Amber Heard says she still loves ex-husband Johnny Depp. “Absolutely,” the Aquaman actress said in part two of her interview with Today’s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday. “I love him. I loved him with all my heart. And I tried the best I could to make a deeply broken relationship work. And I couldn’t. No bad feelings or ill will towards him at all. I know that might be hard to understand or it might be really easy to understand, if you’ve ever loved anyone it should be easy.”
Those words may come as a surprise in the wake of allegations exchanged during the couple’s defamation trial. She accused “monster” Depp of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor vehemently denied that, claiming she was abusive toward him during their four-year relationship.
On June 1, a Fairfax, Va., jury found that Heard defamed Depp, from whom she filed for divorce in 2016, in her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about surviving domestic abuse — despite not naming him directly in the article. Depp, who said his career was ruined by the story, was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (the latter reduced to $350,000 per state guidelines). The jury awarded Heard, who countersued, $2 million in compensatory damages stemming from her lawyer calling her abuse allegations a hoax.
Guthrie — who previously disclosed that her husband, Michael Feldman, did consulting work for Depp’s legal team — continued to grill Heard in the second part of the interview. During the conversation, Heard said she knows she’s not a “perfect victim” and admitted she’s “scared” Depp will sue her again for speaking out.
“I took for granted what I assumed was my right to speak,” Heard said. “I’m scared that no matter what I do, no matter what I say, or 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. It’s meant to … take your voice.”
Heard insisted the “op-ed wasn’t about my relationship with Johnny. What the op-ed was about was … me loaning my voice to a bigger cultural conversation that we were having at the time,” amid the #MeToo movement. “I obviously knew it was important for me not to make it about him. Or to do anything like defame him,” which is why she had “teams of lawyers” review “all the drafts” prior to publication.
She denied that her goal was to have Depp canceled — as many other high-profile men of that era had been — saying, “Of course not. Of course not. It wasn’t about him.”
Guthrie brought up a text message Depp sent vowing “total global humiliation” for Heard after their split and asked if she felt “that came true?”
“I know he promised it,” she replied. “I’m not a good victim, I get it. I’m not a likable victim. I’m not a perfect victim. But 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. It feels as though he has.” Heard said she initially didn’t want Depp’s alleged abuse “to be known” publicly — or to “get him in trouble” — so she didn’t initially cooperate with police. However, when she did seek the restraining order against Depp days later in 2016, she did so because, “I made the decision to stand up for myself and protect myself.”