Amber Heard is opening up about the impact she feels social media played in her high-profile defamation case brought by ex-husband Johnny Depp that saw the Pirates of the Caribbean actor walk away with a $10.35 million win in damages.
In a preview clip from the defendant's interview with NBC News' Savannah Guthrie, set to air this week on TODAY and Friday, June 17, on Dateline, Heard addressed the bias social media activity favoring her former partner throughout the six-week trial that began in April in Virginia.
"Even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t tell me — look me in the eye and tell me — that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation," Heard said, per TODAY. "You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair."
An overwhelming amount of people threw their support behind Depp as his $50 million defamation case against Heard raged on for weeks, with many taking to social media, specifically TikTok, to slam the Aquaman actress while praising Depp.
Apart from Depp's fans taking over #justiceforamberheard so when the hashtag is clicked on, online users are shown tweets mocking the actress and videos poking fun at her, they also made fun of her testimony by acting out sequences of events as she described them to be.
Though the seven-person jury in their headline-making case was instructed to stay off social media, Heard's team declared it still impacted the case. “There’s no way they couldn’t have been influenced by it, and it was horrible," legal mind Elaine Bredehoft maintained to Guthrie earlier this month after the trial loss. “It really, really was lopsided.”
Heard's team has since doubled down on Bredehoft's claims, as a spokesperson for the mother-of-one told Radar in a statement: "Johnny Depp’s legal team blanketed the media for days after the verdict with numerous statements and interviews on television, and Depp himself did the same on social media. Ms. Heard simply intended to respond to what they aggressively did last week; she did so by expressing her thoughts and feelings, much of which she was not allowed to do on the witness stand."
During an appearance on TODAY on June 8, days after the verdict was read on June 1, Depp's attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez insisted there was "no reason to believe the jurors violated their oath" by engaging on social media.
Regardless of the influence social media may have played in the trial and the jury's ultimate decision, Bredehoft maintained her client "absolutely" wants to appeal the Virginia jury’s decision after finding Heard liable for defamation in her 2018 The Washington Post op-ed in which she claimed to be a victim of domestic abuse. Heard did not directly name Depp in the piece and countersued for $100 million.
The jury awarded Heard $2 million in damages, having found that one of Depp's former lawyers defamed her when he described her allegations of abuse as a “hoax.”