Johnny Depp wins defamation lawsuit, and Amber Heard will have to pay $15 million in damages
Johnny Depp is the victor in the lawsuit against Amber Heard, which rules that the accusations of abuse the actress made in The Washington Post are false.
The media defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has come to an end with a clear winner. The seven-person jury found that Heard lied and fabricated the allegations of abuse, and ordered her to pay Johnny Depp $15 million in compensation.
The six-week trial began when Depp sued Heard over allegations written in The Washington Post. In that newspaper, Heard described alleged instances of mistreatment and sexual abuse she had suffered from her then-partner.
The jury, five men and two women, has determined that such abuse cannot be proven true by hearing from more than 60 witnesses, including friends, family members, employees, agents, doctors and psychologists of the two.
The Fairfax, Virginia jury finds that Heard acted with malice in lying about his abuse.
Heard leaves the courtroom a clear loser (Depp was not present at the time of the verdict, he is on a concert tour in England), but she does not leave empty-handed.
The jury has also found that Depp defamed Heard in his counterclaim, when Depp (actually, his lawyer) said that “Mr. Depp was ambushed”. Depp will have to pay $2 million in damages.
However, the jury did not find Heard’s lawyer’s statements to be defamatory or false, referring to Depp’s accusations as a “ploy” and siding with the actor in considering Heard’s accusations to be a hoax.
In a statement, Heard declares to be completely disappointed, “heartbroken that mountains of evidence have failed to confront my ex-husband’s disproportionate power and influence.”
She adds that this verdict is a setback for the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously, a throwback to a time “when when women spoke out they were humiliated”.
By contrast, Depp states in a statement that “this verdict has given him his life back” and stresses that the goal of the trial was to reveal the truth, something he owed to his children and all those who supported him.
Previously, Depp lost a similar lawsuit against The Sun newspaper. The actor sued the British newspaper, but the jury found in favor of the newspaper, which exposed Depp’s physical and verbal abuse of Heard.
Shortly thereafter, Depp lost his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, released this year with Madds Mikkelsen as a replacement. Depp has also been dropped from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Heard’s role in the latest Aquaman film also appears to have been cut, but according to the DC director it’s due to other creative reasons (she doesn’t seem to click with Jason Momoa).