After a jury determined that Amber Heard’s 2018 piece in the Washington Post was defamatory, Johnny Depp has won his multimillion-dollar US lawsuit against her.
“I spoke up against sexual violence – and faced our culture’s wrath,” Mr Depp wrote in the piece, which he sued for $50 million. “This needs to change.”
Despite the fact that the piece does not name Mr Depp, his attorneys claim it erroneously implies that he physically and sexually abused Ms Heard throughout their relationship.
On Wednesday, jurors rendered a decision in favour of Mr Depp after six weeks of testimony and nearly 13 hours of discussion. The actor was given compensatory damages of ten million dollars (£8 million) and punitive damages of five million dollars (£4 million).
Mr Depp stated in a statement after the verdict that he was “humbled” that the jury had “given me my life back.” “From the beginning, regardless of the outcome, the purpose of bringing this lawsuit was to uncover the truth,” he stated.
YES!!!!!! YES!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/knLCsRnmZ8
— Ellie Schuster ⚔️🛡️⚖️ (@LyttleWyng) June 1, 2022
“I owed it to my children and all those who have remained steadfast in their support for me to speak the truth.
“I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, massive support, and kindness from all across the world,” he concluded. “I hope that my efforts to get the truth out have aided others, men and women, in similar situations, and that those who assist them never give up.”
Mr Depp was apparently in the northeast of England after performing three nights in a row with musician Jeff Beck and was not present for the judgement.
As the judge read out the verdict, Ms Heard, who was present, sat at the front of the courtroom between members of her legal team, her face was downcast.
She appeared to be listening closely to the judgement with her head bowed. Ms Heard’s complaint against Mr Depp over comments made by his lawyer Adam Waldman, who reportedly referred to her abuse claims as a “hoax,” was also found to be defamatory, and she was given 2 million dollars (£1.6 million) in damages.
In a statement, she stated, “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words.” The actress expressed her disappointment with the judgement, saying she was “heartbroken” but “even more sad with what this verdict signifies for other women.” “I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was 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.” The decision, according to Ms. Heard, “sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated”.
She went on to say that Mr Depp’s lawyers had succeeded in persuading jury members to “overlook” the right to free expression. “I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly,” she said. During his own testimony, Mr Depp repeatedly disputed the “outrageous, ridiculous” allegations of abuse, saying he had “stood up for what I have been carrying on my back grudgingly for six years.”
The court previously heard that Ms Heard and her legal team overstated descriptions of Mr Depp’s drug usage and aggression. Because The Washington Post’s online editions are produced through servers in Fairfax County, the case was brought in Virginia rather than California, where the performers live. Family members, acquaintances, coworkers, employers, and others, including British supermodel Kate Moss and both Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard, have all testified. During the trial in Fairfax County District Court, throngs of spectators gathered outside in an attempt to get access to the courthouse and see the proceedings. Many people waited outside the courthouse for the decision and erupted in applause when the verdicts were readout.