The defamation suit filed by actor Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard finally came to an end after a seven-person jury unanimously ruled in favor of Depp. In a closely watched six-week trial that contained raw and graphic evidence and testimony revealing the former Hollywood couple’s strained relationship, a US jury concluded that actress Amber Heard defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp.
In several areas of Heard’s counter-suit against Depp, the Virginia jury ruled in her favor. According to the jury, Depp received $15 million in damages from Heard. Heard was given $2 million in damages by the panel. 58-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star, sued Heard for $50 million, claiming that she defamed him in a newspaper opinion piece when she dubbed herself a public figure symbolizing domestic abuse.
Heard, 36, countersued Depp for $100 million, claiming that his lawyer defamed her by calling her allegations a big lie. Depp has denied hitting Heard or any other woman, claiming that she was the one who made their relationship violent. Heard’s lawyers contended for six weeks that she had uttered the truth and that her words were protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Jurors were shown gruesome images of Depp’s bloody finger and listened to recordings of the couple’s clashes throughout the trial. When Heard tossed a vodka bottle at him in 2015, he claims the top of his finger was severed. Depp and Heard’s relationship dates back more than a decade, and it looks to have turned into a toxic marriage. In 2016, the couple divorced. They went to court over an op-ed Heard published for The Washington Post in 2018, in which she talked about surviving domestic violence without identifying Depp.
“The jury handed me my life back,” Depp said after the verdict. His statement states, “From the beginning, the purpose of pursuing this lawsuit was to uncover the truth, regardless of the outcome.” “I owed it to my children and all those who have remained constant in their support for me to speak the truth. I’m relieved that I’ve successfully finished that.”
On the other hand, Heard claims the decision has left her “heartbroken.” Her statement continues, “I’m even more upset with what this verdict signifies for other women. It turns the clock back to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly humiliated and shamed. It undermines the notion that women’s violence should be taken seriously.”