Amber Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez is slamming MTV for featuring Johnny Depp in the 2022 Video Music Awards just under three months after the verdict in the Virginia defamation trial.
During the Sunday night live broadcast, Depp, 59, appeared as the awards show’s Moon Person in a pre-recorded bit with his face digitally superimposed into the helmet of the floating figure. He told the audience at one point, “And you know what? I needed the work,” while hovering inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In a joint post between his Instagram account and MTV’s official page, a clip of the moment was shared with the caption, “guess who? #VMAs.” Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman — the subject of Heard’s three defamation countersuit claims, which she won one of and was awarded $2 million in damages — commented on the post with a celebratory raising-hands emoji.
Following the surprise inclusion of Depp in the show, Whitney, 34, reacted on her Instagram Story, sharing the message “I stand with Amber Heard” and a graphic that renamed the event the “DVMA’s,” a seeming reference to domestic violence.
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“@MTV you’re disgusting and clearly desperate! I really hope that none of the people that made this call have daughters…,” she wrote.
Reps for Depp, Heard and the VMA’s did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
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On June 1, the jury in Fairfax County, Virginia, found that Heard, 36, defamed Depp in her 2018 op-ed about domestic violence and abuse, though she did not mention him by name in the article. He was awarded more than $10 million in damages. She is now appealing the verdict, and he is appealing her countersuit win.
That trial outcome came a year and a half after Depp lost a libel case in the UK over a newspaper referring to him as a “wife beater.” The London judge upheld the outlet’s claims as being “substantially true,” and in March 2021, Depp’s attempt to overturn that decision was overruled.
After the recent Virginia verdict, Depp said in a statement that the jury “gave me my life back” and the “best is yet to come” for him. Heard, meanwhile, called it a “setback” for women who speak out. Her sister, who tested on her behalf during the trial and was present in the courtroom when the verdict was read, also spoke out at the time.
“I still stand with you, sissy. Yesterday, today and tomorrow I will always be proud of you for standing up for yourself, for testing both here in Virginia and in the UK, and for being the voice of so many who can’t speak to the things that happen behind closed doors,” wrote Henriquez.
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“We knew that this was going to be an uphill battle and that the cards were stacked against us,” she continued. “But you stood up and spoke out regardless. I am so honored to testify for you, and I would do it a million times over because I know what I saw and because the truth is forever on your side.”
She concluded, “I’m so sorry that it wasn’t reflected in the decision made by this jury, but I will never give up on you, and neither will anyone who stands with you. Forever by your side… #istandwithamberheard.”
Depp is currently set to star as King Louis XV in the upcoming period drama Jeanne du Barry, and he will be directing a movie co-produced by Al Pacino. Heard will appear in the superhero sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdomwhich recently had its release date delayed until December 2023.