Mr. Depp was defamed by Ms. Heard in an op-ed when she identified herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse,” but she was also defamed by one of his lawyers, according to the verdict.
Depp sued his ex-wife Heard for defamation after she penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in 2018 in which she portrayed herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Depp alleges the report cost him lucrative acting roles, even though he was not identified in the article. Heard countersued Depp for defamation over statements made by Depp’s lawyer about her abuse allegations.
The jury determined that Heard defamed Depp in three distinct statements in The Washington Post article and that Depp defamed Heard with one statement made by his counsel.
Johnny Depp was granted compensatory damages of $10 million and punitive damages of $5 million by the jury. Heard received $2 million in compensatory damages from the jury, but no punitive damages were granted.
Depp was seeking $50 million in damages, while Heard was asking for $100 million. The judge lowered the punitive damages award to $350,000 since punitive damages in Virginia are capped at that amount.
According to CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson, the ruling represents a “tremendous” legal victory for Depp and a rejection of Heard.
“It’s a huge win,” Jackson exclaimed. “He had to overcome a First Amendment difficulty, which states that everyone has the freedom to communicate their thoughts and opinions. They (the jury) said that you do have a First Amendment right until you say something inaccurate that harms someone’s reputation and leads them to lose business.”
David Shane, a Spokesman for Heard, Said She Plans to Appeal the Verdict.
Although the jury determined that both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had been defamed, the jury decided that Depp was entitled to more money.
On Wednesday, a jury in Virginia determined that his ex-wife Amber Heard had defamed him in a 2018 op-ed, giving the actor a victory in his lengthy, tumultuous struggle over domestic abuse charges.
However, the jury was split in its verdict, with one of the three statements at the heart of Ms. Heard’s complaint, made by one of Mr. Depp’s lawyers at the time, is found to be defamatory.
Mr. Depp received $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages from the jury, but the judge limited the punitive awards to $10.35 million due to legal limitations. Ms. Heard received a $2 million damages award from the jury.
Millions of people watched the six-week trial on television or streamed it online as the two major Hollywood stars made claims and countercharges of physical abuse against each other in court, often in gruesome detail. One of the most high-profile civil cases to go to trial during the #MeToo era.
Mr. Depp vehemently denied Ms. Heard’s claims of physical violence, including punching, headbutting, and hair dragging, as well as sexual assault.
Mr. Depp stated, “It’s absurd to hear horrific allegations of violence — sexual assault — that she has attributed to me.” “I don’t believe anyone appreciates having to rip oneself openly and disclose the truth, but there are times when it’s necessary because things have gotten out of hand.”
Ms. Heard was accused of defaming Mr. Depp in a Washington Post op-ed in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse” and said she watched “how institutions defend males accused of abuse,” according to Mr. Depp’s lawsuit.
Mr. Depp said that the article, which was spearheaded and prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union, plainly related to their marriage, which began in 2015 and ended just over a year later.
Ms. Heard, 36, insisted throughout the trial that everything written in the op-ed was true and that she was the one who was defamed when, in 2020, a lawyer representing Mr. Depp, 58, told a British tabloid that her abuse allegations were a “hoax.” She sued Mr. Depp for the statements, claiming the lawyer was acting on his behalf. The jury, however, did not conclude that her ex-husband defamed her as part of its ruling on Tuesday.
Mr. Depp’s victory, which he denies beating Ms. Heard or any other woman, contrasts with a legal defeat in the United Kingdom in 2020 when he sued the proprietors of The Sun, a tabloid newspaper. In a headline in The Sun, he was referred to as a “wife-beater,” and the case ended with a judge, Andrew Nicol, finding evidence that he had abused Ms. Heard.
Amber Heard Says She Is ‘heartbroken’ by The Verdict.
After her ex-husband Johnny Depp was handed a victory in his defamation lawsuit against her, Amber Heard issued a statement expressing her disappointment “beyond words.”
“I’m heartbroken that my ex-excessive husband’s power, influence, and sway were not enough to overcome the pile of evidence,” she stated.
Ms. Heard’s spokeswoman, Alafair Hall, said that the actress intends to appeal the ruling.
Mr. Depp’s legal team succeeded in persuading the jury to “ignore” information that led to a British judge ruling that there was proof he abused Ms. Heard in a 2020 libel case, according to Ms. Heard, who won partial success in her lawsuit against Mr. Depp.
“What this decision signifies for other women makes me even more disappointed,” she remarked. “It’s a setback,” said the narrator. It reverts to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out was publicly embarrassed and humiliated. It undercuts the notion that women’s violence should be taken seriously.”
In a statement, Ms. Heard expressed her disappointment with the verdict, but said that she was “even more disappointed that I appear to have lost a privilege I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.”
Outside the courts, Ms. Heard’s council remained silent.
Johnny Depp Says Virginia Jury ‘gave Me My Life Back.’
Shortly after Johnny Depp won a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard, one of his reps issued a statement on his behalf, claiming that he was “humbled” by the judgment and that it marked the beginning of a new chapter in his life.
“My life, the lives of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and the lives of those who have supported and believed in me for many, many years were permanently changed six years ago,” Mr. Depp wrote in his statement.
According to him, Ms. Heard’s abuse allegations had a “seismic impact” on his life and career.
“And the jury handed me my life back six years later,” the statement said. “I’m in awe of you.”
In his statement, the actor said he only filed the claim after “much thinking,” knowing he would be facing a “global spectacle.”
“I hope that my quest for the truth has aided others, men and women, who have found themselves in similar situations, and that those who support them never give up,” the statement added. “I also hope that, both in the courts and in the media, the position will now be reverted to innocent until proven guilty.”
Two of Mr. Depp’s lawyers talked to reporters and assembled fans and bystanders after the verdict was read, hailing it as one that “confirms what we have said from the beginning.”
“We’re also delighted that the trial has connected with so many people in the public who cherish truth and justice,” said Benjamin Chew, one of his lawyers. “Now that the jury has rendered a definitive decision, it’s time to turn the page and look forward.”
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard React to The Verdict
As the decision was read, Heard kept her gaze fixed on the floor. Depp was not in court, but issued a statement in which he stated, in part, that “the jury handed me my life back.”
After the verdict was announced, Johnny Depp’s lawyers, Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez spoke to the press.
“The purpose of bringing this case was clear from the start: regardless of the outcome, the goal was to uncover the truth. I owed it to my children and all those who have been by my side throughout the years, to tell the truth “He expressed himself. “Knowing I’ve finally completed something makes me feel at ease.”
“It’s time to turn the page and look to the future,” Depp’s lawyers said on Wednesday, thanking the jury.
“We are grateful, incredibly grateful, to the jury for their thorough thought, to the judge and the court staff who have committed an incredible amount of time and resources to this case,” attorney Camille Vasquez said outside the court to reporters.
In a statement, Heard said the verdict had left her “heartbroken.”
“I can’t express how disappointed I am right now. I’m devastated that my ex-excessive husband’s power, influence, and persuasion were not enough to overcome the avalanche of evidence “I overheard.”
Depp and Heard met on the set of their film “The Rum Diary” in 2009 and married for three years before separating in 2016.
Andrew is an Chief Editor at the Landscape Insight with over 15 years of experience working in different magazines. He has been writing for Landscape Insight on a wide range of Entertainment topics including Celebrity Net Worth, Controversies, Web Series & Movie Updates, etc. When he isn’t writing, Andrew enjoys playing video games and baseball.