After accusing her former husband Johnny Depp of horrifically abusing her throughout their five-year relationship, Amber Heard told the TODAY show’s Savannah Guthrie she still has feelings for her ex.
“Absolutely, I love him. I loved him with all my heart,” she said in the second segment of a two-part interview that aired Tuesday and Wednesday. “I have no bad feelings or ill will toward him at all … I tried the best I could to make a deeply broken relationship work and I couldn’t.”
The actress sat down with the TODAY show to give her first interview since a seven-person jury in Virginia found her guilty of defaming Depp after she wrote a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post in which she declared she was a survivor of domestic abuse.
Depp, 59, sued Heard, 36, for $50 million, accusing her of defaming him with the article. The three-time Oscar nominee claimed her opinion piece ruined his career and led to a series of cancelled film projects, including a sixth Pirates of the Caribbean feature.
Heard hit back with her own $100 million counterclaim after the star’s former lawyer Adam Waldman called her allegations a hoax. Both accused one another of ruining their respective careers.
Last month, the jury sided with Depp, finding there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Heard had defamed him. He was awarded $15 million (an amount that was reduced to $10.4 million). But Heard also had a small victory of her own when it found that she too was also defamed through statements Waldman made to the Daily Mail.
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Heard told Guthrie that the op-ed wasn’t about her relationship with Depp, even though she alleged he was a controlling and abusive partner during their five-year relationship.
“The op-ed wasn’t about my relationship with Johnny,” she said. “What the op-ed was about was me loaning my voice to a bigger cultural conversation that we were having at the time … It was important for me not to make it about him, or to do anything like defame him.”
When Guthrie asked Heard whether Depp’s promise for her to be on the receiving end of “total global humiliation” came true, she responded: “I know he promised it … I’m not a good victim, I get it, I’m not a likeable victim, I’m not a perfect victim … it feels as though (it) has.”
Heard also said that she plans to honour her commitment to donate her $7 million divorce settlement. “I made a pledge, and that pledge is made over time by its nature,” she said.
During the trial, Heard implied that she hadn’t fulfilled her promise to donate the money to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) because of Depp’s lawsuit. “I would love him to stop suing me so I can,” she said during her testimony.
In a portion of the interview that aired Tuesday, Heard said the trial was the “most humiliating and horrible thing I’ve ever been through.”
“I did do and say horrible, regrettable things throughout my relationship. I behaved in horrible, almost unrecognizable to myself ways,” Heard said, adding: “We were awful to each other … This is the most humiliating and horrible thing I’ve ever been through.”
But during her sit down with Guthrie, Heard said she stands by her accusations against Depp.
“To my dying day, I’ll stand by every word of my testimony,” she said. “I made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve always told the truth.”
Asked what she would tell her one-year-old daughter about losing the trial, she said, “I did the right thing. I did everything I could to stand up for myself and the truth.”
In a statement sent to the Toronto Sun on Monday, a spokesperson for Heard addressed why she decided to take part in a televised interview.
“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,” the spokesperson said. “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’s full interview with Guthrie will air on a special edition of NBC’s Dateline this Friday.