Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she penned for The Washington Post where she described herself as a “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
Depp sued her for $50 million, while Heard countersued the Deep for $100 million. She accused her ex-husband of orchestrating a smear campaign. Against her and described his lawsuit as a continuation of “abuse and harassment.”
The jury has unanimously ruled in favour of Depp. The jury found that Heard had defamed Depp and her op-ed published in the newspaper. Being a victim of domestic violence was malicious and was directed towards Johnny Depp.
A total compensation of $15million ($10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages) has been awarded to Depp.
The Jury also decreed that Amber should received $2 million. As she was also defamed when by Depp’s lawyer called her abuse allegations a hoax.
The verdict brings an end to the trial which was being broadcasted on television for several weeks.
Depp, who lost a libel case in London in 2020 against The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater,” celebrated the verdict as a victory and said the jury “gave me my life back.”
The five-man, two-woman jury, after deliberating over three days, found that Heard had defamed Depp. In an op-ed piece, and awarded him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
At the same time, the jury found that the 58-year-old Depp had made defamatory claims against the 36-year-old Heard. Also, awarded her compensatory damages — but a much lower amount of $2 million.
Heard, her eyes downcast throughout, listened impassively. As the verdict was read out in Fairfax County Circuit Court near the US capital — later declaring herself “heartbroken” by the outcome.
“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she said in a statement. “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.