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Julia Fox sparks debate by saying Amber Heard was not ‘powerful’ enough to abuse Johnny Depp

Fox’s comments caused mixed reaction of support and criticism online

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 17 May 2022 05:53
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Julia Fox has sparked mixed reactions online after she defended Amber Heard amid her defamation trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp.

Heard is being sued by Depp for $50m for implying he abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. Although she didn’t name him, he claims her allegations impacted his ability to work. As court proceedings in the defamation trial resume after a week-long hiatus, the high profile lawsuit has gained massive attention from fans and celebrities, including Chris Rock and Depp’s ex-fiancé Jennifer Grey weighing in on the lawsuit.

Now, the Uncut Gems actress has shared her opinion on the lawsuit. In what appears to be an Instagram comment left under a social media post on 14 May, Fox claims that Heard could not have been abused by Depp because she was not in a position of physical or financial power over him.

“Wrong. She never had the power in the relationship to be abusive to him,” Fox commented. “Did she hit him? Yes. Was it abuse? No. You need to have power to be able to abuse it. She was 25. He clearly was always way more powerful including physically and financially.”

The comment sparked mixed reactions online after one Twitter user shared a screenshot from the Instagram post. “We love Julia Fox,” they wrote in a tweet that now has more than 24,000 likes.

Singer-songwriter Aubrey O’Day strongly disagreed with Fox’s opinion, referring to it as a “trash take”.

“Plenty of broke, short, skinny, non-famous people have abused their partner,” she replied to the tweet. “Abuse is simply cruel and violent treatment of a person.. power not being a necessary factor. less powerful ppl abuse their more powerful partner out of jealousy all the time.”

Journalist Taylor Lorenz agreed with Fox’s connection of abuse and power, adding that Heard “didn’t have the power” in her relationship with Depp. She tweeted: “I don’t think a lot of ppl don’t understand what abusive relationships actually look like. Julia Fox put it well tbh”.

However, many people believed that the comment perpetuated a stigma surrounding male survivors of domestic abuse. By claiming that Depp was more powerful in the relationship, social media users felt that it minimised his allegations of domestic violence.

“I just need to point out that her use of ‘physical strength’ as evidence that Johnny couldn’t have been abused is a common stigma in abuse cases but especially when it comes to male victims,” one person tweeted. “Domestic violence is NOT about size or strength, it’s about control.”

Another person tweeted: “This is why men don’t come forward when abused. What a bad take.”

Julia Fox has previously voiced her support for Amber Heard on social media, after the model posted another Instagram comment claiming that she is “so in love” with Heard and that the defamation lawsuit is a “sick way of still controlling her life”.

Fox, 32, is a mother to her one-year-old son Valentino. In a recent interview with the New Yorker, the Italian-American actress opened up about growing up in New York City, where she began working as a dominatrix in her last year of high school. Before becoming the star of 2019’s Uncut Gems, Fox had published her own art books, which detailed her experience with “abuse and addiction and sex work.”

“It felt good to pull this veil off my life,” she said about her art at the time. “Sure, it was bad, but it’s not, like, the worst.”

The Independent has contacted Julia Fox for comment.

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