Phoebe Bridgers has spoken out against the “disgusting” online treatment Amber Heard received from Johnny Depp fans.
During the former couple’s highly publicised trial, in which Depp had sued Heard for $50m (£40.1m) for allegedly implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, Heard was subjected to “one of the worst cases” of cyberbullying.
According to an earlier study that looked at anti-Heard Twitter campaigns, it found that 24 per cent of accounts using negative hashtags – “#AmberHeardIsAnAbuser” and “#AmberHeardIsALiar” – had been created in the last seven months, where they state the average is usually 8.6 per cent.
In her recent Teen Vogue cover story, 28-year-old Bridgers addressed the public reaction to the high-profile trial, saying she found it entirely “upsetting”.
“I think that there’s been this falsehood – and I think queer people are included in this – of having to be the perfect victim, or the perfect survivor, or the perfect representation for your marginalised community,” explained the “Motion Sickness” singer, who, like Heard identifies as bisexual.
“If Amber Heard exhibited any neurotic behaviour, it was held against her. Then Johnny Depp, out of his mouth, admitted some of the most violent, crazy s*** in court, and it’s somehow like, people aren’t surprised?”
Bridgers went on to describe the online backlash against Heard as a “fandom war”.
“That whole situation was so upsetting to me,” she said. “Laughing at someone crying in court? It was disgusting.”
Following the six-week trial, the Virginia jury largely sided with Depp, finding that Heard had defamed him on all three counts. He was awarded $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages.
Heard was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages.