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Amber Heard Says She Fears Other Defamation Lawsuits from Johnny Depp: 'I'm Scared'

·4-min read
Savannah Guthrie's exclusive interview with Amber Heard
Savannah Guthrie's exclusive interview with Amber Heard

TODAY/NBC

Amber Heard is opening up about the ripple effects of her headline-making trial against Johnny Depp and why she fears her legal battles with her ex-husband are far from over.

In a preview of her exclusive upcoming interview for NBC News that aired on Today Wednesday, the 36-year-old actress told Savannah Guthrie that the jury's verdict that she defamed Depp by coming forward with her allegations of sexual violence in a 2018 op-ed has left her worried about what she can say now. She's also concerned that she'll be sued again.

"I took for granted what I assumed was my right to speak," Heard explained. "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 the sort of silencing — which is what a defamation lawsuit is meant to do; it's meant to take your voice."

For more on Amber Heard, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

The Aquaman star previously told Guthrie that she stands by "every word" of her testimony, insisting, "I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of mistakes. But I've always told the truth."

She's also said that she plans to appeal the jury's decision.

RELATED: Amber Heard Says She Stands by 'Every Word' of Her Johnny Depp Testimony: 'Until My Dying Day'

RELATED: Amber Heard Says She 'Made a Lot of Mistakes' with Johnny Depp, 'But I've Always Told the Truth'

But living with public ridicule is another thing. In text messages surfaced at the trial, Depp had promised "global humiliation" for Heard. Asked by Guthrie if it feels like that came true, Heard nodded in agreement.

"I know he promised it," she said in Wednesday's clip. "I testified to this. I'm not a good victim, I get it. I'm not a likable victim, I'm not a perfect victim. But when I testified I asked the jury to see me as human and to hear his own words, which is a promise to do this. It feels as though he has."

She went on to insist that she never intended to hurt or cancel with her op-ed, in which she never mentioned her ex by name.

Savannah Guthrie's exclusive interview with Amber Heard
Savannah Guthrie's exclusive interview with Amber Heard

TODAY/NBC

"The op-ed wasn't about my relationship with Johnny," Heard said. "What the op-ed was about was me loaning my voice to the bigger cultural conversation that we were having at the time. ... It wasn't about him."

"I obviously knew I was important for me not to make it about him or do anything like defame him," she continued. "I had teams of lawyers review all the drafts of him."

RELATED: Amber Heard Grilled by Savannah Guthrie Over Audio Tapes Where She Admitted to Abusing Johnny Depp

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The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has maintained that he never assaulted Heard, and claimed she physically harmed him.

The verdict in the Depp-Heard case came through on June 1. Depp was awarded $15 million in damages from the jury, though Heard will only have to pay $10.35 million due to a Virginia law limiting punitive damages (the judge reduced the amount). In her countersuit, Heard won one of the three defamation counts, and was awarded $2 million in damages.

Following the verdict, Depp said in a statement the "jury gave me my life back."

Heard, meanwhile, denounced the decision as a "setback" for women. She told Guthrie that the case is "the most humiliating and horrible thing I have ever been through," saying, "I have never felt more removed from my own humanity. I felt less than human."

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty, Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Monday, a spokesperson for Heard addressed why she decided to sit for the televised interview.

"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," the spokesperson said. "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."


For more from Heard's interview with Guthrie, viewers can stream part of the special edition of Dateline Thursday on Peacock, ahead of it airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The interview will then be available on Today's website, and the full Dateline episode will be shared on Peacock.

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