An eight-person jury in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial ruled that both Depp and Heard had defamed each other, but sided more firmly with Depp.
Depp was overjoyed when a US jury ruled in his favour in a lengthy defamation fight with his ex-wife Amber Heard over charges of domestic abuse, saying the verdict “given me my life back.”
Depp and Heard were found guilty of defamation by the jury following a six-week trial, although the majority of jurors sided with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor.
While Depp, 58, heralded the split judgement in the case as a success, Heard, 58, claimed she was “heart-broken” after losing a libel action against The Sun newspaper in London in 2020 for branding him a “wife-beater.”
Heard was granted $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages by the five-member, two-woman jury, which deliberated for three days before reaching a verdict.
Punitive damages in Virginia are capped at $350,000, hence the total award is $10.35 million under Virginia law.
One of the three counterclaims that Heard, 36, filed against Depp was found to be valid, and the jury granted her compensatory damages — but just $2 million.
As the decision was handed out in the Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital, a gloomy Heard, her eyes downcast, listened in silence.
She released a statement in which she said, “The disappointment I feel tonight is beyond words.” That the proof I gathered was not enough to overcome my ex-overwhelming husband’s authority, influence, and sway breaks my heart.
Her disappointment was compounded by the implications for other women, which she lamented. This is a setback. ” It rewinds to a period when a woman who voiced her mind may be publicly disgraced or humiliated.
“It undermines the notion that violence against women deserves significant consideration.”
Outside the stadium, the crowds
In the high-profile trial that revolved on salacious charges and counterclaims of domestic abuse involving Hollywood celebrities, Depp was not in court for the verdict.
A message posted on Instagram rapidly garnered millions of “likes,” yet he welcomed the ruling.
My life and the lives of those closest to me and those who have supported and believed in me for a long time were irrevocably affected six years ago,” Depp added.
“The jury restored my faith in humanity,” he remarked. It was always our intention to expose the truth, no matter how bad the conclusion was.”
As the saying goes, “the best is yet to come, and a new chapter has finally begun.”
People in Captain Jack Sparrow costumes stood outside the courthouse, waiting to see if Johnny Depp will be found guilty or not guilty.
No matter what happens today, Johnny, you are a winner!!!” read the placard held by a Depp supporter. Additionally, the truth has been made known to the entirety of the globe!!!
When Heard penned a piece for The Washington Post in December 2018 calling herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse,” Depp decided to sue.
She did not identify Johnny Depp in the article, but he sued her for $50 million in damages because she said he was a domestic abuser, and she refused to back down.
Actor Johnny Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, claimed that Heard’s abuse accusations were a “hoax,” and Heard countersued for $100 million.
Both parties have to show that the remarks were defamatory and that they were made with genuine malice — with knowing that they were untrue or with “reckless disregard” for the truth — in order to obtain compensatory or punitive damages.
Relationship that is prone to ups and downs
Numerous witnesses, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, specialists in the entertainment business as well as family members, testified during the trial
Fans of Johnny Depp flocked to the televised trial, which featured Depp and Heard on the witness stand for days at a time, and was supported by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign.
In addition to video and audio recordings of intense, profanity-laced disputes between the pair, the jury was also shown images of Heard’s alleged injuries as a result of the couple’s turbulent relationship.
The horrific finger injury that Johnny Depp received while filming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” in Australia in March 2015 drew hours of evidence.
Three-time Oscar nominee Johnny Depp claimed a fingertip was cut by Heard’s vodka bottle toss. The injury, according to Heard, was accidental.
Neither of them disagreed that Depp afterwards used the bloodied digit to write inscriptions on walls, lampshades, and mirrors.
When Depp went on booze and drug-fueled binges, Heard warned that he would turn into a “monster” who would abuse him physically and sexually.
During his deposition, Depp stated that Heard was the one who was regularly aggressive and that hearing the “outlandish” allegations of domestic violence had been “terrible.”
Domestic abuse was cited as the reason for Heard’s restraining order against Depp in May 2016.
According to both parties, the charges of abuse and the publicity that followed them have harmed their Hollywood careers.