Johnny Depp wins defamation case against Amber Heard after lengthy court battle
Johnny Depp has won his defamation case against Amber Heard, after the jury returned their verdict.
Deliberations began last week after a lengthy hearing at the Fairfax County Courthouse, which began in April.
Today, the jury confirmed that they had unanimously reached a verdict, awarding him $10million in compensatory damages, and a further $5million in punitive damages.
Speaking after the verdict, Heard said in a 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.’
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor – who was not in court to hear the verdict – sued his ex-wife, 36, for $50million over an op-ed she wrote in 2018, about her experiences with domestic violence.
While the 58-year-old was not named in the Washington Post article, his team argued that it implied he was sexually and physically abusive over the course of their relationship – something he has firmly denied.
The Aquaman actress later countersued, seeking $100million in damages and claiming that he libeled her by calling her a liar.
The case began on April 11 and has seen the former couple take to the stand to discuss their relationship, alongside Kate Moss, Heard’s sister Whitney Henriquez and employees for Warner Bros and Disney.
Heard broke down multiple times while giving her testimony, alleging that the Edward Scissorhands star slapper her three times and performed a cavity search on her during an argument.
She also claimed that he penetrated her with a bottle in another heated row.
Speaking of the impact the proceedings – and the reaction from the public – have had on her since the case began, she previously told the jury: ‘I am harassed, humiliated, threatened, every single day. Even just walking into this courtroom.
‘Sitting here in front of the world, having the worst parts of my life, things that I have lived through, used to humiliate me.
‘I receive hundreds of death threats regularly, if not daily. Thousands since this trial started.’
‘Perhaps it’s easy to forget that I am a human being.
‘I just want Johnny to leave me alone. I just want him to leave me alone. I’ve said that for years now.’
While Johnny insisted that he has ‘never struck a woman’ in his life as he addressed the allegations.
‘It’s insane to hear heinous accusations of violence, sexual violence, that she has attributed to me, that she has accused me of,’ he added of her testimony.
‘I don’t think anyone enjoys having to split themselves open and tell the truth but there are times when one simply has to because it’s got out of control.
‘Horrible. Ridiculous. Humiliating. Ludicrous. Painful. Savage. Unimaginably brutal. Cruel and all false. All false.
‘No human being is perfect, none of us. But I have never in my life committed sexual battery, physical abuse, all these outlandish, outrageous stories of me committing these things and living with it for six years, and waiting to be able to bring the truth out.
‘This is not easy for any of us, I know that, but no matter what happens, I did get here and I did tell the truth and I have spoken up for what I’ve been carrying on my back, reluctantly, for six years.’
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