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#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Says Movement Remains 'Very Much Alive' Despite Johnny Depp Verdict

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#MeToo's originator Tarana Burke is confident the movement will persist regardless of the verdict reached in the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard defamation case.

On Wednesday, a seven-person jury consisting of five men and two women found both Depp and Heard liable for defamation but sided mostly with Depp. He was awarded $10.35 million in damages, while she got $2 million. Depp and his fans celebrated the verdict, with the actor saying the "jury gave me my life back" in a statement. Heard called the decision a "setback" for women; her lawyer said the actresses plans to appeal the verdict.

Some people on social media, in their reactions to the news Wednesday afternoon, claimed the verdict signaled an end to the #MeToo era. However, activist/author Burke, who founded the movement back in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence and abuse share their stories, said in a statement on Twitter that it's "very much alive" still.

"The 'me too' movement isn't dead, this system is dead," she wrote. "This is the same legal system that y'all have been relying on for justice and accountability for decades to no avail. When you get the verdict you want, 'the movement works' - when you don't, it's dead."

"When [Harvey] Weinstein went to jail it was, 'me too is winning!' When [Bill] Cosby came home it was, 'What a blow, me too is losing!' " she continued. "In the meantime - millions of people who have never been able to utter the words 'it happened to me' have released the shame that wasn't theirs to carry in the first place, we have built the country's first political agenda created solely by Survivors, and for the first time since Anita Hill took the stand three decades ago we've had a sustained national dialogue about, not just sexual harassment, but the spectrum of sexual violence in this country."

She added, "That's in addition to various laws and policies passed, etc. This movement is very much ALIVE."

Burke said it's become "sport" for some to try to halt the movement and or minimize it simply to a hashtag. "You all want to play ping pong and have your way with the hashtag because it doesn't mean anything to you so you try to kill it every few months. But it means something to millions and millions of folks. It means freedom. It means community. It means safety. It means power."

"You can't kill us. We are beyond the hashtag," she concluded. "We are a movement."

RELATED: Verdict in Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard Defamation Case Is 'Strange' and 'Unexpected,' Legal Experts Say

Tarana Burke, amber heard, johnny depp
Tarana Burke, amber heard, johnny depp

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty; JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP/Getty

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In the Depp v. Heard trial, the jurors found that Heard, 36, defamed her ex-husband Depp, 58, in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed that didn't mention him by name. In it, she wrote that she "became a public figure representing domestic abuse" and "felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out."

Heard was in the courtroom when the verdict was revealed, but Depp was not. Instead, he's been touring overseas at concerts in the U.K. with Jeff Beck. She said in her statement, "The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I'm heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband."

RELATED: What Happens If Amber Heard Can't Pay $10.35 Million Damages to Johnny Depp

Amber Heard reacts next to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft after the jury announced split verdicts in favor of both her ex-husband Johnny Depp and Heard
Amber Heard reacts next to her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft after the jury announced split verdicts in favor of both her ex-husband Johnny Depp and Heard

EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty

"I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback," she added. "It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously."

"I believe Johnny's attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the U.K.," she continued. "I'm sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly."

In his post-verdict message, Depp said, in part, "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."