What Johnny Depp and Amber Heard said after the libel verdict

What Johnny Depp and Amber Heard said after the libel verdict

“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women,” Amber Heard said.


A US jury found on Wednesday that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard had defamed each other, but sided much more firmly with the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star following an intense libel lawsuit involving bitterly contested allegations sexual violence and domestic violence.

Depp, who lost a 2020 London libel case against The Sun for calling him a ‘wife beater’, celebrated the split verdict as a victory and said the jury ‘gave me my life back’ .

The jury of five men and two women, after deliberating for three days, found that Heard defamed Depp in an editorial and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

At the same time, the jury found that 58-year-old Depp made defamatory allegations against 36-year-old Heard and also awarded her compensatory damages, but in an amount well below $2. millions of dollars.

Heard, eyes downcast throughout, listened impassively, as the verdict was read outside Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capitol – later saying she was “heartbroken” by the outcome.

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said in a statement. “I am heartbroken that the mountain of evidence was still not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence and sway of my ex-husband.

“I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women,” she said. “It’s a setback. It pushes back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously.”

Depp, who has been in England for a few days, was not present in court for the verdict of the highly publicized trial which was based on grim claims and counterclaims of domestic violence between Hollywood celebrities.

But in a statement, he welcomed the verdict.

“The jury gave me my life back,” he said. “From the beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome.

“The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.”

Depp sued Heard over an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic violence.”

Texas-born Heard, who starred in ‘Aquaman,’ didn’t name Depp in the play, but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and demanded $50 million. dollars in damages.

Heard has sued for $100 million, claiming she was defamed by statements by Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman, who told the Daily Mail that her abuse allegations were a “hoax”.

Both had to prove that the statements were defamatory, and to obtain compensatory or punitive damages, the jury had to find that they were made with genuine malice – knowing they were false or with “reckless disregard”. as to whether they were false or not.


Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives.

Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of the ‘Pirates’ star’s fans and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp social media campaign.

Video and audio recordings of heated and blasphemous arguments between the couple were played for the jury, who also saw photographs of injuries allegedly sustained by Heard during their volatile relationship.

Hours of testimony have gone into a horrific finger injury Depp suffered while filming an episode of “Pirates” in Australia in March 2015.

Three-time Oscar nominee Depp claimed a fingertip was cut off when Heard threw a bottle of vodka at him. Heard said she doesn’t know how the injury happened.

Both agreed that Depp continued to scribble messages on walls, lampshades and mirrors using the bloody cipher.

Heard said Depp would become a physically and sexually abusive “monster” during bouts of alcohol and drug use and resisted his repeated efforts to limit his alcohol and drug use.

Depp testified that it was Heard who was often violent and said it was “brutal” to listen to “strange” domestic abuse accusations being leveled against him.

Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic abuse.

Both parties have claimed damages to their Hollywood careers.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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