Johnny Depp Case: In their defamation cases against one other, a jury held both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp responsible for defamation.
Depp was given much greater damages by the jury, resulting in a legal victory for the actor.
He sued Heard; his ex-wife; for defamation after she penned an op-ed in which she branded herself as a “public figure symbolizing domestic abuse” in a 2018 op-ed.
Depp alleges that the report cost him lucrative acting gigs; even though he was not identified in the article.
Heard countersued Depp for defamation over statements made by Depp's attorney about her abuse allegations.
The jury determined that Heard defamed Depp in three distinct statements in The Washington Post article and that Depp defamed Heard in one statement made via his counsel.
Depp was given $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive penalties by the jury.
Heard received $2 million in compensatory damages from the jury, but no punitive damages.
Depp demanded $50 million in damages, while Heard demanded $100 million. The judge decreased the punitive damages award to $350,000 since punitive damages in Virginia are capped at that level.
According to CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson; the ruling represents a “tremendous” legal victory for Depp and a rebuke for Heard.
“This is a huge victory,” Jackson added. “He had to deal with a First Amendment issue; which states that everyone has the freedom to communicate their thoughts and beliefs.
They (the jury) said that you have a First Amendment right unless you say something false that harms someone's reputation and causes them to harm in their industry.”
Heard's spokesman, David Shane, said she intends to appeal the decision.
Depp and Heard Express Their Displeasure At the Decision!
As the verdict was read in the courtroom, Heard kept her gaze down. Depp was not in court, but issued a statement in which he said; in part; that
“the jury handed me my life back.”
- After the verdict was announced, Johnny Depp's attorneys Benjamin Chew and Camille Vasquez spoke to the media.
- “The purpose of pursuing this lawsuit from the start was to uncover the truth, regardless of the outcome. I owed it to my children and all those who have remained consistent in their support for me, to tell the truth “he stated
- “I'm relieved that I've finally accomplished that.”
- “It's time to turn the page and look to the future,” Depp's counsel said on Wednesday, thanking the jury.
- “We are grateful, incredibly grateful,” attorney Camille Vasquez said outside court, “to the jury for their thorough deliberation, to the judge and the court staff who have given an incredible amount of time and resources to this case.”
In a statement, Heard expressed her “heartbreak” over the verdict.
Amber Heard's Lawyer Claims She Is Unable to Pay the $8.35 Million in Damages and Will File an Appeal!
On the third day of deliberations, the jury in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard made a decision, giving Depp a victory and Heard a partial triumph.
- In a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, Depp sued Heard for $50 million, alleging that he assaulted her.
- Even though she did not name him, he argues that her charges have harmed his capacity to work. She filed a $100 million counterclaim.
- Depp was granted $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages (limited at $350,000) after the jury found Heard defamed him on all three charges.
- Compensation of $2 million was given to Heard, but no punitive damages were imposed.
- In closing arguments, Depp's attorneys pleaded with the jurors to “give him his life back” after Heard's domestic abuse charges “ruined” it.
- On Wednesday, the “humbled” actor thanked them for their support and said that a new chapter in his life has begun after six years.
- Heard said she was “disappointed beyond words” and “heartbroken” in a statement, calling the verdict a “setback” for women.
Heard's spokesman informed The New York Times that she plans to appeal the conviction; and her lawyer; Elaine Bredehoft; told NBC Today that Heard was “unable to pay” the damages and that evidence had been hidden.