Nearly two weeks after a jury found she had defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp in a high-profile trial, Amber Heard says she still loves him.
“Absolutely. I love him. I loved him with all my heart,” Heard told Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview for NBC News. “I have no bad feelings or ill will toward him at all.”
Heard’s interview with Savannah aired in two parts Tuesday and Wednesday this week on TODAY and airs in a special this Friday on Dateline. The actor spoke about the trial, which centered on a 2018 Washington Post opinion piece in which she claimed to have survived domestic abuse. She did not name Depp as an abuser in the piece but the actor’s attorneys said she cited claims she made during their 2016 divorce. Attorneys for Depp, who denies all allegations of abuse, claim the op-ed impacted his career.
For six weeks, Heard squared off with Depp’s lawyers, taking part in their questioning in which they scrutinized her mental health, behavior and credibility. Despite this, the “Aquaman” actor told Savannah she still has love for the man she has accused of physical and psychological abuse and who accused her of as much in return.
The trial ended with a jury finding Heard defamed Depp and awarding Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. A judge reduced the punitive damages to $350,000. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages in her counterclaim but nothing in punitive damages.
Recalling an Instagram statement the actor issued ahead of the six-week-long defamation trial, Savannah questioned Heard’s claim at the time that she still loved him.
“On the first day of the trial, you issued a statement,” Savannah remarked. “And part of the statement said, ‘I still have love for Johnny.’”
Speaking to Savannah, Heard remained adamant about her feelings.
“I tried the best I could to make a deeply broken relationship work. And I couldn’t. I have no bad feelings or ill will toward him at all,” she said.
“I know that might be hard to understand, or it might be really easy to understand,” she said. “If you’ve just ever loved anyone, it should be easy.”
Throughout the trial and its aftermath, Heard has maintained that her motivation for writing the op-ed had been to lend her voice to the #MeToo movement, which was in full force at the time.
“Legions of powerful men being canceled, losing their jobs,” Savannah noted to Heard in the interview. “Did you want that to happen to Johnny Depp?”
“Of course not,” Heard replied. “It wasn’t about him.”
Stream part of the special edition of Dateline this Thursday on Peacock, ahead of it airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.