Johnny Depp (58) has largely won the case against his ex-wife Amber Heard (36). “False, very serious and criminal charges were made against me through the media, leading to an endless barrage of hateful content. Six years later, the jury gave me my life back,” the actor said on Instagram. Heard reacts deeply disappointed to the jury’s verdict: “This sets the clock back to a time when a woman who spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated.”
The actor had sued the actress for $50 million for libel over an article she had written about her experiences with domestic violence. The jury in Fairfax, Virginia, ruled on Wednesday that defamation had been sufficiently proven. Amber Heard must pay Depp 15 million dollars (14 million euros) in damages. In Heard’s counterclaim, who in turn demanded 100 million dollars (93.6 million euros) from Depp for defamation, the jury found the facts only partially proven. Amber was allocated 2 million dollars (1.9 million euros).
Never a charge
Johnny Depp, who is therefore the winner, has responded to the ruling on Instagram. “Six years ago, my life, the lives of my children, the lives of those closest to me and also the lives of the people who have supported and believed in me for years were changed forever,” he writes.
“False, very serious and criminal charges were made against me through the media, leading to an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. (…) Six years later, the jury gave me my life back.”
Depp explains in his statement why he has sued his ex-wife. “From the very first moment, my aim of this case has been to reveal the truth regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something I owed to my children and to everyone who has continued to support me.”
He also thanks the judge and the judges. “I want to acknowledge the noble work of the judge, jurors, court staff and sheriffs who sacrificed their time to get to this point. Also, many thanks to my legal team who have done an extraordinary job of helping me share the truth.”
“The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.”
“The disappointment I feel today is indescribable”
Amber Heard also published a statement on Instagram shortly after the verdict. “The disappointment I feel today is indescribable. I am devastated that this mountain of evidence still wasn’t enough to defeat my ex-husband’s disproportionate power and influence.”
“I am even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It’s a setback. It sets the clock back to a time when a woman who spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It goes against the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously,” the actress wrote.
According to Heard, Depp’s lawyers “have managed to get the jury to overlook the most important issue of free speech.” The jury would also have disregarded the compelling evidence of the facts, “evidence so compelling that we won in the UK (with the lawsuit against ‘The Sun’, ed.†
“I am sad that I lost this case. But I am even more saddened that I have lost a right that I thought I had as an American—to speak freely and openly.”
PORTRAIT. Loving mother or manipulative hothead: the two faces of Amber Heard(+)
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