Amber Heard defends her ‘taunting’ comments during TV grilling


Amber Heard was grilled by Savannah Guthrie over audio that captured her “taunting” ex-husband Johnny Depp in her first interview since the jury handed down its verdict in their former couple’s defamation trial.

he Aquaman actress spoke out about the case in an interview with NBC’s Today show, part of which aired on Tuesday morning.

Ms Guthrie, whose husband worked as a consultant for Mr Depp’s legal team, probed Ms Heard about recordings played to the jury where she was heard “taunting” her then-husband about being a “victim of domestic violence”.

“I am looking at a transcript that says — he says: ‘You start physical fights’. And you say: ‘I did start a physical fight. I can’t promise you I won’t get physical again,’” said Ms Guthrie.

“This is in black and white. I understand context.

“But you’re testifying, and you’re telling me today, ‘I never started a physical fight,’ and here you are on tape saying you did.”

Ms Heard said that looking at her words in “black and white” is a “luxury” for those not in a situation where their life is “at risk”.

“As I testified on the stand about this, is that when your life is at risk, not only will you take the blame for things that you shouldn’t take the blame for,” she said.

“But when you’re in an abusive dynamic – psychologically, emotionally and physically – you don’t have the resources that, say, you or I do, with the luxury of saying: ‘Hey, this is black and white.’

“Because it’s anything but when you’re living in it.”

Ms Guthrie continued to press Ms Heard, reading from a transcript of another audio clip played at the trial.

“You’re taunting him and saying: ‘Oh, tell the world, Johnny Depp, I, a man, am a victim of domestic violence,’” the TV host said.

Ms Heard defended her comments saying: “Twenty-second clips or the transcripts of them are not representative of even the two hours or the three hours that those clips are excerpt[ed] from.”

Earlier this month, Mr Depp won his defamation lawsuit against Ms Heard after a jury of seven determined that she had defamed him on all three counts in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post.

In the op-ed, Ms Heard 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”.

Guthrie suggested some members of the public were “frankly disgusted” by what had played out in court over the six weeks of testimony and evidence in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Heard replied: “Absolutely. I would not blame the average person for looking at this and how this has been covered and thinking that this is Hollywood brats at their worst.

“But what people don’t understand is that it is actually so much bigger than that. This is not only about our First Amendment right to speak.”

But Guthrie interjected: “But here’s the thing – the First Amendment protects free speech. It doesn’t protect lies that amount to defamation, and that was the issue in the case.”

Heard said the “vast majority” of the trial had played out on social media and that it had become “an example of that gone haywire, gone amok”.

Recalling arriving at the courthouse each day, she said: “Every single day I passed three, four, sometimes six city blocks lined with people holding signs saying ‘Burn the witch’ and ‘Death to Amber’.

“After three-and-a-half weeks I took the stand and saw a courtroom packed full of Captain Jack Sparrow fans who were vocal, energised.”

© The Independent

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