Actor Amber Heard says she does not blame the jury deciding against her in the defamation lawsuit brought by ex-husband Johnny Depp, but that the "hate and vitriol" spewed online against her was undeserved.
"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," the "Aquaman" star, 36, said in a preview Monday of an interview running Tuesday and Wednesday on NBC's "Today," with additional portions Friday on a special edition of "Dateline NBC." "I don't presume the average person should know those things. And so I don't take it personally," Heard 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's been a fair representation," she went on. "You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
On June 1, a Virginia jury determined that Heard had defamed Depp in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she in which she described herself as "a public figure representing domestic abuse" without stating his name. Heard said of the jury's decision, "How could they not come to that conclusion? They had sat in those seats and heard over three weeks of nonstop, relentless testimony from paid employees and, towards the end of the trial, randos, as I say," without further specification.
She added, "I don't blame them. I actually understand. He's a beloved character and people feel they know him. He's a fantastic actor."
When interviewer Savannah Guthrie responded that juries are tasked to not be "dazzled" in that way, Heard replied, "Again, how could they [have decided otherwise] after listening to three and a half weeks of testimony about how I was a noncredible person, not to believe a word that came out of my mouth?"
Depp, 59, has not commented publicly on the "Today" interview. Heard's spokesperson said Monday in a statement, "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."
An editor’s note appended June 2 to Heard's 2018 op-ed says Heard was found "liable on three counts for the following statements, which Depp said were false and defamatory: (1) 'I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.' (2) 'Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture's wrath for women who speak out.' (3) 'I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.' The jury separately found that Depp, through his lawyer Adam Waldman, defamed Heard in one of three counts in her countersuit."