On Wednesday, In the present day aired half two of an unique interview with actress Amber Heard—Her first televised sit-down after shedding an explosive defamation trial in opposition to her ex-husband, actor Johnny Depp. Amongst different revelations, the 36-year-old claimed that she nonetheless “cherished” Depp and denied desirous to “cancel” him in her op-ed on the middle of the case.
Through the Virginia trial, which concluded on June 1, a jury dominated that Heard defamed Depp when The Washington Put up printed and 2018 op-ed below her byline describing herself as a sufferer of home abuse. Depp was awarded $ 15 million in damages however will solely obtain $ 10.35 million resulting from a state cap on punitive damages. The jury additionally awarded Heard $ 2 million in compensatory damages after discovering that she was defamed by Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, after he accused Heard of framing Depp in a “hoax.”
Regardless of successful that specific counterclaim, in addition to a 2020 UK trial that decided Depp had abused Heard on 12 of 14 events, Heard has largely been painted as a liar within the public eye by Depp’s legion of obsessively devoted followers on social media and his Hollywood friends since she first alleged abuse in 2016. Equally, Guthrie gave the impression to be skeptical of the Aquaman star all through their one-on-one, urgent her on recordings and different proof introduced by Workforce Depp whereas conveniently ignoring a lot of the recordings and different proof provided by Heard. (The UK trial admitted significantly extra proof than the Virginia one, which can assist clarify the completely different final result.)
Within the first half of the interview that aired on Monday, the information anchor grilled the actress on whether or not she instigated bodily violence in opposition to Depp, questioned her about recordings that Heard claims had been taken out of context, and knowledgeable her that the First Modification does not shield “lies.” Within the conclusion to the interview, Guthrie appeared equally cynical and unhappy with Heard’s solutions, telling the actress that her “alluding” to Depp in her op-ed was “unmistakable.” She additionally requested Heard if she tipped off TMZ to take images of her with a bruise when she filed a restraining order in opposition to Depp in 2016. For probably the most half, her questioning did not transcend info that wasn’t already raised in the course of the trial and disputed by Heard, and utterly lacked any insightfulness on abuse.
It isn’t the primary time a tv host has been insensitive concerning the subject of home abuse or unknowledgeable on how survivors adapt to violent conditions with their companions. (Watch Barbara Walters’ Rihanna interview following her incident with Chris Brown or Gayle King interviewing FKA Twigs about her allegations in opposition to Shia LaBeouf). Nonetheless, viewers and journalists stay shocked by the truth that Guthrie was allowed to interview Heard within the first place.
The week prior, Guthrie disclosed that her husband, Michael Feldman, labored as an adviser for Depp’s authorized workforce in the course of the defamation trial proper earlier than launching into an interview with Depp’s attorneys Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew. The interview went viral on Twitter and was met with fast backlash from customers claiming a battle of curiosity.
“If I used to be Amber Heard’s publicist or pr particular person, I in all probability would not grant my consumer’s first main interview with somebody who disclosed a battle of curiosity,” wrote one Twitter person.
“If Guthrie is to proceed to do these interviews, TODAY must make a lot bigger disclaimers that Guthrie, by way of her husband’s consulting gig, was personally enriched by the Depp PR workforce, ” posted one other. “The flagrant battle of curiosity is so disrespectful to Ms. Heard. ”
Journalism consultants have since weighed in on the controversy in a Enterprise Insider reportcalling the choice for Guthrie to interview Depp’s attorneys “somewhat nuts” and highlighting a “monetary stake,” seeing as how Feldman might be utilized once more when Heard seeks to attraction the jury verdict.
Whereas Heard nor her representatives have but to talk on the controversy, sources in the identical article say that Heard and her workforce had been each conscious of Guthrie’s connection to the case and had been prepared to proceed with the interview, which is able to conclude with an hour-long Dateline particular airing on Friday.
Whereas it is onerous to think about the thought course of behind the arranging of this interview and its use in a subsequent editorial, it is potential that Heard, who has been publicly compassionate towards the jury and Depp’s supporters, wished to indicate the general public that she may interact in a well mannered dialog with somebody intently related along with her detractors. Nonetheless, it appears unusual and very ill-advised that Heard’s workforce would permit their consumer to bear Guthrie’s poor, unbiased questioning for her first main tv look post-trial, given the quantity of journalists presumably chomping on the bit to land an unique with the actress.
No matter intent or no matter data Heard and her workforce acquired previous to the interview, the truth that Heard spent the vast majority of the sit-down defending herself in opposition to broadly publicized claims once more is one other tragedy for the actress, whose standing on the subject of the upcoming Aquaman sequel stays up within the air. In the end, the saddest a part of the fiasco is how utterly avoidable it was.