For weeks the world sat on the edge of its seat to follow the case. Depp and Heard accused each other of systematic assault and defamation. After a six-week trial, the jury reached a verdict today. Depp is vindicated.
The actor had sued his ex for libel over an article she had written about her experiences with domestic violence. Although Depp was not mentioned by name, it would be obvious that it was about him. The jury today ruled that there is sufficient evidence that defamation has indeed taken place.
Depp was right on all counts by the jury. Heard, in turn, was right on a few points. At the finish line, this means Heard has to pay Depp $15 million and Depp $2 million to her. The jury determined that there was defamation when Depp previously called her allegations of abuse “a hoax”.
When the jury announced its verdict, Heard was present in the courtroom. Depp was not there, he would still be in England after a number of surprise concerts with rock guitarist Jeff Beck. The verdict was slightly delayed because the jury had not entered the amount of compensation on the form with its verdict.
Could be followed for weeks
For weeks, the world marveled at the lawsuit, largely via live streams and social media. Just to refresh what the case is actually about:
Depp vs Heard
Movie stars Johnny Depp (58) and Amber Heard (36) got a relationship in 2012. Now they accuse each other of domestic violence. The film stars repeatedly accused each other of assault. For example, Depp would have been violent under the influence of drink and drugs. But according to him, Heard was just an aggressive bully who mistreated him. She is said to have smashed a bottle on his hand, cutting off the tip of his finger.
In 2018, Heard published an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which she claimed to have been a victim of domestic violence – without mentioning Depp by name. Depp then went to court: he would no longer get a job because his reputation is shattered. He lost his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts film series. His demand: $50 million. She in turn demands double from Depp for libel.
Reactions from Heard and Depp
In a comment on Instagram, Depp says that the jury has given him his life back. “Six years ago, my life and the lives of my loved ones changed forever,” Depp wrote, referring to the start of the allegations of assault against his ex-wife. “Within a nanosecond, the story was around the world and had a major impact on my life and career.” He writes that he is grateful for the support he has received.
Heard also makes himself heard after the verdict. “I’m devastated that the mountain of evidence still wasn’t enough to stand up to my ex-husband.” They writes on Twitter that she is disappointed. “I am sad to have lost this case, but I am even more saddened that I seem to have lost the right to speak freely and openly,” referring to her op-ed she published in 2018.