A six-week trial has come to an end between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
A jury has ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. She'd written a 2018 Washington Post Op-Ed calling herself "a public figure representing domestic abuse. This led to Depp's reputation being tarnished. However, Heard made similiar claims that her career was destroyed by Depp's lawyer who called all of her claims a hoax and alledging she was advised by a lawyer to stage a domestic violence scene.
Depp was awarded $10 million, plus punitive damages of $5 million. Amber Heard, on the other hand, won one of three claims in the countersuit against her former husband and was awarded $2 million in damages. The judge reduced the $5 million punitive damage award for Johnny, because Virginia law caps punitive damages in these cases at $350,000. This means Amber Heard owes Johnny Depp $8,350,000.
After hearing the ruling, Amber Heard has made a statement, “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard 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. I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously. I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was so conclusive that we won in the UK. 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.”
Depp's lengthy statement after hearing the findings: "Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed. All in the blink of an eye." He continues, "False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me ... And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled." Offering thanks to those involved in the case, "I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth." Finally, he says, "The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun. Veritas numquam perit. Truth never perishes."