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Amber Heard’s Sister Whitney Applauds Open Letter Supporting Actress: ‘The Tides Are Shifting’

Amber Heard's Sister Whitney Applauds Open Letter Supporting Actress: 'The Tides Are Shifting'

Amber Heard's Sister Whitney Applauds Open Letter Supporting Actress: 'The Tides Are Shifting'

Photo: Rod Lamkey/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty

Amber Heard‘s sister Whitney Henriquez is showing appreciation for a new open letter signed by over 140 experts and organizations condemning the ramifications of the Johnny Depp defamation verdict.

On Wednesday, an open letter was published — signed by figures like Gloria Steinem, Constance Wu and Allen v. Farrow director Amy Ziering plus groups like the National Women’s Law Center, Women’s March Foundation and more — stating: “We condemn the public shaming of Amber Heard and join in support of her. We support the ability of all to report intimate partner and sexual violence free of harassment and intimidation.”

Whitney, 34, reacted to the support on Instagram, saying it gave her “a much needed breath of fresh air” more than five months after the June 1 verdict.

“To simply say that my faith in humanity has been called into question since the trial/verdict would be a gross understatement,” she wrote. “Not only did it highlight some pretty f—ing major flaws in the judicial system, it also showed just how deeply misogynistic this world is and how harassment of anyone who speaks out or has a differing opinion is just simply accepted (just take a look at some of the comments on my posts, and undoubtedly this one 😂).”

Whitney shares two children with husband Gavin Henriquez: Hunter, who turns 4 next month, and Harlin Willow, 8 months. She continued in her post, “Its a world that I’m scared to raise my kids in, and every day it just seems harder and harder to navigate and deal with. Until today….”

Heard’s sister — who testified during the trial that Depp hit her and that she was later given an NDA to not mention it — concluded, “Seeing this letter signed by over 130 experts and organizations now was a much needed breath of fresh air. Finally, the tides are shifting… Finally! #istandwithamberheard.”

Johnny Depp testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, April 25, 2022. - Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Photo by Steve Helber / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images); Amber Heard arrives in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 3, 2022. - US actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Photo by JIM WATSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp testifies in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, April 25, 2022. - Actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Photo by Steve Helber / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEVE HELBER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images); Amber Heard arrives in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 3, 2022. - US actor Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse." (Photo by JIM WATSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Johnny Depp; Amber Heard.
Steve Helber/POOL/AFP/Getty; JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP/Getty

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At the highly publicized Virginia trial earlier this year, a seven-person jury found that Heard, 36, defamed ex-husband Depp, 59, in her 2018 op-ed about domestic violence, though she didn’t mention him by name in the article. He was awarded more than $10 million in damages. Additionally, Heard won one of her defamation counterclaims and was awarded $2 million. They are both appealing the verdicts.

This week’s open letter read, in part: “In our opinion, the Depp v. Heard verdict and continued discourse around it indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of intimate partner and sexual violence and how survivors respond to it. The damaging consequences of the spread of this misinformation are incalculable. We have grave concerns about the rising misuse of defamation suits to threaten and silence survivors.”

Amber Heard

Amber Heard

JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty

The letter concluded by condemning the “public shaming of Amber Heard” and adding, “We support the ability of all to report intimate partner and sexual violence free of harassment and intimidation.”

A source close to Depp told PEOPLE, “This was a six-week trial with extensive evidence, witnesses and key experts — all which were carefully considered by the jury when reaching their decision, unanimously ruling in Johnny’s favor. This exhausting effort to question the verdict months later is an insult to the jurors as well as to the justice system.”

RELATED VIDEO: Johnny Depp Appeals Amber Heard’s $2 Million Counterclaim Win, Argues Verdict Was ‘Erroneous’

In a statement after the verdict, Depp said the jury “gave me my life back.” He added at the time, “I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.”

Heard, meanwhile, said in her post-verdict statement that she was “disappointed with what this verdict means for other women,” calling it a “setback.”

In August, Whitney spoke out against the MTV Video Music Awards after Depp was given a cameo in the broadcast. (He also recently appeared in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Vol. 4 fashion show, streaming on Prime Video.) “@MTV you’re disgusting and clearly desperate! I really hope that none of the people that made this call have daughters…,” wrote Whitney. A spokesperson for the VMAs did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.