After a jury found that Amber Heard defamed Johnny Depp, the 36-year-old actress sat down for an interview with Dateline. It’s scheduled to air this Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET, and in a preview clip that aired on the TODAY show, she said that she doesn’t “blame” the jury, because the trial wasn’t “fair.”
The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and another $350,000 in punitive damages for a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post. The same jury also judged Heard’s $100 million countersuit, and ordered Depp to pay her $2 million. That still leaves Heard on the hook for over $8 million, which her lawyer says she cannot afford.
While clearly dissatisfied with the result, Heard doesn’t think the problem was with the jury. “I don’t blame them,” she told Dateline’s Savannah Guthrie. “I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
As she explained, “I don’t care what one thinks about me or what judgments you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home, in my marriage, behind closed doors. I don’t presume the average person should know those things. And so I don’t take it personally,” she said.
“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.”
The social media disparity was evident on every platform, but nowhere more than on TikTok, where pro-Depp hashtags were viewed over 20 billion times while pro-Heard hashtags received just 20 million views. This is one of the reasons that Depp joined TikTok after the trial to thank his fans for their support. But his lawyers have argued that “social media played no role” in swaying the jury.
The Virginia jurors were not sequestered, but did receive instructions to ignore online chatter. However, they may not have been the most attentive group; the court stenographer said she caught jury members dozing off during trial.