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Amber Heard told Savannah Guthrie of the “Today Show” that she doesn’t “blame” the jury for unanimously finding that she had defamed her ex-husband Johnny Depp and awarding him more than $10 million in damages.
“I don’t blame them,” she said in the teaser, wearing a green blouse and her hair down. “I actually understand. He is a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
NBC released the two-minute clip from the blockbuster interview set to air on Tuesday, Wednesday and in a one-hour special on “Dateline” Friday. It is the first time Heard has spoken publicly since the devastating loss.
Guthrie did not hold back. “There is no polite way to say it. The jury looked at the evidence you presented, they listened to your testimony, and they did not believe you. They thought you were lying,” the journalist said.
“How could they not come to that conclusion,” Heard replied calmly. “They had sat in those seats and heard over three weeks of nonstop, relentless testimony from paid employees, and toward the end of the trial, randos.”
Heard was referring to strangers who came forward toward the end of the trial to testify on behalf of Depp – including a luxury trailer park owner and a TMZ field producer.
After a six-week trial in Virginia, a seven-panel jury awarded Depp $10.35 million in damages, finding that Heard had defamed him when she wrote a 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post identifying herself as a domestic abuse victim.
Amber Heard, right, and her sister Whitney Heard, second to left, depart the Fairfax County Courthouse on June 1, 2022 in Fairfax, Virginia after she lost her ex-husband’s defamation case against her. (Photo by Rod Lamkey/Consolidated News Pictures)
She did not refer to Depp by name in the piece. Heard countersued her ex-husband, alleging he had defamed her through his attorney, Adam Waldman, by calling her abuse allegations a hoax. In a token victory, the jury awarded her $2 million in damages for a single statement Waldman made to the press.
The “Aquaman” actress endured hundreds of Depp fans cheering the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor and booing her as they entered the Fairfax County Courthouse each day. She was also subjected to relentless ridicule on social media.
“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 and my marriage behind closed doors,” she told Guthrie. “I don’t presume the average person should know those things, so I don’t take it personally.”
A photo combination of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in court May 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)
She continued, “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 has been a fair representation. You cannot tell me that this has been fair.”
Depp has yet to give a public interview but his attorneys, Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez, spoke to “Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos last week, which Heard’s team criticized as taking a “victory lap.”
A spokesperson for Heard issued a statement Monday morning defending the actress’s decision to give the lengthy interview.
“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,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement. “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.”
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to email@example.com and @ReRosenberg.