As the nation finally settled into “life without Johnny and Amber,” along came news of an extensive interview with one member of the erstwhile A-list duo. Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard lost large in a defamation trial against her former spouse, but the actress’ side of the story will be aired June 14-15 on NBC’s Today show with a full one-hour special on its Dateline program June 17. One can’t help but wonder how much the network coughed up for an interview with the Hollywood starlet, but NBC is planning to milk it.
Heard Heads for the Mic
Today host Savannah Guthrie aired a two-minute promo of her chat with Heard on June 13. Following a six-week high-profile civil court case that millions of Americans watched, Heard told Guthrie she does not blame the jury for finding in favor of the famous actor who immortalized Captain Jack Sparrow to a generation of moviegoers.
After seeing the NBC video clip, one wonders if Heard’s comment that Depp is a “fantastic actor” was a sincere compliment or a back-handed swipe at his performance during the Fairfax County, VA, courthouse trial. The actress tried her best to convince the jury she suffered all manner of domestic abuse at the hands of Depp, but the seven-member panel did not drink the Kool-Aid. It awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages (though under Virginia law, he will only receive $350,000 for the latter). In what amounted to a token victory, Heard was awarded $2 million for a statement made by one of Depp’s attorneys.
Not willing to go quietly into the night, the former Mrs. Depp whined to Guthrie:
“I don’t take it personally. 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. You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
The actress was excoriated on social media by millions who simply did not find her testimony believable. “How could they [believe me] after listening to three and a half weeks of testimony about how I was a non-credible person. Not to believe a word that came out of my mouth,” she grumbled.
During the six-week trial, members of the public lined up outside the courthouse became more hostile to Heard and booed her mercilessly. The jury was instructed to stay off social media platforms but was not sequestered by the judge – a point with which Heard’s legal team has taken issue. Depp’s lawyers decried the suggestion that this is the reason the Aquaman star lost in court. Following the verdict, Depp’s attorney Ben Chew asserted, “This was a decision made by the jury on the evidence presented by both sides.”
Still, comments by those glued to the drama continue unabated and appear heavily weighted toward Depp. “She just needs to shut it up!” wrote one commenter on Fox News Digital. But a few pro-Amber folks are still willing to take up the actress’ cause. “There was a huge percentage of people that were supporting her! If the evidence against Depp from the UK trial hadn’t been suppressed the trial might have turned out very different!” opined one Heard supporter.
Thus far, Depp has issued only a brief statement following the verdict, which read in part: “… the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.” This first post-trial interview salvo by Heard will likely prolong the Johnny/Amber soap opera, which appears to be fine with the many Americans who can’t seem to get enough of this bizarre public spat. However, it is unlikely that anything said at this point by either party will tilt public sentiment away from Depp and is a shot across the bow to those who wish to cry spousal abuse without enough evidence to back up their claim.