In May, a jury in Fairfax, Va., ruled in favour of Depp, 58, deciding he had in fact been defamed in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed penned by Heard, 36. The jury awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages (all U.S. dollars).
Heard was also awarded a partial win, receiving $2 million for a 2016 statement by Depp’s former lawyer and press agent that the jury found to be false and defamatory.
Heard sat for an interview with NBC’s Today show host Savannah Guthrie to discuss the verdict, the trial proceedings and the role of social media in forming an overwhelmingly pro-Depp public opinion.
On social media platforms like TikTok, most users are vehemently against Heard. As of June 13, the #justiceforjohnnydepp has over 20.7 billion views, while #justiceforamberheard has 92.4 million.
“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,” Heard said. “You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
The Aquaman actor added that she is not offended by much of the public’s resentment for her.
“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,” Heard said. “I don’t presume the average person should know these things. And so I don’t take it personally.”
In the interview, Heard adds that she does not “blame” the jury for unanimously siding with Depp.
“I don’t blame them,” she said. “I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
In an additional statement from a spokesperson for Amber Heard, the actor explained her reasoning for appearing on the Today show.
“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 statement read. On Wednesday, Depp released his first TikTok, thanking his “most treasured, loyal and unwavering supporters.”
“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,” Heard’s statement concluded.
On June 2, Heard’s lawyer confirmed she would be appealing the verdict, claiming that Depp’s legal team had “demonized” Heard in the public and suppressed evidence in court.
The Today interview with Amber Heard will air Tuesday and Wednesday. An hour-long special will also air Friday on Dateline.
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