In her first public interview since losing the defamation case brought against her by ex-husband Johnny Depp, Amber Heard has asserted that not only will she “stand by every word of my testimony to my dying day”, but also that she believes a lack of “fair representation” for her case on social media played an influential role on the jury.
Heard spoke to her post-verdict feelings during a recent sit-down interview conducted by NBC News anchor Savannah Guthrie, which is set to air in two-parts on June 14th-15th, 2022.
In a clip shared by the Today Show ahead of the interview’s airing, Guthrie can be seen asking Heard, “Do you stand by your testimony and your accusations against Johnny Depp about abuse?”, to which the actress replied, “Of course, to my dying day, will stand by every word of my testimony.”
“I think a vast majority of this trial was played out on social media,” she said. “I think that this trial is an example of that gone haywire, gone amuck.”
Pressed by Guthrie for her thoughts on whether or not “the jury saw” the social media attention surrounding the trial, Heard asserted, “How could they not? I think even the most well-intentioned juror, it would’ve been impossible to avoid this.”
“Every single day I passed for three, four, sometimes six blocks, city blocks lined with people holding signs saying ‘burn the witch’, ‘death to amber’,” she recalled. “After three-and-a-half weeks, I took the stand and saw just a courtroom packed full with Captain Jack Sparrow fans, who were vocal, energized.”
She added, “This was the most humiliating and horrible thing I have ever been through.I have never felt more removed from my own humanity. I felt less than human.”
Turning to “the day of the verdict”, Guthrie inquired as to whether Heard was feeling “confident” that morning, to which she conceded, “That’s a great question. I wish I could say yes to that. I want to say yes to you, but it wouldn’t be true.”
“I don’t care what one thinks about me, or what judgements you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home in my own marriage behind closed doors,” Heard continued, as per a separate clip uploaded by the Today Show. “I don’t presume the average person should know those things, and so I don’t take it personally, but even somebody who is sure I am 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,” she declared.
Guthrie then pushed back, “There’s 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.”
“How could…I’ll put it this way, how could they not come to that conclusion?” Heard countered. “They had sat in those seats and heard over three weeks of non-stop relentless testimony from paid employees and towards the end of the trial ‘randos’, as I say.”
“So you don’t blame the jury?” asked Guthrie in turn.
“I don’t blame them,” Heard began. “It wasn’t – I don’t blame them. I actually understand, he’s a beloved character, and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
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However, this response drew another interjection from Guthrie, who affirmed that the jury’s “job is to not be dazzled by that. Their job is to look at the facts and the evidence. And they did not believe your testimony or your evidence.”
“Again, how could they, after listening to three and a half weeks of testimony, about how I was a non-credible person, not to believe a word that came out of my mouth?” defended Heard.
Heard then attempted to, as her lawyers did throughout the trial, frame her accusations against Depp as being about “our first amendment right to speak,” though Guthrie was again quick to point out the obvious flaws in her claim.
“Here’s the thing about the first amendment,” said the anchor. “The first amendment protects free speech. It doesn’t protect lies that amount to defamation.”
“Yes, exactly,” Heard scrambled to recover. “Free speech does not protect you if you go into a crowded theater and you scream fire. We get the concept of free speech from the Greeks. My understanding of what that means is not just the freedom to speak, it’s the freedom to speak truth to power.”
“But truth is the word,” Guthrie once again clarified. “And that was the issue.”
“And that’s all I spoke,” she maintained, echoing the very op-ed which landed her in hot water in the first place. “And I spoke it to power and I paid the price.”
Guthrie next asked Heard for her thoughts on the closing argument assessment by Depp’s lawyer, the recently-made-partner Brown Rudnick LLP attorney Camille Vasquez, that her testimony was “the performance of a lifetime and [that] you were acting”.
“Says the lawyer for the man who convinced the world he had scissors for fingers?” the Aquaman actress snapped back. “I’m the performer? I had listened to weeks of testimony insinuating that or saying quite directly that I’m a terrible actress, so I’m a bit confused how I could be both.”
The NBC anchor then moved to the argument made by Depp’s legal team that Heard was the actual abusive partner and asked whether or not she ever, as claimed, “instigated physical violence.”
“I never had to instigate it,” denied Heard. “I responded to it. When you’re living in violence and it becomes normal, as I testified to, you have to adapt.”
“You say you were responding,” Guthrie interrupted, “but there is evidence, there are tapes, in which you acknowledge hitting, there are tapes in which you say ‘I started the fight’.”
“I know much has been made of these audio tapes,” Heard said before attempting to claim that the recordings were taken out of context. “They were first leaked online after being edited. What you would hear in those clips are not evidence of what was happening, it was a negotiation of how to talk about that with your abuser.”
Unphased, Guthrie posited, “But I am looking at a transcript that says, ‘He says ‘You start physical fights,’ And you say, ‘I did start a physical fight. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again.”
“I mean, This is in black and white,” she told Heard. “I understand context. But you’re testifying, and you’re telling me today, ‘I never started a physical fight,’ and here you are on tape saying you did.”
“As I testified on the stand about this,” Heard recalled, “when your life is at risk, not only will you take the blame for things that you shouldn’t take the blame for but when you’re in an abusive dynamic, psychologically, emotionally and physically, you don’t have the resources that, say, you or I do, with the luxury of saying, ‘Hey, this is black and white,’ because it’s anything but when you’re living in it.”
Continuing to hold Heard accountable, Guthrie further questioned, “But then there’s other times, there’s another tape where you’re taunting him and saying, ‘Oh, tell the world, Johnny Depp, I, a man, am a victim of domestic violence.’”
“Twenty-second clips or the transcripts of them are not representative of even the two hours or the three hours that those clips are excerpt [sic] from,” Heard bizarrely argued in response.
To this, Guthrie followed-up, “Could your side have just put the whole three hours in then?”
“I’m not a lawyer,” the actress deflected. “As I testified to, I was talking in those recordings as a person in an extreme amount of emotional, psychological, and physical distress.”
Redirecting her line of inquiry, Guthrie next asked Heard, “[Depp] said he never hit you. Is that a lie?”, drawing a confident reply of “Yes it is” from the actress.
“What about the witnesses who say they have seen you instigate physical violence?” Guthrie pushed.
“I’ve seen first hand how people will file rank and support the people they depend on,” accused Heard.
Pressing further, Guthrie confronted, “Did they all come in and lie in court?”
“I’m not here to call any of his witnesses any names,” Heard backpedalled, “I’m here to talk about what it felt like for me as a person who sat there.”
In the final exchange of the initial clip shared by the Today Show, Guthrie touched upon one of the trial’s most discussed aspects: Heard’s seeming inability to take responsibility for her actions.
“When I asked [Depp’s] lawyers ‘Why do you think you won?’, the answer I got was, ‘Because she never took responsibility for anything she did in the marriage,’” Guthrie informed Heard.
“I did do and say horrible, regrettable things throughout my relationship,” the actress replied. “I behaved in horrible, almost uncrecognizable to myself ways. I have so much regret. I’ve openly and voluntarily talked about what I did. I’ve talked about the horrible language, I’ve talked about being pushed to the extent where I didn’t know the difference between right and wrong.”
“I will always continue to feel like I was a part of this, like I was the other half of this relationship, because I was,” she added. “And it was ugly. And could be very beautiful. It was very very toxic. We were awful to each other.”
“You know I made a lot of mistakes,” Heard concluded. “A lot of mistakes, but I’ve always told the truth.”
As noted above, Guthrie’s full interview with Heard will air across two separate broadcasts beginning on June 14th and concluding the next day.
What do you make of this first look at Heard’s first post-verdict interview? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!