Amber Heard said she fears that she could face future defamation lawsuits by speaking out about her volatile relationship with Johnny Depp in a sit-down interview where she also addressed her past pledge to donate $7 million to charity.
In part three of an interview aired Wednesday with NBC News, the “Aquaman” actress said she is “scared” that she risks being forever silenced after a judge earlier this month ordered her to pay $10 million in damages over a 2018 op-ed she published about domestic abuse.
The essay did not mention Depp by name but his attorneys successfully argued to the jury that it indirectly referred to their marriage.
“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,” she told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
Heard maintained that she did the right thing and “everything I could to stand up for myself and the truth” after publishing the op-ed in The Washington Post, though she continued to insist that it was never about her marriage with Depp.
“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, with the essay being published at the height of the #MeToo movement.
Heard said she had a team of lawyers review the essay before it was published and that it was never her intention to “defame” Depp or get him “canceled” over it, saying she still has love for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
Guthrie went on to question her credibility and how the jury heard that she hasn’t fulfilled a 2016 promise to donate $3.5 million of her $7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union. Heard faced intense questioning during her trial over her past claim that the money has been donated. An ACLU executive testified that she has given less than half of that money, with her last payment made in 2018.
“I made a pledge and that pledge is made over time by its nature,” Heard told Guthrie of the funds.
“You said ‘I donated.’ You know that everyone thinks that you donated it, not that you pledged it. So to the jurors sitting there, do you think that they felt like that was you getting caught in a lie?” Guthrie asked.
“I don’t know, because I feel like so much of the trial was meant to cast aspersions on who I am as a human, to call me a liar in every way you can,” Heard responded.
“That was the trial. It was a credibility contest. That was it,” Guthrie said.
Heard said she still plans to honor that donation and pay it in full, NBC reported.
An hourlong special of Heard’s interview will air Friday on “Dateline NBC” at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT.