Phoebe Burgess calls out Johnny Depp amid Amber Heard defamation trial

Ex-WAG Phoebe Burgess said she felt obliged to comment on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation as things took a nasty turn in her personal life.

The ex-wife of a prominent NRL player has weighed into the Johnny Heard and Amber Heard dispute saying the Pirates of the Caribbean star has succeeded in ensuring “women won’t be believed”.

Phoebe Burgess, the ex-wife of former South Sydney player, Sam Burgess, took to Instagram late on Sunday to argue the shocking public reaction to the trial will stop other victims coming forward.

Depp, 56, is suing his ex-wife for US$50 million ($A72m), alleging she defamed him in her 2018 washington post op-ed in which she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse.

Heard, 36, is countersuing for US$100 million ($A144m), claiming Depp defamed her when he said she was lying about her abuse allegations.

Australian ex-WAG Phoebe said on the social media platform that the case, and the way Heard is being treated, could put other women off pursuing domestic violence allegations.

“If any of you have been feeling uncomfortable about the way Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard has been portrayed and consumed: I hear you, sister,” Phoebe said in the post.

“This man [Depp] took this legal action – demanding $100 million – after a UK judge found he was a ‘wife beater’,” Phoebe continued.

In 2020, Depp lost a defamation case against The Sun newspaper which had called him a “wife beater”. Heard was the star witness with the UK judge saying she was beaten on 12 out of 14 claimed occasions.

“If his mission was to send a signal to all the abusers and misogynists out there that women won’t be believed, he’s succeeded,” wrote Phoebe.

“Victims are having one of their worst fears reinforced … ‘nobody will believe me’.

“And when it comes to leaving, I fear women are thinking … ‘maybe he’ll do a Depp on me’.”

Accompanying her words was a screenshot of the a message from a troll had been private messaged to Phoebe over Instagram.

The message called her an “absolute loser”, “Australia’s very own Amber Heard,” and said her kids would despise her.

Those comments appeared to be in reference to Burgess’ allegations in 2020, where she alleged she was a victim of domestic violence during her four-year marriage with Sam Burgess.

Burgess was stood down from his position as an assistant coach at South Sydney in October 2020 after Phoebe made allegations of domestic violence and drug use.

The Rabbitohs player denied all allegations and any wrongdoing.

The Rabbitohs player was cleared of the charges and the NRL reinstated him in his role. Phoebe slammed the decision to bring her husband back into the club as “appalling”.

The NRL star admitted to an affair as well as driving while using drugs.

“They found cocaine in my system while I was driving my car. Pretty embarrassing. Pretty embarrassed about that,” Sam Burgess said in an interview this year.

“The last 18 months, I felt like a loser. My marriage broke down. I’d just retired from sport. My ex father-in-law had taken an AVO against me. Two days after I retired, I separated my marriage.”

The couple share has son Billy, 3, and daughter Poppy, 5.

In a reply to the abusive message she received on Instagram, Phoebe said: “I hope by the time my children are safely to a point where they are old enough to despise anything in this world, they despise only how we used to treat the issue of abuse …”

World’s horrible reaction to Amber Heard

Memes and videos flooding social media making mock of 36-year-old Heard have outraged domestic violence victim help services.

On Instagram and Twitter, hashtags referring to Heard as “Amber Turd”, a “liar” and a “gold digger” have been making the rounds.

On YouTube, under lifestreams from the courtroom, viewers have accused the Aquaman star of being “manipulative, calculating, and quite possibly a con artist”.

And TikTok fares no better, with one viral clip on the platform, directed at Heard, declaring: “He could have killed you, he had every right.”

On the penultimate day of the defamation trial, Amber Heard revealed that she had received thousands of death threats, with some trolls even threatening to murder her baby.

“People want to kill me, and they tell me so every day. People want to kill my baby in the microwave, and they tell me that,” Heard said to jurors.

“I receive hundreds of death threats regularly, if not daily. Thousands since this trial started.”

Heard has a one-year-old daughter, Oonagh Paige Heard.

CEO of Full Stop Australia, Hayley Foster, previously called social media commentary around the trial “extremely distressing”.

“Not only for Heard, but for any victim-survivor observing and seeing the attack that happens when someone speaks about the abuse they have experienced,” she told news.com.au.

— With Rebekah Scanlan

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