A women’s abuse organization has voiced its support for Johnny Depp.
Italian-based group Mission NGO expressed “compassion” for the 58-year-old actor amid his highly publicized legal battle with ex-wife, Amber Heard. Depp is suing the 36-year-old Aquaman star for $50 million, alleging she damaged his reputation and career with false claims of domestic abuse.
“Violence is a serious topic,” Mission NGO founder/president Valeria Altobelli wrote in a statement. “As women, as mothers, we have the duty and the responsibility to educate our sons and daughters, that’s to say, the Future Generation, in the light of the values of dialogue, respect and compassion between men and women, without any gender distinction, in order to prevent violence with the weapons of love and education.
Altobelli continued: “In deep respect of the victims of domestic abuses that we have to affirm for intellectual honesty are, generally, WOMEN, we feel to express, as women, as mothers, as free thinkers, our compassion for Johnny Depp in this bad page of his personal history.”
Heard has repeatedly accused her ex-husband of physically abusing her throughout their marriage; however, in an audio recording presented during the defamation, the actress is heard admitting to starting a physical fight with her ex-husband. Depp’s legal team has also pointed to the lack of evidence, such as photographs and medical records, that would support Heard’s abuse claims.
In the weeks since the defamation trial kicked off, a group of women celebrities—including Courtney Love, actress Eva Green, and singer Sia—have showed their support for Depp. The court has also heard from a number of witnesses who’ve painted Depp, not Heard, as the victim.
“MISSION NGO women from all over the world stand against domestic violence, regardless of gender, age or race,” Altobelli wrote in a separate message. “Our mission is to educate men and women, with no gender differences, to keep talking and living in the values of love, mutual comprehension and sensitivity in order to prevent all kinds of violence, against women against men, against children. As women, we have compassion and we feel empathy not for THE star, THE talent, THE actor but for a man, a father, a worker, A HUMAN. Mental Health is something we have to care about to live in a positive environment where women and men can love and respect each other without any kind of abuse and violence. We are human and we have to find the HUMANITY we are born to live for.”
The defamation lawsuit stems from a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which Heard claims to be a domestic abuse survivor. The piece, which was written by the ACLU, does not mention Depp by name, but his lawyers argue the piece severely harmed his career.
The trial is expected to conclude next week, with deliberations beginning after the holiday weekend.