Amber Heard risked another defamation lawsuit when she doubled down on claims that Johnny Depp had abused her, a former judge has suggested.
Heard sat down with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie in her first interview since a Virginia jury found that the “Aquaman” actress had defamed Depp in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post, where she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Asked about the abuse allegations she made against Depp during the defamation trial, Heard said in the interview, “To my dying day [I] will stand by every word of my testimony,” before insisting that she has “always told the truth.“
Citing Depp saying he “never” hit Heard, Guthrie asked, “Is that a lie?” Heard responded, “Yes, it is.”
Discussing Heard’s post-trial interview, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, a former New York State judge and prosecutor, suggested that the actress opened herself up to another potential lawsuit.
“Amber Heard repeating that Johnny Depp beat her, he can sue her again,” Pirro said on Fox News’ “The Five.” “She is, as far as this jury is concerned is, lying.”
She continued, “The fact that he won was based on her testimony. Everything that she said was used against her in the closing statement of the plaintiff. So it wasn’t so much that there was this circumstantial evidence that he was beating her. No, her own admissions are what incriminated her.”
In her interview with Guthrie, parts of which aired on Tuesday and Wednesday’s “Today” show, Heard admitted that she fears she could face further lawsuits from her former husband if she continues to speak out about their relationship following their trial.
“I took for granted what I assumed was my right to speak. I’m scared that no matter what I do, no matter what I say, or how I say it — every step that I take will present another opportunity for this sort of — silencing, which is what, I guess, a defamation lawsuit is meant to do. It’s meant to take your voice,” she said, after being asked whether she feared she could be sued by Depp again.
The actress went on to insist that she still has love in her heart for Depp. “I have no bad feelings or ill will towards him at all,” she said.
She expressed that her op-ed, which did not mention Depp by name, was never about her relationship with her ex-husband.
“What the op-ed was about was … me loaning my voice to a bigger cultural conversation that we were having at the time,” she said, noting the op-ed was published at the height of the #MeToo movement. “I obviously knew it was important for me not to make it about him. Or to do anything like defame him.”
On June 1, the jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages, which the judge later reduced to $10.35 million due to a state law in Virginia.
Heard, who was awarded $2 million in her defamation countersuit, plans to appeal the verdict.
The special edition of “Dateline” featuring Heard will air on NBC at 8 p.m. EDT Friday.