Amber Heard said on Today that she still plans to fulfill her promise to donate the $7 million settlement she received in her divorce from Johnny Depp
Amber Heard says she is standing by her commitment to donate the $7 million settlement from her divorce from Johnny Depp.
“I made a pledge, and that pledge is made over time by its nature,” the 36-year-old actress told Savannah Guthrie in her exclusive interview for NBC News, airing on the Today show throughout the week.
She added that she still plans to honor the pledge, according to Guthrie in Wednesday’s aired segment.
Heard’s statement came after Guthrie asked, “You had promised to donate the $7 million of your divorce settlement to charity. It was revealed at trial that you haven’t done so yet [but] they played a tape where you [said you had]. Do you think that raised questions as to your credibility with the jury?”
“When you said ‘I donated,’ you know that everybody thinks you’ve donated it, not that you’ve pledged it,” pressed the journalist, 50. “So for the jurors sitting there, do you think they felt like that was you getting caught in a lie?”
“I don’t know, because I feel like so much of the trial was meant to cast dispersions on who I am as a human, my credibility, to call me a liar in every way you can,” Heard said.
Watch all of part two of @SavannahGuthrie’s exclusive interview with Amber Heard, in which Heard discusses her future, fears about new defamation lawsuits and whether she still “has love” for Johnny Depp: pic.twitter.com/xr3EX9se6K
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 15, 2022
This echoes what Heard said on the witness stand during the trial, when she explained legal costs for the case brought by Depp halted her ability to continue with the donations.
“I would love him to stop suing me so I can,” she said during her testimony of making good on the the promised charitable payments.
Depp, 59, and Heard reached a $7 million divorce settlement in August 2016. That same month, the Machete Kills actress said the entire sum was “being donated,” adding, “This is over and above any funds that I have given away in the past and will continue to give away in the future.”
Heard added in her statement that the donation would be divided amongst a number of charities but with “a particular focus to stop violence against women” as well as the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where Heard had worked as a volunteer over the previous 10 years.
“I know these organizations will put the funds to good use and look forward to continuing to support them in the future. Hopefully, this experience results in a positive change in the lives of people who need it the most,” the actress concluded in her statement.
Terence Dougherty, chief operating officer of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), testified in a pre-recorded deposition played in court in April during Heard’s defamation trial with Depp that the actress had promised to donate half of her settlement to the ACLU, with the rest of the sum going to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
By the time of the deposition’s recording in December 2021, the ACLU (which is a nonprofit dedicated to defending individuals’ rights and liberties) had only received $1.3 million in her name, he said.
When payments stopped coming in by 2018, the ACLU reached out to Heard in 2019 about future installments, said Dougherty, who added, “We learned she was having financial difficulties.”
Earlier this month, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor won all three defamation claims in the case he brought against his ex-wife over her 2018 op-ed about coming forward with domestic-abuse allegations. The jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages but the Aquaman 2 actress will only have to pay $10.35 million due to a Virginia law capping punitive damages (the judge reduced the amount).
Depp, meanwhile, was found to have defamed his ex-wife on one of three claims in her countersuit. She was awarded $2 million in damages.
Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft spoke with Guthrie on the June 2 episode of the Today show and, when asked whether her client would be able to pay the amount, said, “Oh, no, absolutely not.” In the same conversation, Bredehoft added that Heard “absolutely” plans to appeal the verdict.
Six days later, Depp’s lawyers Camille Vasquez and Benjamin Chew appeared on Good Morning America, where Chew told George Stephanopoulos that his client was only interested in “restoring his reputation” during the trial.
“You all have said the goal is not to impoverish Ms. Heard. Is it possible we could see a settlement where she forgoes the appeal, in return for Mr. Depp waiving any monetary damages?” asked Stephanopoulos, 61.
“We obviously can’t disclose any attorney-client communications, but as Mr. Depp testified and as we both made clear in our respective closings, this was never about money for Mr. Depp,” Chew responded. “This was about restoring his reputation, and he’s done that.”
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.