Nino Muñoz/GQ Australia
Amber Heard didn't set out to become a role model.
But, like it or not, she inspired many women to speak out against powerful men when she divorced one of the biggest movie stars, Johnny Depp, in May 2016. In court documents, she alleged Depp had been "verbally and physically abusive," which he denied through his lawyer. After months of legal proceedings, they reached a settlement and issued a joint statement, insisting their "relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love." As part of the settlement, Heard also received $7 million from Depp, which she promised to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles in 2018.
Heard was named GQ Australia's Woman of the Year, and she appears on its December cover; Ansel Elgort, Flume, Jeff Goldblum and A$AP Rocky appear on the other four magazine covers. Without citing her divorce specifically, GQ editor Mike Christensen asks, "Given what you've been through, is it difficult to appreciate that you're a role model to young men and women?"
The actress, who appears in Justice League, sees both sides. "I feel incredibly fortunate that I'm in a position where I could be of any help. At times it's a burden to consider that your life is no longer just yours and it's not private. It can be hard to know that you can't function in full—that anonymity is no longer a valid goal and that your actions and words, whether they're done on a red carpet or in the most intimate corners of your personal life, to know that those aren't fully yours anymore. That's a difficult realization to come to when it does hit you. It's severe but you grow and move on from that, and on balance, I take into consideration all of the incredible fortune I have being in this position," Heard, 31, explains. "It's hard to stay mad at it for long."