On Wednesday, Today aired part two of an exclusive interview with actress Amber Heard – her first television interview after losing an explosive libel trial against her ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp. Among other revelations, the 36-year-old actress claimed she still “loved” Depp and denied wanting to “cancel” him in her editorial at the center of the case.
During the Virginia trial, which ended June 1, a jury ruled that Heard defamed Depp when The Washington Post published a 2018 editorial under her byline describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse. Depp received $15 million in damages, but will only receive $10.35 million due to a state cap on punitive damages. The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in compensatory damages after finding she was defamed by Depp’s attorney Adam Waldman after he accused Heard of framing Depp in a “hoax”.
Despite winning that particular counterclaim, as well as a 2020 UK judgment that determined that Depp had abused Heard on 12 out of 14 occasions, Heard has been widely painted as a liar in the public eye by Depp’s legion of obsessively devoted fans in the past. social media and in Hollywood. colleagues since she first alleged abuse in 2016. Likewise, Guthrie seemed skeptical of the Aquaman star throughout their one-on-one, pressuring her on recordings and other evidence presented by Team Depp, conveniently ignoring much of the recordings and other evidence offered by Heard. (The UK trial admitted considerably more evidence than the Virginia trial, which may help explain the different result.)
In the first half of the interview that aired on Monday, the news anchor asked the actress if she instigated physical violence against Depp, questioned her about footage Heard claims were taken out of context, and informed her that the First Amendment does not protect “lies”. At the conclusion of the interview, Guthrie appeared equally cynical and dissatisfied with Heard’s responses, telling the actress that her “allusion” to Depp in her editorial was “unmistakable”. She also asked Heard if she told TMZ to take pictures of her with a bruise when she filed a restraining order against Depp in 2016. For the most part, her questioning didn’t go beyond information that hasn’t yet been brought up during the trial. and contested by Heard, and completely lacked any insight into the abuse.
It is not the first time that a television presenter has been insensitive to the issue of domestic abuse or is unaware of how survivors adapt to situations of violence with their partners. (Watch Barbara Walters interview with Rihanna after her incident with Chris Brown or Gayle King interviewing FKA Twigs about her allegations against Shia LaBeouf.) However, viewers and journalists remain surprised that Guthrie was allowed to interview Heard in the first place.
The week before, Guthrie revealed that her husband, Michael Feldman, worked as a consultant to Depp’s legal team during the libel trial, just before starting an interview with Depp’s attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew. The interview went viral on Twitter and was met with an immediate reaction from users who claimed a conflict of interest.
“The week before, Guthrie revealed that her husband, Michael Feldman, worked as a consultant to Depp’s legal team during the libel trial, just before starting an interview with Depp’s attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew.”
“If I were Amber Heard’s publicist or public relations officer, I probably wouldn’t do my client’s first major interview with someone who reveals a conflict of interest.” he wrote a Twitter user.
“If Guthrie continues to do these interviews, TODAY needs to make much greater disclaimers that Guthrie, through her husband’s consulting work, was personally enriched by Depp’s PR team.” published other. “The blatant conflict of interest is so disrespectful to Ms. Heard.”
Since then, journalism experts have evaluated the controversy in a internal businessr reportcalling Guthrie’s decision to interview Depp’s lawyers “a little crazy” and highlighting a “financial stake”, seeing how Feldman could be used again when Heard tries to appeal the jury’s verdict.
While Heard nor his representatives have yet to speak out about the controversy, sources in the same article say that Heard and his team were aware of Guthrie’s connection to the case and were willing to go ahead with the interview, which will end up being an hour long. date line special exhibition on Friday.
While it’s hard to imagine the thought process behind arranging this interview and using it in a subsequent editorial, it’s possible that Heard, who was publicly compassionate to the jury and Depp’s supporters, wanted to show the public that she could be involved in a polite conversation with someone closely associated with your detractors. Still, it seems strange and extremely ill-advised that Heard’s team would allow their client to undergo Guthrie’s poor, impartial interrogation for her first major television appearance after the trial, given the amount of journalists presumably trying to get an exclusive with the actress. .
Regardless of the intent or whatever knowledge Heard and her team received prior to the interview, the fact that Heard spent most of the session defending herself against widely publicized allegations again is another tragedy for the actress, whose status when it comes to the next Aquaman continuation is still in the air. Ultimately, the saddest part of the fiasco is how completely preventable it was.