Amber Heard says Captain Jack Sparrow fans outside court made her feel ‘less than human’

‘Every single day I passed city blocks filled with people, holding signs, saying “Burn the witch”, “Death to Amber”,’ Heard said in interview with ‘Today’ show

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 15 June 2022 07:50 BST
Amber Heard says she felt 'less than human' during defamation trial

Amber Heard has claimed that Pirates of the Caribbeanfans outside the courthouse made her feel “removed from humanity” during her libel trial against ex-husband Johnny Depp.

Court procedings were broadcast live on TV throughout the six-week legal battle, with the trial also attracting crowds of in-person admirers, many of whom stood outside the courthouse to voice their support for Depp.

Depp had sued Heard for $50m (£39.8m) over a Washington Post op-ed titled: “I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.”

The article did not mention Depp by name, but the Pirate star’s lawyers argued that it falsely implies he physically and sexually abused Heard during their relationship.

Heard countersued for $100m (£80.9m), accusing Depp of orchestrating a “smear campaign” against her and describing his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment”.

During a new interview on NBC’s Today, Heard reflected on the trial, and on the treatment she had received from Depp fans.

“Every single day I passed from three, four, sometimes six city blocks filled with people, holding signs, saying ‘Burn the witch’, ‘Death to Amber’,” she recalled. “After three and a half weeks I took the stand and saw a courtroom packed full with Captain Jack Sparrow fans, who were vocal, energised...

“This was the most humiliating and horrible thing I’ve ever been through,” she continued. “I have never felt more removed from my own humanity. I felt less than human.”

Amber Heard speaking on NBC
Amber Heard speaking on NBC (Screenshot/NBC News)

On Wednesday 1 June, the jury shared their verdicts, finding that Heard had defamed Depp on all three counts.

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The jury found that Heard defamed Depp on all three counts and awarded him $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages. Heard was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages.

In the same interview, Heard responded to Depp’s lawyer’s claim that she had been “acting” in court, and that her testimony had constituted the “performance of a lifetime”.

In her answer, she alluded to the Tim Burton film Edward Scissorhands, in which Depp famously starred.

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