In her first interview following the verdict of the high-profile defamation trial between Amber Heard and her ex-husband Johnny Depp, Heard called out the social-media frenzy that surrounded the case and said she understood why the jury sided with Depp.
“I don’t blame them,” Heard said in a preview for the interview with the TODAY show’s Savannah Guthrie. “I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
Following a six-week trial that delved into intimate details about the former couple’s personal lives—including several instances of alleged verbal and physical abuse—a Virginia jury awarded Depp $10.4 million in damages after deciding that Heard defamed Depp in a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post. Heard was awarded $2 million for her countersuit.
“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,” she said.
“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,” she added. “You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
The case was discussed widely online. Videos from the trial garnered millions of views, and viewers often chimed in on TikTok and Twitter to provide their own analysis of the case—opinions which often skewed heavily in favor of Depp. The TikTok hashtag “Justice for Amber Heard” has received 92 million views, while the similar hashtag for Depp has more than 20 billion.
Depp sued Heard for $50 million over the 2018 op-ed in which she referred to herself as a public face for domestic abuse but did not mention Depp by name. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million, after his lawyer called her allegations a hoax.
In a statement following the decision, Depp said, “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome….I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up.”
According to her lawyer, Elaine Bredehoft, Heard intends to appeal the decision.