Amber Heard is speaking out about the verdict determined in Johnny Depp’s favour in their defamation lawsuit.
Heard joined NBC’s Savannah Guthrie in her first interview since the trial ended earlier this month.
Their conversation will air Tuesday and Wednesday on Today and Friday on a special episode of Dateline. In a preview released Monday (June 13), the Aquaman star tells Guthrie, “How could (the jury) not come to that conclusion?… I don’t blame them.”
On June 1, Depp won the defamation lawsuit he filed accusing Heard of defaming the Pirates Of The Caribbean star in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, with a Virginia jury awarding him more than US$10mil in damages and vindicating his stance that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by Depp before and during their brief marriage.
Heard also partially won her countersuit over comments made by Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman when he called her abuse allegations a hoax. The jury awarded her US$2mil in damages.
“I actually understand,” the actress says of the verdict in the Dateline preview clip.
She adds: “He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
Heard also addressed critics and the role of social media in the trial.
“I don’t care what one thinks about me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home, in my marriage, behind closed doors.
“I don’t presume the average person should know those things. And so I don’t take it personally,” she says, adding, “But even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation.
“You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
A spokesperson for Heard tells USA Today the actress decided to sit down with Guthrie after “Johnny Depp’s legal team blanketed the media for days after the verdict with numerous statements and interviews on television, and Depp himself did the same on social media”.
“Ms Heard simply intended to respond to what they aggressively did last week; she did so by expressing her thoughts and feelings, much of which she was not allowed to do on the witness stand,” the spokesperson adds.
Johnny Depp’s attorneys discuss the trial on Today show and Good Morning America.
Depp’s attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew appeared on Today and Good Morning America to discuss the outcome of the trial.
Guthrie said in a disclosure before the episode: “My husband (Michael Feldman) has done consulting work for the Depp legal team, but not in connection with this interview.”
Vasquez addressed another libel case that took place in a London courtroom in the summer of 2020 in which Depp lost.
He had sued the publisher of The Sun tabloid for defaming him by labelling him a “wife beater” without adding “accused.”
Heard was the tabloid’s star witness.
The attorney said the difference of judgment in the Virginia trial came down to the fact that it is a “different process” in London.
“The overwhelming evidence that was presented in this case in Virginia, far exceeded what was presented in the U.K. and we believe the jury got it right,” she said.
Depp’s attorney Chew countered the suggestion that jurors were swayed by online chatter despite being advised not to look at the case outside of the courtroom.
“My view is that social media played no role whatsoever,” he said on GMA.
On Today, he added: “I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that the jurors violated their oath,” noting it was “disappointing to hear” Heard’s attorney Elaine Bredehoft make that claim.
Heard’s legal counsel and her supporters have also argued that the verdict is a setback to the #MeToo movement and impedes women from coming forward with sexual assault allegations.
In a statement to USA Today, Heard said she was disappointed and “heartbroken” by the verdict.
“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback,” she said.
“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.”
Vasquez decried the suggestion during her daytime interviews.
“We’re here to talk about the case that we tried, right? We encourage all victims to come forward and have their day in court, which is exactly what happened in this case,” she told Guthrie.
Vasquez added on GMA: “Domestic violence doesn’t have a gender.” – USA Today/Tribune News Service