- The full version of Amber Heard’s interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie aired Friday.
- Heard said she is “terrified” that Johnny Depp might sue her again following their defamation trial.
- “I took for granted what I assumed my right to speak,” the actor said.
Amber Heard said she’s nervous about what she can publicly say after a Virginia jury found her liable for defaming her ex-husband Johnny Depp after weeks of sensational testimony in the highly-publicized trial.
In a Friday NBC “Dateline” interview with “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie, Heard said she was “terrified” that Depp might sue her for defamation again if she continues speaking about the trial.
“I took for granted what I assumed was my right to speak. I’m scared that no matter what I do or what I say or how I say it — 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 — to take your voice,” Heard said.
At the center of the defamation trial, which played out in a Virginia court earlier this year, was a 2018 Washington Post op-ed in which Heard implied she was a survivor of sexual and domestic violence and the vitriol she said she received as a result of speaking publicly about it. The piece did not name Depp, but he responded by taking Heard to court, accusing his ex-wife of ruining his reputation and career by insinuating in the op-ed that he abused her.
Heard countersued for $100 million, alleging that Depp assaulted her before and during their marriage, which ended in divorce in 2016. Depp denied the claims.
The jury ultimately found both Heard and Depp liable for defaming each other, though the verdict was undeniably a win for Depp, who was awarded $15 million in damages compared to Heard’s $2 million payout.
In her first primetime interview following the verdict, Heard told Guthrie that she stands by “every word” of her testimony and will do so until her “dying day.” But the actor said Depp’s numerous fans in attendance at the trial often made testifying difficult.
“In the courtroom, I am testifying about sexual assault and violence in front of a jury in a packed courtroom of people who are expressing their disdain for me,” she told Guthrie.
Heard said barricades had to be established outside of the courthouse for her safety, due to crowds of “Captain Jack Sparrow” fans stationed outside the building each day.
The trial inspired outsized internet engagement — the vast majority of which seemed to be support for Depp. Heard said in her interview that she doesn’t “blame” the jury for their verdict in the case.
“I’m not a good victim, I get it. I’m not a likable victim. I’m not a saint,” she said. “I’m not asking anyone to like me.”
But Heard said she fears the outcome may have a “chilling” effect for domestic violence survivors.
“What I learned in that trial is it’s never going to be good enough. If you have proof, then it was a scheme, it was a hoax,” she said. “If you don’t have proof, it didn’t happen.”
A spokesperson for Depp responded to Heard’s interview by accusing her of “re-litigating” the case in the media.
“It’s unfortunate that while Johnny is looking to move forward with his life, the defendant and her team are back to repeating, reimagining and re-litigating matters that have already been decided by the Court and a verdict that was unanimously and unequivocally decided by a jury in Johnny’s favor,” the representative told Insider.
Heard told Guthrie that she plans to appeal her case and is focused on being a mother to her young daughter.