In her first interview since the end of the ubiquitously publicized trial, Heard reflected on how she felt the day the verdict was announced and responded to criticism from those—including a lawyer for Depp—who likened her testimony to an acting performance.
Asked whether she stood by her testimony and accusations against Depp (whom she accused of abuse), Heard said in a Today-shared video that she did.
“Of course,” she told interviewer Savannah Guthrie. “To my dying day, [I] will stand by every word of my testimony.”
Later, around the 1:55 mark, Heard described the overall experience as the “most horrible and humiliating thing” she’s ever been through, noting it made her feel “less than human.” She was not confident, however, on the morning of the verdict.
As for whether she understands the stance many in the public have taken of not offering sympathy to either party in the case, Heard said she “absolutely” understands why that would be the case.
“I would not blame the average person for looking at this and how it’s been covered and not think that it is Hollywood brats at their worst,” she said. “But what people don’t understand is it’s actually so much bigger than that. This is not only about our First Amendment right to speak.”
Guthrie then told Heard free speech was protected so long as the speech in question doesn’t include “lies that amount to defamation,” to which Heard pushed back against by arguing that she told the truth. “I spoke it to power and I paid the price,” she told Guthrie, whose husband—as noted by the Daily Beast last week—did “consulting work” for Depp’s legal team, albeit “not in connection with” her interview of attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew.
Directly addressing the aforementioned testimony criticism around the 5:23 mark, Heard referenced the Depp-starring Tim Burton film Edward Scissorhands.
“Says the lawyer for the man who convinced the world he had scissors for fingers? I’m the performer?” she said. “I had listened to weeks of testimony insinuating that, or saying quite directly that, you know, I’m a terrible actress. So I’m a bit confused how I could be both.”
Toward the end of the interview, Heard and Guthrie went back and forth about details of the alleged abuse, including comments included in transcripts of tapes that have been presented as admissions of initiating violence.
“As I testified on the stand about this, when your life is at risk not only will you take the blame for things that you shouldn’t take the blame for, but when you’re in an abusive dynamic—psychologically and emotionally and physically—you don’t have the resources that, say, you or I do with the luxury of saying, ‘Hey, this is black and white,’” she said. “Because it’s anything but when you’re living in it.”
Heard also reflected on the Depp relationship itself, calling it an “ugly” and “toxic” situation in which, from her perspective, they were both “awful to each other.” And while Heard said she made “a lot mistakes,” she insisted, “I’ve always told the truth.”
See more of Heard and Guthrie’s discussion above. More of their conversation will be released on Wednesday, followed by an extended Dateline special at the end of the week.