Johnny Depp wins his defamation suit against ex-wife Amber Heard as the jury awards the actor $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The jury has reached a verdict in the highly-publicized defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. The former couple met on The Rum Diary set in 2011 and married in 2015. After one year of marriage, Heard filed for divorce and accused Depp of domestic abu’se. Ever since, the two have been embroiled in a contentious legal battle. Depp previously lost a libel case in the UK which he brought against the British tabloid The Sun for an article that referred to him as a “wife be’ater.”
In 2018, Heard penned an op-ed for The Washington Post with the help of the ALCU in which she detailed her experience of domestic abu’se and s’exual viole’nce, though she never mentioned Depp by name. Despite that, Depp claims the accusations have severely damaged his career and reputation. In response, he filed a $50 million defamation suit against Heard, which was the scope of the recent trial in Fairfax, vir’ginia. Since starting last month on April 11, the defamation trial has revealed various bombshells about the former couple’s tumultuous relationship and their involvement in the Pirates of the Caribbean and Aquaman franchises. Now, after several weeks of testimony and days of deliberation, the jury has reached a verdict.
Now, per AP, the jury’s verdict has been announced. Depp has won his libel lawsuit against Heard. Heard won on one account of defamation and was awarded $2 million. Depp was awarded $15 million.
While the jury found that both actors are liable for defamation against one another, this verdict is considered to be a massive win for Depp and his legal team. Breaking down the total of damages awarded, the jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million dollars in punitive damages. On the other hand, Heard was granted just $2 million in compensatory damages and nothing in terms of punitive damages. Heard did not react as the verdict was read in court, though she soon released a statement saying she is “heartbroken.” Depp was not present in the courtroom for the announcement of the verdict, who was spotted playing guitar at a Jeff Beck concert in the UK over this past weekend. Depp also reacted to the verdict in a written statement, saying “The Jury gave me my life back.”
Though there will surely be more comments from both sides and many reactions online, this verdict effectively puts an end to the high-profile trial that has captured the public’s collective attention for the past six weeks. Though the jury ruled in favor of Depp, this contentious legal battle appears to have damaged the reputations and careers of both actors. It remains to be seen if Johnny Depp and Amber Heard will ever be able to fully recover, but perhaps now, they will finally be able to put this incredibly difficult legal battle behind them and begin the process of moving on with their lives.