It might have had all the hype of must-see TV, but when it came time to sit down and watch Amber Heard’s tell-all interview with Savannah Guthrie, most people didn’t care.
During Friday’s hour-long segment on Dateline, Heard told Guthrie that she stood by “every word” of her testimony and revealed reams of notes allegedly written by her therapist that she said proved her allegations of abuse at the hands of ex-husband Johnny Depp.
But the interview didn’t prove to be a ratings hit for NBC, with Heard’s much-talked about appearance helping sink Dateline to its lowest audience since November, according to TVLine.
Even though some of the night’s revelations were teased throughout the week in clips that aired on the TODAY show, including Heard’s admission that she still loved Depp, Dateline was trounced by a repeat episode of 20/20, with just 2.3 million tuning in to watch the actress tearfully rehash some of the allegations she testified to during the couple’s six-week long defamation trial.
Depp, 59, sued Heard, 36, for $50 million, accusing her of defaming him with the op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in which she described herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” The three-time Oscar nominee claimed her article ruined his career and led to a series of cancelled film projects, including a sixth Pirates of the Caribbean instalment.
Heard hit back with her own $100 million counterclaim after the star’s former lawyer called her allegations a hoax. Both accused one another of ruining their respective careers.
A Virginia jury ruled in Depp’s favour, awarding him $15 million after they unanimously agreed that Heard defamed him and ruined his career when she penned the 2018 article. With the amount capped at $10.35 million, the jury also found Depp guilty of defaming her on one count through his former lawyer Adam Waldman. Heard was awarded $2 million.
During her testimony, Heard painted a picture of an allegedly controlling and abusive Depp, who, as he was known to the world as one of Hollywood’s biggest film stars, was a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde-like “monster” behind closed doors.
But a juror in the case told Good Morning America that none of the seven-person jury believed her.
“She would answer one question and she would be crying and then two seconds later she would turn ice cold,” they said. “Some of us used the expression ‘crocodile tears.’”
On social media, Depp fans branded Heard’s tell-all a “flop,” with one person tweeting, “Amber Heard’s interview was so cringe. I didn’t think her acting could get any worse but I was so wrong.”
“Depp could have given Dateline the highest ratings in history by simply sitting in the chair eating a muffin!” another chided.
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Speaking on a recent episode of her podcast (via Newsweek), former TODAY co-host Megyn Kelly said it was Heard’s “bad” testimony that sank her case.
“The jury heard all of your defences, all of your attempts to poke holes in the credibility of (people testifying on behalf of Depp), and they rejected them. That doesn’t make the jury this helpless group of vulnerable people who would just be swayed by the randos and the paid employees.
“They factored all of that in and they still did not believe you. Like, that’s how bad your case was, your testimonial was. They saw all of that and heard all those arguments. They rejected them.”
During an appearance on the Law & Crime channel, Kelly also said Heard is “unemployable” after the verdict.
“The jurors didn’t read any of the social media stuff, they listened to the evidence & concluded she was lying,” Piers Morgan said, piling on. “I suggest it’s time for Ms. Heard to stop playing the victim.”
A rep for Depp addressed Heard’s Dateline allegations in a message shared with the media.
“It’s unfortunate that while Johnny is looking to move forward with his life, the defendant and her team are back to repeating, reimagining and re-litigating matters that have already been decided by the Court and a verdict that was unanimously and unequivocally decided by a jury in Johnny’s favour,” the statement read.
But a spokesperson for Heard fired back in an email to the Toronto Sun, saying, “If Mr. Depp or his team have a problem with this, we recommend that Johnny himself sit down with Savannah Guthrie for an hour and answer all her questions.”
It might be time for Guthrie to order up half a dozen muffins while the rest of us watch the fireworks.