Johnny Depp wins his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard
- Jury members found Depp should be awarded $10.35 million in damages
- They said that Heard should receive $2 million
- The jury also found that the Aquaman actor acted with "actual malice"
The jury on Wednesday found that Johnny Depp was defamed by his ex-wife Amber Heard in a 2018 Washington Post article, where she wrote about being “a public figure representing domestic abuse”.
Jury members found Depp should be awarded $10.35 million in damages, while Heard should receive $2 million. They further added that Heard's statements about her marriage were false and conveyed "a defamatory implication" to people other than Depp.
Also read: Each count the Depp-Heard jurors considered
They also found that the Aquaman actor acted with "actual malice".
The jury also found in favour of Heard, who said she was defamed by Depp’s lawyer when he called her abuse allegations a hoax.
Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard for libel in Fairfax County Circuit Court over the December 2018 op-ed. His lawyers said he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.
While the case was ostensibly about libel, most of the testimony focused on whether Heard had been physically and sexually abused, as she claimed. Heard enumerated more than a dozen alleged assaults, including a fight in Australia — where Depp was shooting a “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel — in which Depp lost the tip of his middle finger and Heard said she was sexually assaulted with a liquor bottle.
Depp said he never hit Heard and was never out of control when drinking, though Heard’s attorneys highlighted text messages Depp sent to friends recounting the copious amount of alcohol and drugs he had taken at that time. Her attorneys also showed that Depp sent texts apologizing to Heard for his behavior and wrote profane messages to a friend in which Depp said he wanted to kill Heard and defile her dead body.
Depp, in his final testimony to the jury, said the trial gave him a chance to clear his name in a way that he the U.K trial, he lost against the Sun, never allowed.
“No matter what happens, I did get here and I did tell the truth and I have spoken up for what I’ve been carrying on my back, reluctantly, for six years.” Depp said.
Heard, on the other hand, said the trial has been an ordeal inflicted by an orchestrated smear campaign led by Depp.
“Johnny promised me — promised me — that he’d ruin my life, that he’d ruin my career. He’d take my life from me,” Heard said in her final testimony.