Heard, 36, discussed the aftermath of her legal battle against her former spouse, 59, during a sit-down with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie, which will air in full later this week. In a clip shared on Monday, June 13, the Texas native opened up about the role social media played in shaping public opinion.
“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 tell me — look me in the eye and tell me — that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation,” the Aquaman actress claimed. “You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
Earlier this month, a Virginia jury unanimously sided with Depp, who sued his ex-wife for defamation in regards to a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post describing her alleged experience as a survivor of domestic abuse. After the six-week trial, the Pirates of the Caribbean star was awarded $15 million in combined compensatory and punitive damages. The amount was later reduced due to state law. Heard, for her part, won $2 million in compensatory damages.
Following the official result, the Zombieland actress told Today that she doesn’t “blame” the jury for their decision. “I actually understand,” she explained. “He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
Regarding the interview, a spokesperson for Heard claimed in a statement on Monday, “Johnny Depp’s legal team blanketed the media for days after the verdict with numerous statements and interviews on television, and Depp himself did the same on social media. Ms. Heard simply intended to respond to what they aggressively did last week; she did so by expressing her thoughts and feelings, much of which she was not allowed to do on the witness stand.”
Heard previously addressed the verdict in a lengthy statement shared with Us Weekly on June 1. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said at the time. “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.”
She continued, “I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously. … I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American — to speak freely and openly.”
Depp, for his part, told Us in a statement of his own that he was “humbled” by the legal victory. “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome,” he added. “Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.”
The Rum Diary costars tied the knot in 2015, calling it quits less than two years later. At the time, Heard accused Depp of domestic abuse, seeking a temporary restraining order against him. Their divorce was finalized in 2017. The Kentucky native previously filed a libel lawsuit against the U.K. newspaper The Sun for referring to him as a “wife beater” following Heard’s op-ed, but the High Court of Justice ruled in 2020 that the article was not libelous because the Ward star’s allegations were “substantially true.”
After the highly publicized Virginia trial came to an end, a source exclusively told Us Heard “is not able to comprehend that she lost” to the Edward Scissorhands star, adding, “She is 100 percent appealing on freedom of speech and is telling friends she is determined to take it all the way to the Supreme Court if she has to.”
Heard’s interview airs on Today Tuesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 15, followed by a Dateline NBC special on Friday, June 17, at 8 p.m. ET.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.