A jury has found has ruled in favour of Johnny Depp in his defamation case against former wife Amber Heard.
After just 13 hours of deliberation and a six-week trial, the jury found that Heard’s statements about her marriage were ‘false’ and conveyed a ‘defamatory implication’. Depp has been awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.
However, Heard has also won part of her libel case against Depp regarding articles in The Daily Mail, where Depp’s former lawyer described her claims of domestic abuse as a hoax. The jury has awarded Heard $2 million in damage for this.
Heard has taken to Instagram to write a statement, voicing her concerns over what this verdict means for other women.
In Depp’s statement, he thanked fans for the ‘outpouring of love and support’ and expressed his gratitude to the jury for giving him his life back.
The six week trial in Virginia saw Depp, 58, sue Heard, 35, for USD $50 million (AUD $67 million) in the wake of a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post. Heard then countersued Depp for USD $100 million (AUD $134 million).
Last week, both Heard and Depp’s legal teams gave their closing arguments before the jury, with Heard’s lawyer telling jurors to think about the message Depp and his team were sending to the actor, and victims of domestic abuse.
“If you didn’t take pictures, it didn’t happen,” Heard’s attorney Benjamin Rottenborn alleged.
“If you didn’t seek medical attention, you weren’t injured,” he continued, Adding that Deep “cannot and will not take responsibility… it’s all somebody else’s fault.”
He then brought up the “vile, disgusting” text messages allegedly sent by Depp shown in the defence’s evidence.
“These words are a window into the heart and mind of America’s favourite pirate. This is the real Johnny Depp,” he said.
Meanwhile Depp’s attorney Camille Vasquez told jurors in the closing argument that Heard had “ruined” Depp’s life when she alleged she was a survivor of domestic abuse at the hands of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor.
She claimed that Heard was either “a victim of truly horrific abuse or she is a woman who is willing to say absolutely anything”.
“What we have is a mountain of unproved allegations that are wild, over the top, and implausible,” She added.
“You can’t pick and choose which of these wild allegations to believe and which ones to disregard. You either believe all of it, or none of it.”
And indeed on that front, the jurors have now chosen to answer that themselves.
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