More than 130 feminist leaders, including Gloria Steinem and Women's March Action, released an open letter in support of Amber Heard, five months after the verdict in the defamation case between Heard and ex-husband Johnny Depp.
"We condemn the public shaming of Amber Heard and join in support of her. We support the ability of all to report intimate partner and sexual violence free of harassment and intimidation," the letter read.
In June, a jury largely sided with Depp in the high-profile defamation trial between him and Heard, which stemmed from a December 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for the Washington Post, in which she alleged that she had become "a public figure representing domestic abuse."
Depp was not named in the op-ed but alleged in his lawsuit against Heard that her claims were part of an "elaborate hoax to generate positive publicity" and that she had abused him. Depp's attorneys argued that the op-ed indirectly referred to allegations of abuse Heard had made when the couple divorced in 2016.
After a lengthy trial, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
Heard, who had filed a countersuit against Depp claiming he had harassed her and orchestrated a "smear campaign" against her, was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and no punitive damages.
A spokesperson for Heard shared a statement on the ruling with ABC News in August, saying, "When it comes to protecting the fundamental right of Freedom of Speech, we look at the jury's decision -- to paraphrase a famous quote -- not 'as the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.' "
Both Heard and Depp have since filed to appeal the verdict -- Depp is appealing the $2 million in compensatory damages he was ordered to pay Heard -- extending their court battle further. Both appeals are ongoing.
During the weekslong trial, Depp and Heard lobbed abuse claims at one another during their respective testimonies, while denying the other's claims of abuse.
The trial offered onlookers a look into the famous couple's marriage, including the allegations of violence, and sparked rampant online speculation and vitriolic commentary.
"The reaction to this trial just reinforced why so many survivors stay silent. Not only do we fear retaliation from the person who abused us, but we fear being ostracized and harassed by others as well," Bell Abesti, an organizer of Wednesday's open letter, who used a pseudonym as a survivor of abuse, stated in a press release announcing the letter's publication.
"I personally know women who have reconsidered reporting after seeing what happened online to Amber Heard," Abesti added.
The open letter itself specifically addressed the "harassment" Heard faced online during the trial, saying it was fueled by "disinformation, misogyny, biphobia and a monetized social media environment."
"... A woman's allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault were mocked for entertainment," the letter read.