Thursday Jun 02, 2022
After seven weeks of bombshell testimony in the $100 million Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard defamation trial, a jury in Fairfax, Virginia has ruled in favour of Johnny Depp.
The Pirates of The Caribbean star has been awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
The 58-year-old released a statement minutes after the verdicts were read in his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
“The jury gave me my life back,” he said, adding later. “Truth never perishes.”
Heard says she is “Heartbroken” by verdict in favor of Johnny Depp: “The Disappointment I Feel Today Is Beyond Words”
Depp sued Amber Heard for $50 million and then she filed a countersuit against him for $100 million. They each claim the other defamed them.
Judge Penney Azcarate brought the jury in at 3 p.m. to announce the verdict at the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia where the trial has been ongoing for seven weeks.
Reacting to the verdict, Heard called it a "setback" for women.
"The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. 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," she said in a statement.
"I'm even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback... It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously," she said.
A few dozen onlookers and Depp supporters were posted outside for the verdict, one man sporting a "Jack Sparrow" pirate hat and a woman with a placard reading: "No matter what happens today, Johnny, you are a winner!!! And the whole word knows the TRUTH!!!"
Dozens of witnesses testified during the trial, including bodyguards, Hollywood executives, agents, entertainment industry experts, doctors, friends and relatives.
Depp and Heard each spent days on the witness stand during the televised trial, which was attended by hundreds of fans of the "Pirates" star and accompanied by a #JusticeForJohnnyDepp campaign on social media.
Video and audio recordings of heated, profanity-laced arguments between the couple were played for the jury, which was also shown photographs of injuries allegedly suffered by Heard during their volatile relationship.
Depp testified that it was Heard who was frequently violent and said it has been "brutal" to listen to "outlandish" accusations of domestic abuse made against him.
Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, obtained a restraining order against him in May 2016, citing domestic violence.
Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee, filed a libel suit in London against the British tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife-beater." He lost that case in November 2020.
Both sides have claimed damage to their Hollywood careers.