A jury announced on Wednesday that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had won part of their defamation claims after debating for roughly 12 hours over three days.

The jury’s startling verdict found both defamation charges believable and awarded both celebrities millions of dollars in damages after hearing weeks of testimony, including hours from both Depp and Heard themselves. Johnny Depp will pay Heard $15 million, and Heard will pay Depp $2 million.

The jury decided to give Depp $10 million in compensatory damages for libel and $5 million in punitive damages for libel. The $2 million awarded to Heard was for compensatory damages.

The trial lasted six weeks and focused on whether Heard defamed her ex-husband in a 2018 newspaper op-ed in which she referred to herself as “a public figure symbolizing domestic abuse.” Depp claimed for $50 million in damages, claiming that, despite the fact that the article didn’t mention him by name, it was a clear enough reference to him to harm his reputation and cost him lucrative film roles. Heard countersued Depp for $100 million, alleging that Depp and his former lawyer conspired to slander her by dismissing her allegations of abuse as a fiction.

Depp had to show not only that he never assaulted Heard, but also that Heard’s piece — which was mostly about domestic violence policy – defamed him. He had to further show that Heard wrote the essay with malice in mind. And, in order to recover damages, he had to show that her article harmed his reputation, rather than any of the other pieces that documented the charges against him before and after Heard’s essay.

Heard claimed she was “sorry she lost this case” and “heartbroken that the pile of evidence still wasn’t enough to stand up to my ex-disproportionate husband’s power, influence, and sway” minutes after the decision was read.

The verdict, she said, was a loss for women because it “sets back the idea that violence against women should be handled seriously.”

The verdict, Depp added in a statement, “given me my life back” and he is “deeply humbled.”

“The purpose of pursuing this lawsuit from the outset was to uncover the truth, regardless of the outcome,” he concluded. “I owed it to my children and all those who have remained consistent in their support for me to tell the truth. I’m relieved that I’ve finally completed that task.”

The trial grabbed the internet and was webcast live every day, attracting millions of viewers. Some fans even camped there for days, spending tens of thousands of dollars to see the court hearings live.

Here’s a rundown of what transpired, as well as some crucial moments from the trial:

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case summary

Depp, 58, filed a libel suit against Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court in 2018 over an op-ed she published for the Washington Post. The article was titled: “I spoke out against sexual abuse and was met with backlash from our culture. This must change.” She referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse” in the poem.

Depp’s lawyers contended that Heard never addressed Depp by name, but that it was a clear allusion to abuse allegations she made when she filed a restraining order against him in 2016.

Depp denied ever striking Heard and said she was the one who abused him. Heard spoke about more than a dozen incidents of physical abuse she claims she received from Depp.

Depp said that the allegations and story damaged his film career, making him a Hollywood outcast and costing him a spot in the lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” film trilogy.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button