Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard Trial Verdict: What to Know

This Wednesday a jury discovered each Johnny Depp and Amber Heard answerable for defamation however awarded more money to Depp. The determination follows a extremely publicized trial that befell in Fairfax, Virginia, and spanned a number of weeks.

Depp sued ex-wife Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post, searching for $50 million in damages. On Wednesday, a jury discovered Depp had been defamed by Heard within the piece and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. A decide decreased the punitive damages to $350,000, which is the cap in Virginia. 

Heard, who was searching for $100 million in a countersuit, was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and no punitive damages. The jury discovered {that a} assertion made by a former lawyer of Depp’s — one of many three statements included in Heard’s countersuit — had been defamatory.

Here’s what else you need to know in regards to the trial.

Why did Johnny Depp sue Amber Heard?

Heard, 36, is a mannequin and actress who starred in 2018’s Aquaman. She was married to Depp, 58, from 2015 to 2016. The pair divorced in August 2016.

In December 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post titled, “I spoke up towards sexual violence — and confronted our tradition’s wrath. That has to change.” She stated within the article that she’d grow to be “a public determine representing home abuse” however did not point out Depp’s identify. 

Depp alleged Heard defamed him within the op-ed. During opening statements, Depp lawyer Benjamin Chew stated Heard’s article clearly referred to Depp, and that Heard’s “false allegations had a major influence on Mr. Depp’s household and his potential to work within the career he beloved.” 

Benjamin Rottenborn, a lawyer for Heard, stated that the First Amendment protects what she wrote. “The article is not about Johnny Depp,” Rottenborn stated. “The article is in regards to the social change for which she is advocating and that the First Amendment protects.”

Rottenborn additionally stated proof within the trial would present that Heard did endure home abuse by the hands of Depp, and that it was bodily, emotional, verbal and psychological. 

Depp was confronted with proving that Heard knowingly made false claims. Heard filed a countersuit towards Depp, which was decided as part of the trial. She alleged that Depp defamed her when his former lawyer referred to her allegations of abuse as a hoax.

Johnny Depp on the stand during the trial. As he talks, he holds out his right hand, with fingers spread, as if emphasizing a point.

Depp testifies.


Evelyn Hockstein/Getty Images

Depp misplaced a defamation case that concerned Heard in 2020. He’d sued British tabloid The Sun over a headline calling him a “spouse beater.” Depp filed his present defamation swimsuit in 2019, the yr after she wrote the op-ed.

What did Heard and Depp say throughout testimony within the trial?

When requested in regards to the first time Depp allegedly hit her, Heard described an occasion when she’d requested Depp about what one in all his tattoos stated, and he’d replied “wino.” “I simply laughed as a result of I believed he was joking, and he slapped me throughout the face,” she stated. Heard additionally testified that Depp sexually assaulted her shortly after they have been married.

During his testimony earlier within the trial, Depp stated that he by no means struck Heard however that she displayed violence throughout their relationship. Depp alleged she threw a vodka bottle at his hand throughout an argument, slicing off part of his center finger. 

Heard’s and Depp’s groups delivered their closing arguments on May 27. 

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