This would be a really lousy way to get vengeance,” Amber Heard said as she opened up to Savannah Guthrie, explaining why she was doing her first sit-down interview since Heard’s defamation trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp. She is not vindictive, Heard said.
“I just want people to see me as a human being,” she said as the “Dateline” special started Friday.
The interview — which will be available to view on NBC.com and Peacock — was drip-fed throughout the week, culminating in the one-hour exclusive on NBC. The special promised the first insights into what it was like to be in the “Aquaman” co-star’s shoes through the trial, which ended earlier this month.
The chilling effect
Even Guthrie seemed aware of the risks of having Heard continue to press her case after a Depp won his defamation claims and was awarded over $10 million.
“Are you nervous, as we are here today, about what you can say now?” Guthrie asked.
Heard said she was terrified of potentially being sued again by Depp.
“I took for granted what I assumed was my right to speak, not just about what I lived through but what I knew, ” Heard said.
Heard built a picture of how her experience in this case illustrated the fear women have coming forward against alleged abusers. The “Aquaman” co-star did reiterate her claims that Depp physically abused her — claims that Depp has denied.
Guthrie reminded Heard that no other women had come forward to accuse Depp of physical violence, to which Heard replied: “Look what happened to me when I came forward. Would you?”
For those who may live in fear, she said: “I’m still here. And maybe that serves to balance out some of the very, very real fear others may have about coming forward or speaking out.”
She still loves Johnny
After a contentious, messy trial, it might surprise some that Heard would still hold affection for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star. Guthrie reminded Heard that she had issued a statement on the first day of the trial saying she still had love for Depp. Guthrie asked Heard if she still felt that way now, after all that happened.
“Absolutely. I love him. I loved him with all my heart. And I tried the best I could to make a deeply broken relationship work, and I couldn’t,” Heard said.
One of the big arguments Heard has been pushing since she largely lost her defamation case against Depp is that there was evidence that would have helped her case that wasn’t presented to the jury. Heard won one of three counts of defamation she brought against Depp, and he won all three claims against her.
In the “Dateline” interview, Heard gave Guthrie access to a binder of notes from her therapist dating back to 2011, which she said documented her allegations of domestic abuse contemporaneously.
“There’s a binder worth of years of notes dating back to 2011 from the very beginning of my relationship that were taken by my doctor, who I was reporting the abuse to,” Heard said.
Guthrie said that doctor was Heard’s therapist at the time. NBC examined the notes and said they showed that as far back as 2012 Heard was talking about physical abuse.
According to the NBC report, in those logs Heard told her therapist in January 2012 that Depp “hit her, threw her on floor,” and in 2013 the therapist’s notes said Heard reported that “he threw her against a wall and threatened to kill her.”
Heard said she was taking contemporaneous notes of what was happening, and her team also shared text messages that showed she was telling her father about alleged incidents of abuse by Depp.
In the interview, Guthrie said Depp’s lawyers replied that the judge’s rulings were fair, and a Depp spokesperson told NBC it’s “unfortunate that the defendant and her team are back to repeating, reimagining and relitigating matters that have already been decided by the court.”