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Amber Heard: I ‘Stand by Every Word’ of Testimony in Defamation Trial


Almost two weeks after losing a high-profile defamation trial, Amber Heard said in a television interview on Tuesday that she had told the reality on the stand about her accusations of abuse against her ex-husband, Johnny Depp. She also took issue with the judge’s handling of evidence that she said helps prove her account of the connection.

Ms. Heard told NBC’s “Today” show that she’s going to “stand by every word” of her testimony to her “dying day.” She alleged repeated physical abuse by Mr. Depp, in addition to several instances of sexual abuse, all of which Mr. Depp denied.

In her first public interview because the jury verdict in Fairfax, Va., Ms. Heard acknowledged that she was liable for “horrible, regrettable” behavior toward Mr. Depp, including demeaning insults that were aired in court, but maintained that any physical violence on her part was in response to his own. Mr. Depp testified that Ms. Heard was violent toward him, and never the opposite way around.

“I behaved in horrible — almost unrecognizable to myself — ways,” Ms. Heard said. “It was very, very toxic. We were awful to one another.”

But, she asserted, “I’ve all the time told the reality.”

Ms. Heard, 36, lost the defamation case that Mr. Depp filed against her, alleging that she had “devastated” his profession after The Washington Post published an op-ed during which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” The article didn’t mention Mr. Depp by name, but he and his lawyers argued that it was clearly referring to a time in 2016 during which Ms. Heard told a court that Mr. Depp was physically abusive toward her.

A trial between the formerly married actors became a fierce battleground over the reality about their relationship.

The $10.35 million award to Mr. Depp was offset by a $2 million award for Ms. Heard. The jury found that Mr. Depp had defamed Ms. Heard in a single instance, when a lawyer who had previously represented him in the course of the defamation proceedings made a press release to a British tabloid accusing her of damaging the couple’s penthouse and blaming it on Mr. Depp.

A lawyer for Ms. Heard, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, has said she plans to appeal the decision.

The six-week trial changed into an online obsession fueled by courtroom sound bites made accessible by a pair of cameras filming the proceedings for livestreams and tv broadcasts. Ms. Heard was on the receiving end of much of the web vitriol, with Depp fans mocking her testimony and calling her a liar.

“Even if you happen to think that I’m lying, you continue to couldn’t tell me — look me in the attention and tell me — that you think that on social media there’s been a good representation,” Ms. Heard said within the NBC interview, more of which can air later this week. She added that she had “never felt more faraway from my very own humanity.”

In the times after the decision, Ms. Heard’s legal team has argued that it could have been not possible for the jury, which was unsequestered, to completely shield themselves from the social media bias against their client.

Ms. Heard said there had been “really necessary pieces of evidence” that a judge kept out of the Virginia trial, a few of which were allowed in a separate trial in London. In that case, Mr. Depp sued when The Sun newspaper called him a “wife beater” in a headline. Mr. Depp lost that case, and the British judge was persuaded that Mr. Depp had physically abused Ms. Heard repeatedly throughout their relationship.

Johnny Depp’s Libel Case Against Amber Heard

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Within the courtroom. A defamation trial involving the formerly married actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard just concluded in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia. Here’s what to know concerning the case:

Ms. Heard’s op-ed. Mr. Depp’s suit was filed in response to an op-ed Ms. Heard wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 during which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though she didn’t mention her former husband’s name, he and his lawyers have argued that she was clearly referring to their relationship.

The domestic abuse claims. Within the 2020 trial, Ms. Heard accused her former husband of assaulting her first in 2013, after they began dating, and detailed other instances during which he slapped her, head-butted her and threw her to the bottom. Mr. Depp has since accused her of punching him, kicking him and throwing objects at him.

The decision. After a six-week trial, the jury found Mr. Depp was defamed by Ms. Heard in her op-ed, but in addition that she had been defamed by one among his lawyers. Mr. Depp was awarded $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages, however the judge capped the punitive damages total in accordance with legal limits for a complete of $10.35 million. The jury awarded Ms. Heard $2 million in damages.

For instance, a series of text messages from Mr. Depp’s former personal assistant, Stephen Deuters, was admitted within the British trial but not the U.S. one. In one among the messages, that are from 2014, Mr. Deuters wrote to Ms. Heard that Mr. Depp had cried when Mr. Deuters told him that Mr. Depp had “kicked” Ms. Heard. He had been referring to an incident on a personal plane during which, Ms. Heard has testified, Mr. Depp kicked her within the back before passing out in the lavatory while intoxicated. Within the London trial, Mr. Deuters denied that Mr. Depp had kicked Ms. Heard, saying he wrote that text message to mollify her.

The judge in Virginia also denied the admission of a psychotherapist’s notes, from 2015, during which the psychotherapist documented that Ms. Heard texted him, “Johnny did a number on me tonight” and asked for help. In that incident, Ms. Heard testified, Mr. Depp head-butted her and tore out clumps of her hair — which Mr. Depp denied. The British judge cited those notes in his decision.

In an interview with “Today” last week, a lawyer for Mr. Depp, Benjamin Chew, said the evidence that ought to have been admitted was admitted and that “the judge was particularly reasonable to each side.” Camille Vasquez, one other lawyer for Mr. Depp, took issue with the suggestion that the jury had been influenced by social media, saying that they’d reminded them every evening of the trial to avoid any media concerning the case.

Asked on the “Today” show whether Mr. Depp had a greater legal team than she did, Ms. Heard replied, “His lawyers did actually a greater job of distracting the jury from the actual issues.”

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