Jury verdicts mostly in favor of Johnny Depp in Amber Heard defamation trial

Jury rules in favor of Johnny Depp defamation lawsuit Against ex-wife Amber Heard, proving his position that Heard fabricated claims that she was abused by Depp before and during their brief marriage.

But it also partially ruled on some of Heard’s allegations against her ex-husband.

The jury awarded Depp $15 million ($20.88 million) and $2 million ($2.78 million) to hear multiple verdicts against each of them.

Actor Johnny Depp waves to supporters as he leaves the Fairfax County Courthouse on May 27, 2022. (Associated Press)

The verdict, released at around 5:20 a.m. EST on Thursday, ended a televised trial that Depp hoped would help restore his reputation, even as it turned into a spectacle of a vicious marriage.

Heard released a statement after the verdict that she was “heartbroken” and blamed the outcome on “(her) ex-husband’s disproportionate power, influence and influence”.

She wrote: “It throws back the time to a time when women dared to speak up and publicly shamed and humiliated. It throws back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously.”

“I believe Johnny’s lawyers have succeeded in getting the jury to ignore the crucial issue of free speech and ignore the decisive evidence of our victory in the UK.

“I’m sorry I lost the case. But I’m even more upset that I seem to have lost what I thought I had as an American right to speak freely and publicly.”

amber heard
Amber Heard left the courthouse after the verdict was handed down. She said in a statement that she was “heartbroken” by the decision. (Getty)

Depp thanked the jury and his supporters in his own statement.

“Six years ago, my life, the lives of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and the lives of the people who supported and believed in me over the years, were forever changed,” he said.

“Everything happened in the blink of an eye. False, very serious and criminal charges were made against me through the media, which led to endless hateful content, even though no charges were ever brought against me.

“It has circumnavigated the world twice in a nanosecond and has had a huge impact on my life and career. Six years later, the jury has brought me back to life. I am truly humbled.”

He said his goal at the trial was to “reveal the truth” and he now feels “peaceful”.

Fans – overwhelmingly on Depp’s side – lined up overnight for seats in the courtroom.

Inaccessible spectators lined the street cheering Depp and mocking Hurd whenever he appeared outside.

Depp sues Heard for defamation in Fairfax County Circuit Court over an op-ed she wrote in December 2018 Washington post Describes herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers said he was defamed by the article, even though it never mentioned his name.

Actress Amber Heard leaves the Fairfax County Courthouse on May 27, 2022. (Associated Press)

While the case was ostensibly about defamation, much of the testimony focused on whether Hurd was physically and sexually abused as she claimed.

Heard cited more than a dozen alleged attacks, including a fight in Australia – where Depp filmed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel – where Depp lost the tip of her middle finger and said she was sexually assaulted by a wine bottle. invade.

Depp said he never hit Heard and never lost control while drinking, though Heard’s lawyer highlighted text messages Depp sent to friends about the high amounts of alcohol and drugs he was taking at the time.

Her lawyer also said Depp texted an apology to Heard and wrote a profane message to a friend in which Depp said he wanted to kill Heard and defile her body.

Johnny Depp and Jeff Baker
Johnny Depp has covered several British songs on stage with Jeff Baker, even though his trial is coming to an end. (YouTube)

In some ways, the trial was a repeat of a lawsuit Depp brought against a British tabloid in the UK after he was described as “beating his wife”. The judge in the case ruled in the paper’s favor after finding that Hurd was telling the truth in her account of the abuse.

In the Virginia case, not only did Depp have to prove that he never attacked Hurd, but Hurd’s article — which focused on public policy related to domestic violence — defamed him. He also had to prove that Hurd wrote the article in bad faith.

In order to claim damages, he would have to show that her article had caused damage to his reputation, not any article detailing the allegations against him before and after Hurd’s article.

In his final testimony to the jury, Depp said the trial gave him the opportunity to clear his name in a way that a UK trial never allowed.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard attend the 58th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Depp and Heard together in 2016. (Getty)

“No matter what happens, I do get here, I do tell the truth, and I’ve spoken out for what I’ve been unwillingly carrying for six years,” Depp said.

Hurd, on the other hand, said the trial was a test created by a well-planned smear campaign led by Depp.

“Johnny assured me — assured me — he was going to ruin my life, he was going to ruin my career. He was going to take my life,” Hurd said in her final testimony.

The case has drawn millions through its on-off TV coverage and ardent following on social media, dissecting everything from the actor’s demeanor to the possible symbolism of what they’re wearing. Two performers emerged from the trial with notoriety and unclear career prospects.

Los Angeles-based crisis management and communications expert Eric Ross called the trial “a classic murder-suicide.”

“From a reputation management perspective, there can be no winners,” he said.

“They’ve blooded each other. Now it’s more difficult for studios to hire either actor because you’re probably alienating a large portion of the audience, and they may not like that you’ve reserved Johnny or Amber for a particular project because the feelings are like that now. strong.”

A three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actor, Depp was a star-studded star until the last few years. He played Captain Jack Sparrow in the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, helping turn it into a global franchise, but he lost the role. (Herd and Depp’s teams blame each other.) He was also replaced as the lead in the third Fantastic Beasts spinoff, The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Depp received a standing ovation in London after performing for about 40 minutes with Jeff Baker at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday night, despite testimony at the trial suggesting he could be violent, abusive and out of control. He previously toured with Joe Perry and Alice Cooper as a band of Hollywood Vampires.

Hurd, who has had a more prosaic acting career, has the only two upcoming roles in a small film and the upcoming sequel to Aquaman, set to hit theaters next year.

Depp’s attorneys fought to keep the case in Virginia, in part because state law offers some legal advantages over California, where the pair live. The judge ruled that Virginia was an acceptable forum for the case because the Washington Post’s printing presses and online servers were in the county.