Amber Heard said that she believes that notes taken by her doctor, in which she reported alleged abuse by Johnny Depp, would have made a difference in the jury’s decision in her ex-husband’s defamation case. The notes, though, were excluded from the six-week trial.
In the latest excerpt of her interview with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, airing on Dateline on Friday, Heard said that her doctor’s notes are a record of what she was talking about in real time, going back to the start of her relationship with Depp.
Guthrie said that they reviewed the notes and they showed “that as far back as 2012, Amber was talking about physical abuse. In January of that year, she told her therapist Depp hit her, threw her on the floor. Eight months after that, ripped her nightgown, threw her on bed, and in 2013, he threw her against a wall and threatened to kill her.”
Heard’s lawyers also showed NBC News text messages that were excluded from the trial, including one in which she wrote to her father, “He kicked me in front of everyone.” That message had to do with a disputed incident in which Heard claimed Depp kicked her on a private plane flight.
Depp has denied Heard’s allegations of physical abuse. A spokesperson for Depp told the network, “It’s unfortunate that the defendant and her team are back to repeating and reimagining and re-litigating matters that have already been decided by the court.”
A jury awarded Depp $15 million in his defamation suit against Heard, finding that she was liable for defamation after publishing a 2018 op ed in The Washington Post in which she said that she had become “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The judge quickly lowered the amount to $10.35 million, based on the state’s limit on punitive damages. Heard, too, won a judgment, as the jury found Depp was liable for defamation over a statement that his attorney made. But Heard’s award was just $2 million.
Heard’s interview with Guthrie was her first post-trial interview, and NBC News has maximized the exposure for its exclusive, airing it in two parts on Today earlier this week followed by the hour of Dateline.
The Dateline episode featured portions of Guthrie’s interview that had already aired, but the hour perhaps shed some light on why Heard agreed to do it, as it gave her another chance to tell her side of the story. But it was a version of events that the jury found unconvincing.
“They thought you were lying,” Guthrie said to Heard.
She responded, “I’ll put it this way: How could they make a judgment, how could they not come to that conclusion? They had sat in those seats and heard for over three weeks of non-stop relentless testimony from paid employees and towards the end of the trial, randos, as I say.”
“I don’t blame [the jury]. … I actually understand he is a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor….After listening to three and a half weeks of testimony about how I was a non-credible person, not to believe a word that came out of my mouth. I’m a hysterical woman. I’m a crazy. I can’t be trusted over and over again.”
Heard defended the op ed that was at the source of the defamation claim, arguing that it was not about her relationship with Depp but the issue of domestic violence and legislative reforms. But asked by Guthrie why she would write something that would stir up the couple’s relationship again, given their divorce settlement, Heard acknowledged that was a point that “I wish was considered more seriously.”
One juror appeared on Good Morning America earlier this week and said that Heard “didn’t come across as believable.” She claimed that she didn’t instigate physical fights, but audio was played during the trial in which she acknowledged starting one.
“I know much has been made of these audio tapes,” Heard told Guthrie. “And as I testified on the stand, what you 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.”
Guthrie asked Heard, “He said he never hit you. Is that a lie?” “Yes,” Heard said.
Guthrie noted that no other women have come forward with claims against Depp.
“Look what happened to me when I came forward. Would you?” Heard responded.
Guthrie also highlighted another aspect of Depp’s case: Photos showing Heard looking “unblemished” after the alleged abuse. Heard testified that some of the photos were taken days and even weeks after the alleged injuries, Guthrie noted.
“What I learned in that trial is that it is never going to be good enough,” Heard said. “If you have proof, then it was a scheme. It was a hoax. if you don’t have proof, it didn’t happen. If you have a bruise, it’s fake. If you don’t have a bruise, then violence clearly didn’t hurt you. If you told people, then you’re hysterical. If you didn’t tell anyone, it didn’t happen.”
She told Guthrie that she hopes that the outcome “hasn’t had the chilling effect it may have on other people. I worry about that. But if I can look you in the eye, Savannah, and say, ‘I’m still here,’ and maybe that serves to balance out some of the very. very real fear others may have about coming forward or speaking out.”
Heard said that she would “stand by every word of my testimony” to her “dying day.”
“My goal, the only thing I can for hope for at this point, I just want people to see me as a human being,” she said.