Posted on June 9, 2022

Amber Heard Verdict Sends a Message to Black Women Everywhere

Candace McDuffie, The Root, June 1, 2022

On Wednesday, a jury in Virginia decided that actor Johnny Depp had been defamed by ex-wife Amber Heard and her 2018 op-ed published by The Washington Post. Depp was awarded $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages but could only legally receive up to $10.35 million.


If the mistreatment of a wealthy blonde haired, blue-eyed white actress is ridiculed by the world, what does that mean for Black women?

{snip} Heard testified how Depp not only sexually abused her but also physically assaulted her throughout their relationship. {snip}

For Black women, who do not have whiteness or fame or money to protect them, Heard’s words of the verdict as a setback ring especially true. Whether you believe her or not, the way the world treated Heard was downright cruel and uncalled for. Not only were her bruises placed under a microscope by forensic experts during the trial, social media joined in on the skepticism.


As we’ve seen from Tina Turner to Rihanna, from Megan Thee Stallion to the dozens of young Black women R.Kelly abused, our pain becomes punchlines and our humanity is invalidated.

What happened to Heard is another vile reminder to women—particularly Black women—that nothing can guarantee our safety.