The jury has returned a verdict in favor of Johnny Depp in his $50M defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
They ruled that Heard defamed Depp with malicious intent in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed stating that she was a domestic abuse victim. The trial resulted in an award of $10M in compensatory damages and $5M in punitive damages for Johnny Depp.
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Also, Heard countersued Depp for $100M, stating that his legal team smeared her when his lawyer called her accusations false. Also, the jury awarded her $2M in compensatory damages and zero in punitive damages for one of the claims by Depp’s lawyer.
The verdict was scheduled to be read at 3 pm local time, but the jury was sent back to the deliberation room because they had left the damages box blank in one of the worksheets.
Depp didn’t attend the verdict because he performed with Jeff Beck in the UK, but his supporters were outside the court.
Johnny Depp sued Heard over a 2018 WaPo op=ed, ghost written for Heard by the ACLU, called, “I Spoke Up Against Sexual Violence — And Faced Our Culture’s Wrath. What Has To Change.”
The piece didn’t mention Depp’s name directly, and it was clear that she was talking about him. The jury ruled that the article was about Depp; it defamed him and did so with malice.
It was six weeks of testimony broadcast live by many networks.
The judge’s answer is: it means ONLY the headline itself, which is: “Amber Heard: I spoke up against sexual violence and faces our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” I.e Using the headline as one of the defamatory statements does not mean the whole article must be false
— Lucia Osborne-Crowley (@LuciaOC_) May 31, 2022
The jurors asked Penney Azcarate if they were supposed to consider the entire article or only the headline.
Most of the public opinion was in favor of Heard, so Depp was dropped from the Pirates of the Caribbean mega-franchise. He was also replaced in the ‘’Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, a spinoff of Harry Potter.
Everything was revealed when we saw that Heard was the abuser, not the victim.
Also, in the audio recordings of Heard mocking Depp, while she confessed she hit him, the actor alleged that his finger was severed when Heard threw a vodka bottle at him in a 2015 fight.