Jury awards Johnny Depp millions of dollars in libel suit; Amber Heard Earns Less in Countersuit

Jury awards Johnny Depp millions of dollars in libel suit; Amber Heard Earns Less in Countersuit

Amber Heard was found guilty of defaming Johnny Depp in an op-ed for The Washington Post, and Depp was found liable for a statement her lawyer made to the Daily Mail calling her allegations a hoax, a jury ruled on Wednesday . Jurors awarded Depp a total of $15 million in damages and heard $2 million.

In a statement posted to Twitter and Instagram, Heard said: “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words.” Depp said in a statement posted on Instagram, “The jury gave me back my life.”

The verdict marked the end of a dramatic trial in the civil trial that laid bare the troubled marriage between the stars.

Amber Heard reacts to the verdict on June 1, 2022, as a Virginia jury rules in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation lawsuit against Heard, who accused him of abuse.

CBS News

Depp sued Heard in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia for $50 million over a December 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic violence.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though he never mentioned his name.

Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming Depp’s lawyer defamed her by calling her abuse allegations a hoax.

The jury informed Judge Penney Azcarate that they had returned the verdict in the early afternoon, but the reading of the verdict was delayed so that they could indicate the amount of the monetary awards on the jury form.

While the jury found Depp should be awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages, the judge said state law capped punitive damages at $350,000. $, meaning Depp’s award would total $10.35 million.

Jury awards $15 million to Johnny Depp and $2 million to Amber Heard in defamation case


CBS News legal associate Jessica Levinson said the mixed verdict indicates the jury assessed each of the six statements in isolation and carefully considered the defamation claims.

“It wasn’t just a case of ‘We like Johnny Depp, we don’t like Amber Heard,'” she said, noting that Depp won on all three statements in his trial and Heard won on one of the three in it. counterclaim.

“I think ultimately the conclusion is that the jury found they both lied,” Levinson said.

In his statement, Depp said: “The purpose of bringing this case was to bring the truth to light, regardless of the outcome. Telling the truth was something I owed to my children and everyone who stood by their support. . I feel at peace knowing I’ve finally accomplished this.”

Heard, in her statement, said she was sad to have lost the case, but “even sadder that I seem to have lost a right that I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.” She said the verdict sets back women and the treatment of victims of domestic violence.

The jury began its deliberations on Friday afternoon, after six weeks of disturbing and sometimes graphic testimony.

Legal analysts weigh in on Johnny Depp-Amber Heard verdict


Both Depp and Understood testified twice. The jury also heard numerous recordings, in which lawyers said they displayed violent behavior and saw text messages, including between Depp and fellow actor Paul Bettany, that discussed substance use and contained a obscene language.

Understood sister testified to see Depp hit her, and a friend testified to seeing her cuts and bruises.

Model Kate Moss also appeared via video link, adding to the spectacle as broadcast cameras in the courtroom captured every twist of an increasingly delighted audience as fans weighed in on social media and made queuing overnight for coveted courtroom seats.

Closing arguments were delivered on Friday. By the time the court rose for lunch, jurors were led by lawyers for Depp and Heard – who then had a combined 45 minutes to present rebuttals later Friday afternoon. The case went to the jury later in the day, for the latest leg of what has been six weeks of legal drama that has lifted the curtain on the stars’ troubled marriage.

The jury was instructed to focus their deliberations not only on whether there had been abuse, but also on whether Heard’s opinion piece could be considered legally defamatory. The article itself focuses primarily on the political issues of domestic violence, but Depp’s attorney points to two passages from the article, as well as an online headline that they claim defames Depp.

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