Johnny Depp wins, awarded $15 million in verdict against Amber Heard
A jury of seven people arrived at a decision on Wednesday concerning the defamation case that Johnny Depp filed. He brought the case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. After the 14-hour deliberation for three days, the jury sided with Johnny Depp awarding the actor $15 million worth of damages.
In 2018, Heard wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post. In this post, she claimed that she was a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” To which Depp acted and sued Heard for $50 million. She then Heard countersued Depp for $100 million.
The trial, set at Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia, was awaited by fans and social media users. A few minutes before reading the verdict, Judge Penney Azcarate sent the jury to the back to sign in the damages section, which heightened the suspense on the day of the trial’s verdict.
Johnny Depp's victory is a victory against Cancel Culture
He stood up to the machine and their lies and he got his name back
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 1, 2022
After the jury’s deliberations, they awarded Depp $10 million worth of compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. Moreover, Judge Azcarate reduced Depp’s punitive damages by $350,000. This is due to the state’s statutory cap regulation.
The jury also awarded Heard $2 million for the compensatory damages to the other party. However, this has nothing to do with any punitive damages, only for her counterclaims. The jury decided that Depp was liable after his attorney referred to Heard as a “hoax.”
During the verdict’s announcement, Depp was not present. However, Amber Heard and her team were in attendance. After the verdict, Heard immediately expressed her disappointment with the decision.
A source close to Depp reported that “due to previously scheduled work commitments before the trial,” Depp couldn’t make it. Depp couldn’t be physically on the court for the verdict, but he watched from the UK.
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
Both Parties’ Reactions to the Verdict
Amber Heard said, “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I’m heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to my ex-husband’s disproportionate power, influence, and sway. I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman spoke up and speaking out publicly can be shamed and humiliated.”
Heard also added, “It sets back the idea that violence against women should be taken seriously. I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the critical issue of Freedom of Speech. And ignore evidence that was also so conclusive that we won in the UK. I’m sad I lost this case. But I am sadder still that I seem to have lost a right I thought I had as an American – to speak freely and openly.
After hearing the verdict, Heard and her sister Whitney immediately walked out of the court. They went in the waiting pick-up without any words to the crowd of reporters outside.
Meanwhile, people waiting outside cheered Johnny Depp’s lawyers, Ben Chew and Camille Vasquez, when they exited the courthouse. Both also gave brief statements but didn’t answer any of the reporters’ questions.
Johnny Depp’s Team
Atty. Vasquez said, “Today’s verdict confirms what we have said from the beginning. That the claims against Johnny Depp are defamatory and unsupported by any evidence. We are grateful, so grateful, for the jury and their careful consideration.”
While Atty. Chew also released a statement, “Our judicial system is predicated on each person’s right to have their case heard. We were truly honored to assist Mr. Depp in ensuring that his case was fairly considered throughout the trial,” he said. “We were also most pleased that the trial has resonated with so many people and the public who value truth and justice. Now that the jury has reached its conclusive verdict, it’s time to turn the page and look to the future.”<!–
Moreover, Depp also released a statement. He said he felt like “the jury gave me my life back.”
Whether this victory will help Depp regain his career stature or not is now in question. Other public relations experts said that this was yet to bed seen.
Although in an NBC News interview with three crisis and PR communications professionals, they stated otherwise. They believe that Depp could get back on track with his acting career. However, two other experts claimed that Depp’s career was already at a low point even before the trial started.
In addition, Newsroom Public Relations chief executive Howard Bauer stated that people in the movie industry would start approaching Depp again. But this time, with caution.