Amber Heard has responded to Johnny Depp's lawyer calling Heard's testimony "the performance of a lifetime" in the defamation trial involving the former Hollywood couple.
In an exclusive interview with Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Tuesday, the "Aquaman" actor reacted to the comments made during the trial by attorney Camille Vasquez. In her closing argument, Vasquez said Heard came into court prepared to play "the role of a lifetime" and "spun of story of shocking, overwhelming brutal abuse" to the jury.
"Says the lawyer for the man who convinced the world he had scissors for fingers? I'm the performer?" Heard said, referencing Depp's starring role in the 1990 movie "Edward Scissorhands."
"I had listened to weeks of testimony insinuating that, or saying quite directly, that I’m a terrible actress," she continued. "So I’m a bit confused how I could be both."
Depp sued Heard for $50 million in defamation over an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she identified as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp was not named in the story, but his lawyers argued that it was an implication that Depp was an abuser. Depp has denied any allegations of abuse.
He was awarded $10.4 million in damages by a jury on June 1, while Heard was awarded $2 million for a defamatory statement made by an attorney for Depp. Heard's attorney said she plans to appeal the verdict and that she does not have the money to pay the damages awarded to her ex-husband.
Depp’s legal team argued in the trial that Heard was the one who initiated physical violence with Depp, disputing her testimony that he was the aggressor.
"I never had to instigate it," Heard said. "I responded to it. When you’re living in violence and it becomes normal, as I testified to, you have to adapt."
Heard testified that Depp physically and emotionally abused her. Depp denied any allegations of abuse in his testimony.
Savannah noted there were audio tapes submitted as evidence in which Heard says, "I started the fight."
"I know much has been made of these audio tapes," Heard said. "They were first leaked online after being edited. What you would hear in those clips are not evidence of what was happening. It was evidence of a negotiation of how to talk about that with your abuser."
The actor was also heard on tape saying to Depp, "I did start a physical fight. I can't promise you I won't get physical again."
"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, 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,'" Heard said. "Because it’s anything but when you’re living in it."
In another tape, Heard taunts Depp, urging him to tell the world that he is a victim of domestic violence as a man.
"Twenty-second clips or the transcripts of them are not representative of even the two hours or the three hours that those clips are excerpted from," Heard said.
She added that, as she testified in court, she was “a person in an extreme amount of emotional, psychological, and physical distress” in the recordings.
In an interview on TODAY last week, another one of Depp's attorneys, Ben Chew, said a reason he thought Depp won the trial was because Heard never took responsibility for anything she did in their marriage.
“My sense is that it had a lot to do with accountability,” Chew said. “Johnny owned and was candid about his alcohol and drug issues. He was candid about some unfortunate texts that he wrote, and I think it was a sharp contrast to Miss Heard, who didn’t seem, or at least the jury may have perceived, that she didn’t take accountability for anything.”
Speaking with Savannah, Heard said she did “horrible, regrettable things throughout my relationship.”
“I behaved in horrible almost unrecognizable to myself ways,” she said. “I have so much regret. I freely and openly and voluntarily talked about what I did. I talked about the horrible language. I talked about being pushed to the extent where I didn’t even know the difference between right and wrong.
"I will always continue to feel like I was a part of this, like I was the other half of this relationship because I was. And it was ugly and could be very beautiful. It was very, very toxic. We were awful to each other. I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of mistakes, but I’ve always told the truth."
Heard also spoke about standing by her testimony and more in her interview with Savannah. The second part of the interview will air on TODAY Wednesday, followed by a one-hour "Dateline" special on Friday.