Amber Heard says she doesn’t ‘blame’ jury after defamation verdict

Amber Heard is ready to talk about the Johnny Depp defamation trial verdict.

The Aquaman actress, 36, sat down for an interview with NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie and it will air Tuesday and Wednesday on today as well as during a Friday dateline special

In the preview, Heard says she doesn’t blame the jury, which found that she defamed the Pirates of the Caribbean actor in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed, and calls her ex-husband “a fantastic actor.” She also discusses the “hate and vitriol” cast her way on social media, saying it has been unfair.

“I don’t blame them,” she said of the Fairfax, Va., jury, which uniquely found that Heard defamed Depp and awarded him $10.35 million in damages on June 1. “I actually understand. He’s a character and people feel they know him.”

She added, “He’s a fantastic actor.”

Amber Heard speaks out about the Johnny Depp trial verdict to Today's Savannah Guthrie.  (Photo: Today show)

Amber Heard speaks out about the Johnny Depp trial verdict to today‘s Savannah Guthrie. (Photo: today show)

Heard, who was married to her 59-year-old Rum Diaries co-star from 2015 to 2016, also spoke of the media frenzy surrounding the trial, including the negative social media narrative about her.

“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,” Heard said. “I don’t presume the average person should know those things. And so I don’t take it personally.”

She 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. You cannot tell me that you think this has been fair.”

Guthrie has interviewed counsel for Heard and Depp since the verdict. Heard’s attorney Elaine Charlson Bredehoft said Depp’s legal team “demonized” Heard during the hearing, and she said she doubted that the jury was able to avoid seeing social media headlines about the case, per the judge’s instruction.

“There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced,” said Bredehoft, who noted Heard would appeal. “And it was horrible. [The coverage] really, really was lopsided” to Depp’s benefit. “It was like the Roman Colosseum.”

Depp’s lawyers called it “utterly baseless” and “categorically false” that Depp or his team orchestrated an online smear campaign against Heard.

Depp was a clear favorite on social media during the trial, with the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp receiving over 20 billion TikTok views, and the hashtag #JusticeForAmberHeard receiving only 91 million views to date. Depp, who has been publicly celebrating his victory, joined TikTok last week to thank fans for their support of him, telling them, “We did the right thing together.” Heard’s attorney told Yahoo Entertainment at the time that as Depp “says he’s ‘moving forward,’ women’s rights are moving backward. The verdict’s message to victims of domestic violence is … be afraid to stand up and speak out.”

The former couple has been fighting over the 2018 op-ed in which Heard wrote about surviving domestic abuse — though didn’t name Depp. He sued for her $50 million, denying all allegations of abuse and alleging that the article hurt her career, and she countersued for $100 million. In addition to Depp being awarded $10.35 million, the jury awarded Heard $2 million for comments Depp’s lawyer made her calling her abuse allegations of a “hoax.”

Parts of Heard’s interview will air on today on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Then more of the conversation air Friday at 8 pm ET on a special Dateline.

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