Savannah Guthrie grilled Amber Heard about being “caught in a lie” over her commitment to donate her $7 million divorce settlement to charity, in the actress’s first interview since her libel trial with ex-husband Johnny Depp. .
nbc This day the presenter put Ms. Heard on the spot over discrepancies between her pledge and the actual payments made, questioning whether this raised questions about her “credibility” among the jury.
“Do you think to the jurors sitting there that it was you who were caught in a lie?” she investigated Guthrie, whose husband works for Depp’s legal team.
Ms Heard defended the charitable donation furor, saying the trial was used to try to paint her as “a liar” and arguing that she shouldn’t have had to compromise her entire deal in the first place for people to believe her accusations. of abuse against her ex-husband.
When the couple’s $7 million divorce settlement was reached in August 2016, Ms. Heard said she would split the entire payment equally between the ACLU and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
During the six-week trial, the aquaman The actress came under intense scrutiny for the promise after it emerged the ACLU had so far received less than half of the promised $3.5 million payment.
“He had promised to donate $7 million of his divorce settlement to charity,” Ms Guthrie said.
“It was revealed at trial that he hasn’t done it yet, however they played a tape where he says on air that he has donated it.”
She asked, “Do you think that raised questions about your credibility with the jury?”
During the trial, jurors were shown a clip of Ms. Heard’s appearance on the Danish TV show. RTL late night in October 2018, where he said “$7 million in total was donated.”
“I split the amount between the ACLU and the CHLA. The ACLU is a leading nonprofit organization in the US, working on behalf of marginalized communities on the ground and on legislative reform,” he said on the show.
“I didn’t want anything.”
During Wednesday’s interview, Heard doubled down on his defense at trial that the plan had always been for donations to be paid out over time.
“I made a promise and that promise is made over time by its nature,” he said.
At this point, Ms. Guthrie chimed in, saying that to use the term “donated,” people expect the money to have been paid.
“You say donated, you know that everyone thinks you have donated it, not that you have promised it,” probed the television presenter, questioning whether she feels that she “got caught in a lie.”
Ms Heard rejected that “much of the trial” was used to try to “cast doubt” on her credibility.
“I don’t know because a lot, I feel like a lot of the trial was meant to call into question who I am as a person, my credibility, to call me a liar in every possible way,” she said.
Mrs Guthrie responded: “That was the trial, it was a credibility contest, that was it.”
Ms Heard responded: “This is another one of those examples if you go back and think about it, I shouldn’t have had to donate it in an attempt to be believed.
“I shouldn’t have had to allocate it all to…”
The NBC host interrupted her comments once again, telling her “you shouldn’t have done it, but once you said you did.”
Mrs. Heard replied, “Right, and that was where it was intended to go.”
At the libel trial, jurors heard testimony from ACLU Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Terence Dougherty that the charity had so far received less than half of the $3.5 million pledged.
Mr. Dougherty said that $350,000 had been paid directly by Ms. Heard, $100,000 paid through Mr. Depp, $500,000 paid by Elon Musk through a donor-advised fund, and that $350,000 was also paid through from a donor-advised fund (also believed to be Mr. Musk’s), for a total donation of $1.3 million.
The court was shown an email from 2016 detailing a 10-year plan for Ms Heard to make the donation.
The ACLU executive testified that the charity had not received any money from Ms Heard since 2019 because the actor “was having financial difficulties”.
Ms Heard was accused of “lying” about the donations during intense questioning by Mr Depp’s legal team.
At one point, she told the court that she had been unable to complete the payments due to legal costs stemming from her ex-husband’s lawsuit.
He also stated that he uses the terms “pledged” and “donated” interchangeably.
Ms Guthrie’s questioning of Ms Heard on the matter comes days after the NBC presenter admitted her husband worked as a consultant for Mr Depp’s legal team.
Ms. Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, a public relations consultant and former Democratic political adviser who worked on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.
He made the revelation about the connection last week when he interviewed Depp’s lawyers, Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew, on NBC on Wednesday morning. This day to show.
“A quick disclosure, my husband has done consulting work for Depp’s legal team, but not in connection with this interview,” she said.
Ms. Guthrie also previously interviewed Ms. Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft, in the This day show the morning after the verdict was announced.
Heard’s meeting with Guthrie marks the first time the actress has given an interview since she lost her defamation case with her ex-husband and was ordered to pay him $8.35 million in damages.
Depp sued his ex-wife for defamation over a 2018 op-ed washington post where she described herself as a victim of domestic abuse and spoke of feeling “the full force of our culture’s anger at women speaking out.”
After an explosive six-week trial, a seven-person jury found that Ms. Heard had defamed him on all three counts.
Amber Heard is seen on the witness stand during intense questioning at the trial
Jurors awarded Mr. Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, before Fairfax County Circuit Judge Penney Azcarate reduced the latter to the state’s legal limit of $350,000.
Ms Heard won one of her three countersuits against her ex-husband, with the jury finding that Mr Depp, through his lawyer Adam Waldman, defamed her by calling her abuse allegations “false” and a “hoax by sexual violence”.
He was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages but $0 in punitive damages, leaving the aquaman actor $8.35 million out of pocket.
Ms Heard described the verdict as “a setback” for women who report abuse and said she plans to appeal.