Depp-Heard Trial

How Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Responded to the Defamation Verdict

After days of testimonies, deliberations, and finally learning the trial’s verdict, both Depp and Heard released public statements

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Johnny Depp won a high-publicized defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard after a jury found that she falsely claimed that Depp abused her.

The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in his defamation suit, but also found that he defamed Heard when his lawyers publicly claimed her allegations of abuse were a hoax.

Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $0 in punitive damages.

A jury unanimously ruled on Wednesday that Heard could not prove her allegations against Depp and knowingly published false claims of abuse, in which she said she had become a “public figure representing domestic abuse” in a 2018 op-ed published by the Washington Post.

Although Heard did not mention Depp by name, his attorneys argued that her statements indirectly referred to allegations she made against him during their divorce in 2016.

Depp, who was absent from the courtroom as the verdict was read, had been performing overseas in the United Kingdom alongside Jeff Beck in a previously scheduled commitment.

After days of testimonies, deliberations, and finally learning the trial’s verdict, both Depp and Heard released public statements.

Read Johnny Depp's Full Instagram Statement

"Six years ago, my life, the life of my children, the lives of those closest to me, and also, the lives of the people who for many, many years have supported and believed in me were forever changed.

All in the blink of an eye.

False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.

And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.

My decision to pursue this case, knowing very well the height of the legal hurdles that I would be facing and the inevitable, worldwide spectacle into my life, was only made after considerable thought.

From the very beginning, the goal of bringing this case was to reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome. Speaking the truth was something that I owed to my children and to all those who have remained steadfast in their support of me. I feel at peace knowing I have finally accomplished that.

I am, and have been, overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world. I hope that my quest to have the truth be told will have helped others, men or women, who have found themselves in my situation, and that those supporting them never give up. I also hope that the position will now return to innocent until proven guilty, both within the courts and in the media.

I wish to acknowledge the noble work of the Judge, the jurors, the court staff and the Sheriffs who have sacrificed their own time to get to this point, and to my diligent and unwavering legal team who did an extraordinary job in helping me to share the truth.

The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.

Veritas numquam perit.

Truth never perishes."

Read Amber Heard's full statement

“The disappointment I feel today is beyond words. I'm heartbroken that the mountain of evidence still was not enough to stand up to the disproportionate power, influence, and sway of my ex-husband.

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 who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously. 

I believe Johnny’s attorneys succeeded in getting the jury to overlook the key issue of Freedom of Speech and ignore evidence that was 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.”

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