Amber Heard knows that Johnny Depp’s lengthy and celebrated career earned him fans in the courtroom too.
The “Aquaman” star, who was convicted of defaming her ex-husband by saying she was “a public figure representing domestic abuse,” said she understands why the Fairfax, Va., jury sided with him.
“I don’t blame them,” Heard said in a preview of a “Today” interview with Savannah Guthrie set to air Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
The contentious six-week trial played out not just in the courtroom but on social media, where TikTok was overtaken by memes about domestic violence. Jurors were not sequestered, but were told not to go online or read coverage of the trial.
“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. I don’t presume the average person should know those things. And so I don’t take it personally,” Heard told NBC News in Monday’s sneak peek.
“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 that this has been fair.”
Finding “clear and convincing evidence” that Heard defamed Depp, despite never naming him in the Washington Post op-ed and a 2020 ruling in England that The Sun was not libelous in calling Depp a “wife beater,” the jury awarded Depp $15 million in combined compensatory and punitive damages, which was lowered to just over $10 million. Heard was also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages for Depp’s former lawyer calling her allegations a “hoax.”
While Heard’s and Depp’s lawyers have been blanketing the morning shows since the trial ended, this marks Heard’s first public comments about the ruling. Depp, meanwhile, has announced a new album with long-time collaborator Jeff Beck, set to be released next month.