Drew Barrymore has apologized for making a joke about Johnny Depp’s defamation case against Amber Heard on her talk show.
Last week, while discussing pop culture with guest Anthony Anderson on her daytime talk show, Barrymore, 47, said that the court case, which is being televised and live-streamed for the public, has become a “seven-layer dip of insanity.” The two stars laughed and made jokes about some of the strange things mentioned in the testimonies.
“It’s so fascinating. I know that these are two people’s real lives and I know what it’s like to have your life put out in public. I understand all the feelings, but they are actually offering up this information,” she said in the segment.
Some people on Twitter reacted negatively to Barrymore’s laughter about the subject, with one person saying they’d “lost all respect” for the actress: “How would she feel if people laughed at her childhood trauma?” “I love you, but what is this?” said another. “Abuse is not funny.”
Barrymore, who has met Depp and interviewed his actress daughter Lily-Rose Depp on her show, apologized in a video message on Instagram for “lightening” the situation.
“It has come to my attention that I have offended people with making light of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, and for that I just want to deeply apologize and appreciate everyone who spoke out because this can be a teachable moment for me and how I move forward and how I conduct myself,” she said.
“I can be a more thoughtful and better person moving forward because all I want to do is be a good person,” continued Barrymore. “I very much appreciate the depth of this and I will grow and change from it. And I thank everyone for helping me grow along the way and teaching me. Thank you.”
Depp, 58, is suing Heard, 36, for defamation in connection with an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in 2018 about surviving domestic violence, though she never mentioned Depp by name.
Depp stated under oath, “I never reached the point of striking Ms. Heard in any way, nor have I ever struck any woman in my life.” He explained that his “goal” in suing Heard for defamation is “the truth,” and that he hopes to “clear the record” of Heard’s allegations of domestic violence against him.
In his closing statement last week, Depp stated that he had lost “nothing short of everything” as a result of Heard’s allegations against him. Heard stated in a statement prior to the proceedings earlier this month that “Hopefully, when this case is finished, I and Johnny will be able to move on. I’ve always had feelings for Johnny, and it pains me to have to relive the details of our past together in front of the world.”
Dr. Laurel Anderson, Depp’s former marriage counselor, previously testified that Depp and Heard engaged in “mutual abuse” with each other. Anderson stated that she noticed “multiple” small bruises on Heard’s face during an in-person meeting.
Heard has yet to testify in the case, but she is scheduled to do so later this week.
During opening statements, Heard’s attorney Rottenborn stated that evidence will show that Depp subjected her to domestic abuse that “took many forms,” including physical, emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse, as well as “sexual violence at the hands of Depp.” Depp’s spokesperson denies the allegations, calling them “fictitious.”
In 2015, Heard and Depp married. They ended their relationship in May 2016, when Heard filed for a domestic violence restraining order against him, accusing him of abusing her. Depp denied the allegations, and the former couple reached an out-of-court settlement in August 2016.
Depp lost his highly publicized U.K. libel lawsuit case against British tabloid The Sun in November 2020 for calling him a “wife-beater.” The court found the outlet’s claims to be “substantially true,” and Heard testified to support them. His attempt to overturn the decision was rejected in March 2021.