Johnny Depp v Amber Heard: What’s next in the defamation trial, what is the likely verdict?

The furious Virginia libel trial of divorced Hollywood actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard that has made headlines around the world for six weeks is drawing to a close, with fans keeping tabs on TikTok and Instagram lawsuits, and see the case as a bystander movement, micro-analyzing the evidence and cheering on their favored side.

Mr Depp, 58, is suing Ms Heard, 35, for $50m (£40m) over an opinion piece she wrote for her Washington post In December 2018, she discussed domestic abuse and experienced “the whole rage of our culture against women who speak out.”

Although Ms Heard did not mention her ex-husband in the relevant article, Mr Depp’s legal team believes that readers may assume he was responsible for the torture she implied and claim the article caused their client to lose Received lucrative movie roles due to its publication.

Mr Depp was a prolific blockbuster star, best known for his dark fantasy films with director Tim Burton and Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but was recently replaced by JK Rowling Fantastic Beasts The series after being asked to step down by Warner Bros.

Ms. Hurd, best known for Neptune (2018), is countersuing her ex-husband star together Rum Diary In 2011, for $100m (£80m), it was argued that she had been defamed by Mr Depp’s lawyers, saying her claim to be a victim was a “scam”.

Friends, former staff and clinical psychologists all came to witness Judge Penny Azcarat aired sensational details about what was apparently a highly dysfunctional marriage in Fairfax County courtroom Expert testimony at the table.

Celebrity acquaintances of the two actors have also joined the media circus surrounding the trial, with Mr Depp’s former partners Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis joining former co-stars Javier Bardem, Perez. The ranks of Nelope Cruz and Eva Green. speak on his behalf And Julia Fox, Howard Stern and Kathy Griffin are among them Show your support for Ms Heard.

Amber Heard gives evidence

(Associated Press)

Last week of trial dramatically saw British supermodel Kate Moss, 48, make a virtual appearance Questions about her past relationship with Mr Depp In the mid-1990s, after Ms Heard claimed in her defence testimony that the former had pushed the latter down the stairs.

Ms Moss told the court Mr Depp never pushed her down the stairs or abused her in any other way.

The court, which has been sitting Monday through Thursday since April 11, was originally scheduled to conclude proceedings on May 19, but had to be extended by a further week due to the sheer volume of evidence being considered, ensuring the seven-person jury had extra time to digest the offer. information to it.

The trial concluded on Friday, May 27, with lawyers for both sides delivering closing arguments, before the jury was called to retire to consider and rule on whether Ms Heard had indeed defamed Mr Depp. postal Articles in the Case Center.

If the jury finds she did, Ms Hurd will be ordered to pay Mr Depp the $50 million he is seeking as damages for lost earnings, although a court may recommend he is awarded more or less.

Even if the actor doesn’t receive the full compensation he’s asking for, his team is still expected to cheer the outcome, such as defending his arguments and announcing the restoration of his client’s reputation.

Johnny Depp negotiating with his lawyer Ben Chew

(Associated Press)

If the jury finds in favor of Ms Heard, Mr Depp will get nothing and could be ordered to pay his ex-wife the $100 million she is seeking in her counterclaim.

Likewise, jurors can conclude that the number is too high or insufficient, and recommend adjustments accordingly.

Despite exciting proposals on social media from #JusticeForJohnnyDepp supporters, there are no problem A verdict in Mr Depp’s favour could result in Ms Hurd being jailed for perjury as it is a civil case, not a criminal one.

Should any such charges be later brought against her and successfully prosecuted by the District Attorney in Virginia, it will be pursued as a separate matter from the current defamation trial.

As this is a civil case, another possible outcome is that the parties could reach an out-of-court settlement as agreed upon at the time of the divorce, although given the apparently hostile nature of the current relationship between Mr and Ms Depp. Heard, at this late stage, that seems unlikely.