After six weeks, a verdict was reached in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s libel trial. On June 1, following three days of deliberation, the seven-person civil jury in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court found Amber Heard liable for defamation, NBC confirmed. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The jury also awarded $2 million in compensatory damages to Heard.
People reported that Depp wasn’t present in the courtroom for the final day of the trial, but Heard was. “Your presence shows where your priorities are,” Heard’s spokesperson told the outlet. “Johnny Depp plays guitar in the UK while Amber Heard waits for a verdict in Virginia. Depp is taking his snickering and lack of seriousness on tour.”
Minutes after the jury announced their verdict, Heard released a statement via Instagram. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” she wrote in her Notes app. “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 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.”
Depp also released a statement via Instagram following the verdict. “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 changed forever,” he wrote in a post. “. . . 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 brought against me . . . six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”
On June 13, Heard gave her first interview since the verdict, while talking to NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie. “I don’t care what one thinks about me or what judgements you want to make about what happened in the privacy of my own home, in my marriage, behind closed doors. I don’t presume the average person should know those things,” she said in a clip from the interview airing on June 14 and 15. “But even somebody who is sure I’m deserving of all this hate and vitriol, even if you think that I’m lying, you still couldn’t look me in the eye and tell me that you think on social media there’s been a fair representation. You cannot tell me that you think that this has been fair.”
Of the verdict, Heard said, “I don’t blame them. I actually understand. He’s a beloved character and people feel they know him. He’s a fantastic actor.”
Depp and Heard’s highly publicized trial began on April 12 after the former sued his ex-wife for $50 million for libeling him in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed she wrote, in which she referred to herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” Heard later countersued with a $100-million claim against the Pirates of the Caribbean star for allegedly damaging her career. The counterclaim came after she alleged that Depp’s lawyer called her allegations against the actor a hoax.
Over the course of the civil trial, several testimonies from Depp and Heard have revealed details about the ex-couple’s short-lived marriage, which lasted less than two years — including graphic claims of physical and sexual abuse, as well as aggression from both parties. The purpose of the libel trial was to get to the bottom of whether or not Heard’s words published in her op-ed were, indeed, true.
Amber Heard’s Interview With Savannah Guthrie Clip
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