out with a girlfriend. We both instinctively let out a little whoop."
"Another friend texted me: 'Am so pleased for Johnny.' Even my mother couldn't resist: 'Johnny has achieved Heard immunity!' she messaged."
"First of all, because none of us has ever met Johnny Depp, nor are we ever likely to. So why would we care about a middle-aged actor and his squabbles with his ex-wife?"
"Secondly, because we are all women and so – theoretically at least – we ought to be on Heard's side."
"And yet I don't know a single woman who is. All my female friends, without exception, even the younger, woker ones, took against Heard during the course of this trial."
"Even if they didn't all exactly sympathize with Depp, they were united in acknowledging there was much more to the case than 'man bad, woman victim."
Vine also admitted Depp isn't a saint himself but said, "it's one thing to be a troubled individual with multiple substance and behavioral issues and quite another to be an abuser."
"You can be a fundamentally decent human and still make a complete and utter Horlicks of your life, as Depp has proved."
"But you can also have the face of an angel and be very far from perfect underneath. That is what this trial reminds us of. That is why it has caught the attention of millions."
"It exposed not only Heard's somewhat tenuous relationship with the facts but also the other side of the story – a side that in the age of #MeToo is not often acknowledged. A universal truth experienced by many is that sometimes a relationship can be so toxic that it turns both of you into monsters. But also a far more uncomfortable truth (deep breath): women don't have a monopoly on victimhood."
Speaking of the Washington Post op-ed Heard wrote back in 2018, Vine said:
"When Heard wrote that now-infamous piece for The Washington Post about how she had been the victim of domestic abuse, the #MeToo movement was at its height."
"The (admittedly shocking) experiences and (admittedly revolting) behavior of a small but significant group of people had lit a fuse that snaked all around the globe, reconfiguring attitudes to male/female relationships and characterizing men as predators, women as victims."
"At the time, many women, myself included, felt this was a dangerous generalization."
"Relationships are complex, people are complex, not everything is black and white, we argued."
"Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, we said."
"Nope. We were accused of victim-blaming and shaming. There was only one acceptable narrative: a woman can do no wrong, and all men are animals. End of."
"That was the climate in which Heard wrote her piece, and so perhaps it's understandable that she felt empowered to make such damaging assertions (and that The Washington Post saw fit to publish them). The last thing she would have expected would have been for Depp to challenge her."
"Having been canceled lost all his film roles, and marked down as a 'wife beater', presumably she thought he would just curl up in a corner and die quietly, allowing her to bask in the sympathy and solidarity of the sisterhood."
"And for a while, that was the case. But then he fought back, and the rest is history. Of course, it helps that he is a wealthy star – many in his position are not, so don't have his options."
Vine added that Depp 'now stands for every man who has ever been wrongly accused of abusing a woman.' She also accused Heard of weaponizing the #MeToo movement for her own gain.
"Real domestic abuse victims struggle, sometimes for years, to have their voices heard."
"They suffer at the hands of their aggressors, often trapped in toxic situations through lack of money, opportunities or the constraints of their culture."
"For Heard to jump on the #MeToo bandwagon under false pretenses feels like the ultimate betrayal, as did the fact that she lied about donating the proceeds of her divorce settlement to charity."
"She gives all women a bad name and in many ways undoes years of work building up credibility for victims of domestic violence."
"She claimed in her statement that the verdict was a 'setback' for women, but that's not true: she is the one who has set back the cause for women. That, I'm afraid, is the hard truth she must now accept."