Amber Heard has described speaking out about the alleged sexual violence that she suffered as the “scariest, most intimidating thing” in her first interview since a jury sided with Johnny Depp in their defamation case.
The Aquaman actor told Savannah Guthrie in her interview on NBC’s Dateline on Friday night that she was “terrified” about being cross-examined by her ex-husband’s legal team and “not being believed” about her allegations.
“The scariest, most intimidating thing for anybody talking about sexual violence is not being believed, being called a liar, or being humiliated,” she said.
Ms Heard told Ms Guthrie, whose husband has worked as a consultant for Mr Depp’s legal team, that she was not being “vindictive” by sitting down for an interview in the aftermath of the case.
“You’re here. Some people might ask why. Are you brave? Are you reckless? Are you vindictive? Why did you want to do an interview?” questioned Ms Guthrie.
Ms Heard told the TV host that “one thing I can tell you is one thing I’m not is vindictive”.
She added: “This would be a really lousy way to get vengeance.”
When asked what she did want to achieve from the interview, Ms Heard said she just wants people “to see me as a human being”.
Ms Heard also told Ms Guthrie that she believes a “binder” of therapist’s notes and text messages not shown at the trial could have led jurors to reach a different verdict.
Her therapist had taken notes dating back to near the start of the former couple’s relationship which documented the alleged abuse she suffered, she said.
“There’s a binder worth of years of notes dating back to 2011 from the very beginning of my relationship that were taken by my doctor, who I was reporting the abuse to,” she told Ms Guthrie.
“Her notes represented years of real-time explanations of what was going on.”
In the notes, shared with Dateline, the therapist had written things like “He hit her, threw her on floor” and “He threw her against a wall and threatened to kill her”.
Mr Depp has denied ever abusing Ms Heard.
The judge did not allow the jury to see the notes at trial, ruling them inadmissible in court.
Ms Heard’s sitdown with Ms Guthrie marks the first time the actor has given an interview since she lost the defamation case with her ex-husband and was ordered to pay him $8.35m in damages.
On Thursday, Mr Depp’s team issued a statement about the interview saying: “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 unequivocally decided by a jury in Johnny’s favor.”
Ms Heard’s team responded with a statement of their own, saying: “If Mr Depp or his team have a problem with this, we recommend that Johnny himself sit down with Savannah Gutherie for an hour and answer all her questions.”
Mr Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post where she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse and spoke of feeling “the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out”.
Following an explosive six-week trial, a jury of seven determined that Ms Heard had defamed him on all three counts.
Jurors awarded Mr Depp $10m in compensatory damages and $5m in punitive damages, before Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the latter to the state’s legal limit of $350,000.
Ms Heard won one of her three counterclaims against her ex-husband, with the jury finding that Mr Depp – via his lawyer Adam Waldman – defamed her by branding her allegations about a 2016 incident “an ambush, a hoax”.
She was awarded $2m in compensatory damages but $0 in punitive damages, leaving the Aquaman actor $8.35m out of pocket.
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