Just two weeks after losing an intense, six-week defamation trial, Heard shared she still has feelings for her ex-husband.
“I love him. I loved him with all my heart,” she told NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie in the second installment of her Today show interview which aired 15th June. “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.”
On 1st June, Heard was found liable of defaming Depp in one of the most talked about and highly divisive court cases of the year. When asked by Guthrie if she thought that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor had succeeded in completely humiliating her, Heard shared: “It feels as though he has.”
“I’m not a good victim, I get it. I’m not a likeable victim. I’m not a perfect victim,” she said. “When I testified, I asked the jury to just see me as human and hear his own words, which is a promise to do this.”
Now, the 36-year-old is sharing her fear that others who speak out about partner abuse will face future retribution.
“I’m scared that no matter what I do, no matter what I say and 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,” Heard said. “It’s meant to take your voice.”
Heard added, “I feel like so much of the trial was meant to cast aspersions on who I am as a human, my credibility, to call me a liar in every way he can.”
While speaking with Guthrie, Heard said that her 2018 Washington Post op-ed—which was at the root of Depp’s 2019 $50 million defamation filing against her—”wasn’t about my relationship with Johnny,” but instead about “loaning my voice to a bigger cultural conversation we were having at the time” in relation to the MeToo movement. She also denied that it was her intention to get Depp cancelled through its publication.
“It was important for me not to make it about him, or to do anything like defame him,” Heard explained. “I had lawyers, teams of lawyers, review all the drafts of this.”
Denying the idea that her claims were a “hoax,” Heard shared that, as she had testified, the reason she didn’t initially cooperate with the police was because she “didn’t want this to be known” about her and Depp’s relationship. She added, “I didn’t want to get him in trouble. If it was a hoax, I could’ve done that.”
In the end, Heard filed a temporary restraining order against her ex-husband, who she was married to for nearly two years, in May 2016.
“I made the decision to stand up for myself and protect myself,” she said. “You can’t get a restraining order in private, which of course, I didn’t understand the night when the cops were called.”
In the Today interview, Heard also denied ever tipping off TMZ about her May 2016 appearance at a Los Angeles courthouse to obtain the restraining order, stating that it “had nothing to do with me.” During the trial, a former TMZ producer said that the publication was notified of Heard’s appearance ahead of time and that she would have facial bruising.
When asked why she didn’t have bruising in the days after the alleged incidents with Depp, Heard told Guthrie, “Again, it’s that thing, if you have bruising, if you have injuries, it’s fake. If you don’t have any, then it’s, then you weren’t injured.”
In the end, a Virginia jury awarded $10 million to Depp in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Penney Azcarate later reduced the punitive damages to $350,000, which is the state’s statutory cap or legal limit, making his total damages almost $10.4 million.
As for Heard’s countersuit, the jury awarded the actress $2 million in compensatory damages.
Now, in the wake of the verdict, Heard revealed what she plans to tell her 14-month-old daughter Oonagh about the trial in the future.
“I did the right thing,” Heard said. “I did everything I could to stand up for myself and the truth.”
Heard will share more about the trial in a special Dateline airing 17th June at 8pm on NBC.
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