Amber Heard has appeared in an interview for the first time after the defamation trial verdict and has opened up with her views regarding the trial and her future plans for life. Hitting out and criticising Depp and his legal team for influencing the jury team and the public opinion with his outstanding acting skills, Heard states that she has no plans of going back on her claims. But the actress says despite all these claims and allegations, she still 'absolutely loves' her ex-hubsand.
Amber Heard Says She 'Still Loves' Johnny Depp Despite The Physical Abuse Claims
Amber Heard says she 'still loves' her ex-husband Johnny Depp despite making domestic violence claims against her - insisting that her lack of visible injuries does not mean that her claims were 'fake' or a 'hoax'.
The Aquaman actress has spoken up about the physical abuse that she suffered from at her husband's hands during a wide-ranging Today show interview with Savannah Guthrie - just days after she was found guilty of defaming Depp, 59, in a Washington Post op-ed in which she stated she was a survivor of 'domestic abuse'.
In the third part of the interview that is set to air on NBC Dateline on Friday, Heard criticized the trial when she was called out for 'lying' including the fake injury claims on her face and allegations with claims that she tipped off TMZ when she was planning to visit a courthouse in order to file a restraining order against her ex-husband.
She even criticized the claims that she had not honored the $3.5m that she committed to donate to ACLU and insisted that she had handed over from her $7 million divorce settlement, claiming that she had only ever meant to make that 'pledge over time'.
Talking about her future plans, she revealed that she plans on becoming a 'full-time mom' to her one-year-old daughter Oonagh Paige - hours after her team was force to deny rumors that the actress has been cut from her $2 million role in the Aquaman sequel.
Heard lost the defamation trial to her ex-husband Depp after a court ruled that she did defame her husband through her 2018 op-ed in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic violence.
Follwoing Depp's victory, the jury ordered Heard to pay Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, although the second payment was reduced to $350,000 per Virginia law by the judge. She was awarded a relatively paltry $2 million in compensatory damages, meaning that Depp walked away from the case with Heard owing him $8.35 million.
During her interview, Heard claimed that she still has feelings for her ex-husband, telling the interviewer, Guthrie that she 'absolutely still loves' Depp - even though she refused to walk back her allegations of abuse against him, saying that she will 'stand by every word of her testimony... until the day she dies'.
Jury found Depp victim in the defamation case and ruled in his favor after finding Heard guilty on three counts of defamation, but Heard refuses to take back her accusations of abuse against Depp. Inact, she has doubed down on them and accused Depp of 'lying' on the stand when he said that he 'never hit her'.
'He said he never hit you. Is that a lie?' Guthrie questioned, to which Heard responded bluntly: 'Yes it is.'
She added: 'To my dying day, I will stand by every word of my testimony.'
When asked by Guthrie whether she stands by a previous statement that she 'still loves' her ex-husband, Heard responded: 'Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. I love him. 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 towards 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.'
Though even though Heard says she still loves Depp but she is not willing to go back on her accusations of domestic violence.
'Again it is that thing: if you have bruising, if you have injuries, it is fake. If you don't have any, [then] you weren't injured,' she said of claims made by Depp's legal team that she faked bruises on her face and that she was seen multiple times in public in the hours and days after alleged instances of abuse without any visible injuries.
Guthrie also asked Heard about the audio clips that were presented as evidence in court in which the actress is heard admitting to physical abuse towards Depp. Heard insisted that she only ever 'responded to [physical violence]' but that she 'never instigated it'.
'I never had to instigate it, I responded to it,' she claimed. 'When you're living in violence and it becomes normal - as I testified to - you have to adapt.'
Heard added that, while she 'has so much regret' over the 'horrible' and 'ugly' things she did and said to Depp, she was only acting as a 'person in extreme emotional, psychological, and physical distress' who felt that their 'life was at risk'.
'I know much has been made of these audio tapes,' she said. 'They were first leaked online after being edited. What you would hear in these clips [was] not evidence of what was happening, it was evidence of a negotiation, of how to talk about that with your abuser.'
She continued: 'As I testified on the stand about it. 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 are in an abusive dynamic - psychologically, emotionally, and physically - you don't have the resources or the luxury of saying, "Hey this is black and white."
'Because it is anything but when you are living in it.'
The sit-in interview was prerecorded on Thursday and Heard flew in from New York on a private jet from Washington D.C. Heard accused the jurors in the trial of being duped by her ex-husband, branding him as nothing more than a 'fantastic actor' who 'convinced the world he had scissors for fingers', in a bizarre reference to his performance as Edward Scissorhands in Tim Burton's 1990 movie.
Heard also hit back at Guthrie, 50, when asked what she thought about allegations made by Depp's lawyer Camille Vasquez - who shot to online fame after her ferocious cross-examination of Heard on the stand - that she had been 'performing' on the stand and that she had lied about the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of the actor.
'Says the lawyer for the man who convinced the world he had scissors for fingers,' Heard hit back. 'I'm the performer? I had listened to weeks of testimony insinuating, or saying quite directly, that I'm a terrible actress. So I'm a bit confused how I could be both.'
Heard also didn't spare Depp's witnesses, branding them 'paid employees and randos' and accusing them of 'filing rank' and 'supporting the person they depend on'.
She accused Depp's lawyers, Vasquez and her associate Benjamin Chew, of using these witnesses to 'distract the jury from the real issues' during the trial, conceding that they had 'done a better job of that' than her own legal team.
'I'll put it this way, how could they make a judgment, how could they not come to that conclusion [that I couldn't be believed]?' she said. 'They had said 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.
'I don't blame them, I don't blame them, I actually understand, he's a beloved character and people feel that they know him. He's a fantastic actor.
'Again, how could they after listening to three and a half weeks of testimony about how I was an uncredible person and not to believe a word that came out of my mouth.'
The actress stressed during her interview that even though she may not have come across as being particularly 'likeable' on the stand or in the eyes of the public - while suggesting that this played a hand in the jury's final verdict.
'I'm not a good victim, I get it, I'm not a likeable victim, I'm not a perfect victim,' she said. 'But when I testified I asked the jury to just see me as human.'
Also, referring to the text that she had sent to Depp which was also read out in court and in which he vowed to 'globally humiliate her', Heard said that she feels her ex-husband 'has' achieved his promise.
The defamation trial went on for 6 weeks in Fairfax, Virginia and concluded on June 1. During the trial, Depp presented 38 witnesses from his side and Heard presented 24.
Both Depp and Heard gave evidence for four days each, including a forensic cross examination from the opposition lawyers – then both returned to the witness stand to testify a second time.
During the trial, social media was flooded with support for both sides with the majority supporting Depp. Hashtags in support of Depp also went viral with more than 20.6 billion views on TikTok, while the #JusticeForAmberHeard tag had a relatively low 92.4 million views.
Heard, who says she was subjected to 'hate and vitriol' online throughout the trial and in the wake of the verdict, doubled down on claims previously made by her lawyer that the trial was biased by social media campaigns, with the Aquaman actress branding the final verdict 'unfair'.
'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 that you think on social media there's been a fair representation,' she said. 'You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.'
But despite insisting that social media played a key role in the outcome of the trial, Heard claimed that she isn't taking any negative public opinions about her 'personally', insisting that she 'doesn't care what anyone thinks about her'.
'I don't care what anyone 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,' she told Guthrie. 'I don't presume the average person should know those things so I don't take it personally.'
Guthrie also asked Heard about her commitment made to the ACLU from her $7 million divorce settlement from Depp, she insisted that she still plans to 'honor' that payment, but that she had never intended to make it seem as though it had already been made, despite her statement to the British high court during a previous court case that she 'had donated' the money.
'I made a pledge and that pledge is made over time by its nature,' she said, before faltering slightly when asked if she thought the jury felt she had been caught out in a lie.
'I don't know... I feel like so much of the trial was meant to cast dispersions on who I am as a person, my credibility, to call me a liar in every way you can.'
She also sensationally claimed that - despite testifying in her UK trial that she had donated the money before being forced to reveal that was not in fact the case - that false narrative shouldn't have impacted her testimony on the stand, or the jury's opinion of her.
'This is another one of the examples where if you pull back and you think about it, I shouldn't have to have donated it in an effort to be believed. I shouldn't have had to earmark the entirety of it,' she said.
Heard was forced to admit during the former couple's defamation trial that she had not completed her $3.5 million donation to the ACLU, despite having previously stated on several occasions, including under oath in 2020 during her and Depp's libel case in the UK, that she'd made the contribution.
The actress appeared on Dutch talk show RTL Late Night in 2018 where she said, '$7million in total was donated - I split it between the ACLU and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. I wanted nothing.'
On June 1, Heard confessed to the court that she plans on fulfilling her commitment and is yet to make the full donation 'because Johnny sued me for $50 million in March of 2019.
Heard said, 'I fully intend to honor all of my pledges. I would love for him to stop suing me so I can.'
Terence Dougherty, the ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, testified earlier in the case and said that so far only a total of $1.3million has either been donated by Heard or on her behalf.
Of that money, Heard contributed $350,000 directly in December 2018 and she has not paid any money since. $100,000 was paid by Depp and another $350,000 came from a fund at Fidelity, an investment company.
Another $500,000 payment came from an account at investment firm Vanguard, which Dougherty said he 'believed it was a fund set up by Elon Musk.'
Heard's lawyer Elaine Bredehoft asked why Heard accepted a $7million settlement from Depp.
Heard said: 'I didn't care about the money. I was told if I didn't agree to a number it could be overturned, we would never settle. I took far less than what they were offering and what I was entitled to.'
Heard said she donated the money to charity because she was 'never interested in Johnny's money.'
She said 'I just wanted my safety and my future and he compromised that….I wanted him to leave me alone. I've been saying that since 2016.'
HEARD CLAIMS HER WASHINGTON POST OP-ED WAS NOT MEANT TO 'CANCEL' DEPP - AND ADMITS SHE IS 'SCARED' HE COULD SUE HER AGAIN FOR CONTINUING TO PUBLICLY ACCUSE HIM OF ABUSE
Heard - who tied the knot with Depp in 2015 before filing for divorce in 2016 - went on to insist that the op-ed she penned about surviving domestic abuse was never meant to 'cancel' him or destroy his career.
'The op-ed wasn't about my relationship with Johnny,' she claimed, insisting that her decision to publish the piece was only ever intended to provide support to others involved in the #MeToo movement. 'You know what, the op-ed was about me loaning my voice to a bigger cultural conversation that we were having at the time.
'Of course [I didn't want for Johnny to be canceled]. It wasn't about him.'
She added that she'd had a 'team of lawyers' look over the op-ed, which did not mention Depp by name, before it was published in order to ensure that she couldn't be accused of 'defaming' her former spouse, saying: 'I obviously knew it was important for me not to make it about him.'
Meanwhile, the internet is confused over Heard's claims and is criticizing the actress for her double-meaning messages to the world
Talking about her future plans, Heard says she plans on becoming a full-time parent for her daughter Oonagh Paige, who was born via surrogate in April 2021.
'I get to be a mom. Full time. [Without having] to juggle calls from lawyers,' she said.
The actress neglected to say whether she has plans to try and return to the screen - just hours after she was forced to deny rumors that she has been dropped from the Aquaman sequel.
On Tuesday, Just Jared reported that Heard - who has already completed filming on the sequel to the 2018 sci-fi movie in which she starred alongside Jason Momoa - had officially been dropped from Aquaman 2, alleging that Warner Bros 'screentested the movie', which is due to premiere in December, and concluded that Heard's scenes should be reshot with another actress.
'Warner Bros. decided to recast Amber Heard's role after screentesting the movie,' a source claimed to the website. 'They are going to be doing reshoots with [her former co-stars] Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman.'