Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard were both found liable for defamation and awarded damages by a US jury, concluding a closely watched intense trial over domestic abuse allegations.
Here are five points on the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard verdict:
The jury awarded Depp significantly more damages than Heard, making it a legal victory for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor. It awarded $15 million ($10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages) to Depp and $2 million to Heard.
Depp had sued Heard over her 2018 article in The Washington Post, for implying that he was an abuser and sought $50 million in damages. Heard countersued her ex-husband for $100 million over statements made by Depp’s lawyer Adam Walkman. The jury found Amber Heard had defamed Depp in three separate statements and that Depp had defamed her with one with his attorney’s remark.
Johnny Depp welcomed the verdict saying “the jury gave me my life back”. “From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome,” he said. “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun,” said the actor.
A “disappointed” Heard called the verdict a setback for women. “I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,” she said. She said she’s “heartbroken” that the evidence she produced was “not enough” to qualify her claims as against Depp’s power and influence.
Bitter claims and counterclaims headlined the high-profile trial of the two Hollywood celebrities. Heard, in her testimony, said Depp was physically and verbally abusive, and also accused him of sexual violence. Depp too accused Heard of domestic abuse. Both had denied the allegations made by the other.