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Amber Heard says she harbors no ‘ill will’ toward Johnny Depp

Amber Heard is interviewed by “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie about events related to the high-profile trial with Johnny Depp. (NBC News)
4 min

Two weeks after a jury found that Amber Heard defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp with a 2018 opinion article in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” Heard said on television that she fears “every step that I take will present another opportunity for this sort of silencing.”

“Which is what, I guess, a defamation lawsuit is meant to do,” she continued. “It’s meant to take your voice.”

Heard sat down with “Today” show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie for an extensive interview that aired over Tuesday and Wednesday mornings on NBC and will also be the focus of Friday’s “Dateline.” Guthrie has previously spoken to lawyers for both Heard and Depp on air and noted before the latter interview that her husband “has done consulting work” for the Depp lawyers, but not for that particular conversation.

Heard’s appearance on “Today” marks the first time the actress has spoken to the media about the verdict in the high-profile trial sparked by the defamation lawsuit Depp filed over the op-ed she published with The Washington Post. On June 1, Depp was awarded $15 million in damages. Heard received $2 million after the Fairfax County Circuit Court jury found former Depp lawyer Adam Waldman had defamed her.

In a portion of the conversation teased Monday, Heard pointed to the “hate and vitriol” she received during the trial and said, in response to fervent online support for Depp, that “even if you think 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.” In the extended interview, Heard told Guthrie that she knew she wasn’t a “likable” or “perfect victim.”

“But when I testified, I asked the jury to just see me as human,” Heard said.

Amber Heard says social media frenzy surrounding trial was not ‘fair’

Guthrie pressed Heard on several of her decisions related to the trial, including to write the op-ed after the resurgence of the #MeToo movement. The co-anchor asked whether Heard considered that it would be clear she was referring to Depp in the piece, despite not mentioning him by name. Heard responded that it was “important for me to not make it about him,” and said she had “teams of lawyers” review drafts of the op-ed to make sure she didn’t “do anything like defame him.”

Heard said that she didn’t intend for Depp to lose work as a result of the op-ed and that the reason she didn’t cooperate with police when officers were called to the residence during her marriage was because she “didn’t want to get him in trouble.” She also denied that she told TMZ when she would be going to the courthouse to get a restraining order against Depp.

“I love him,” Heard said. “I loved him with all my heart. And I tried the best I could to make a deeply broken relationship work. And I couldn’t. I have no bad feelings or ill will toward him at all. I know that might be hard to understand, or it might be really easy to understand if you’ve ever loved anyone.”

Last week, Depp lawyers Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez discussed the weeks-long trial on multiple morning shows. Chew said on “Good Morning America” that Depp was “over the moon” with the verdict. Vasquez said she didn’t think the outcome would discourage abuse victims from coming forward.

The day after the verdict, Heard lawyer Elaine Bredehoft said on multiple shows that Heard intended to appeal the verdict and “has some excellent grounds for it.” Bredehoft said that the verdict sent “a horrible message” and that “there were a lot of influences here that were beyond our control.”

Heard agreed with Bredehoft during her “Today” interview, especially regarding social media attacking her character. But Heard also said of the overall experience, “No matter what, it will mean something.”

She added, “I did the right thing.”