Depp-Heard trial: Advocates fear chilling effect on accusers

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (Photo: The Graham Norton Show / YouTube /Al Arabiya English / YouTube)

FAIRFAX, VA (AP) — Some advocates and experts fear that the verdict in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard case will have a chilling effect on women coming forward with abuse claims.

Jurors sided largely with Depp in the civil libel trial, awarding him $10 million and his ex-wife $2 million.

They didn’t rule on any abuse charges.

Still, some have concerns about the assumptions people may now make that women are lying.

Others say abusers may be newly emboldened to paint accusers as liars in retaliation for them coming forward.

Experts and others cite the social media campaign waged against Heard as well as the verdict for their fears.

But others say cases will go forward on their own merits, and hope truth can prevail despite the recent high-profile trial.

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