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- The jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million in punitive damages against Amber Heard, which the court lowered to $10.35 million due to state limitations on punitive penalties. Depp was ordered to pay Heard $2 million in damages by the panel.
Johnny Depp won more than $10 million in damages in a defamation claim against ex-wife Amber Heard, gaining a near-total triumph after a six-week trial involving graphic testimony about the stars’ deteriorating relationship.
A seven-person jury in Virginia also found in favour of Heard on one of Depp’s counterclaims. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor described the verdict as a vindication, but his ex-wife described it as “disappointing.”
The jury awarded Johnny Depp $15 million in punitive damages against Amber Heard, which the court lowered to $10.35 million due to state limitations on punitive penalties. Depp was ordered to pay Heard $2 million in damages by the panel.
Depp, 58, had sued Heard for $50 million, claiming she defamed him when she referred to herself in a newspaper opinion piece as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Heard countersued for $100 million, alleging that Depp’s attorney slandered her by calling her allegations a “hoax.”
Johnny Depp denied hurting Heard, 36, or any other woman, and claimed that she was the aggressor in their relationship.
He told the jury that the “Aquaman” actress’s allegations had cost him “everything.” The production of a new “Pirates” picture was put on hold, and Johnny Depp was replaced in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a “Harry Potter” spin-off.
“The jury restored my life. I am genuinely humbled “Depp, who observed the judgement from Britain, issued the following statement:
“The best is yet to come, and a new chapter has begun,” he concluded, using the Latin phrase “Veritas numquam perit.” Truth endures forever.”
As the judgments were read, Amber Heard, seated in the courtroom between two of her attorneys, looked down.
“Today’s disappointment is beyond description,” she stated in a statement. “I’m heartbroken that the pile of evidence was insufficient to combat my ex-enormous husband’s power, influence, and persuasion.”
She continued, “I’m even more disappointed by what this judgement signifies for other women.” It is an obstacle.
In Britain less than two years ago, JohnDepp faced a different fate when he sued the Sun newspaper for labelling him a “wife abuser.” A London High Court judge concluded that he had assaulted Heard on multiple occasions.
The couple met while filming “The Rum Diary” in 2011 and wed in February 2015. Their divorce was finalised around two years after their separation.
The legal dispute centred on an opinion piece published by Heard in the Washington Post in December 2018. The story did not identify John Depp by name, but Depp’s attorney told the jury that Heard was clearly alluding to him.
The jury agreed with all of Depp’s defamation accusations, which included an article paragraph and title that stated: “I came out against sexual violence, incurring the wrath of our culture. This must change.”
The jury dismissed two of Heard’s three counterclaims. When an attorney representing Depp told a media source that Heard faked property damage to show to police after an alleged fight, they determined she was defamed.
The statement stated in part, “Amber and her companions spilt some wine and roughed up the establishment before getting their tales straight under the direction of a lawyer and publicist.”
During six weeks of testimony, Heard’s attorneys contended that she had expressed the truth and that her statements were protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The jury listened to audio recordings of the couple’s arguments and viewed graphic photographs of Depp’s bleeding finger. In 2015, Heard allegedly cut the tip of his finger when he hurled a vodka bottle at him.
Heard denied hurting Depp’s finger and claimed Depp sexually attacked her with a liquor bottle on that same evening. She stated that she had just struck him to defend herself or her sister.
The testimony was widely livestreamed on social media, attracting big viewers interested in the couple’s tumultuous relationship.
Because the Washington Post is printed in Fairfax County, Virginia, Depp’s attorneys filed the U.S. complaint there. The newspaper was not a party to the case.