In the afternoon of Wednesday, June 1, the civil jury in Fairfax, Virginia, ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in the dual defamation trial that pitted him against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
After six weeks, the jury ruled that all three statements from Heard’s Washington Post OpEd in 2018 accusing Depp of domestic violence were defamation crafted by her specifically with “actual malice” intending to defame Johnny Depp, although the OpEd did not specifically mention him by name.
Meanwhile, regarding her counter defamation case, arguing an OpEd published in the Daily Mail by Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman–who did so in Depp’s name–calling her accusations false was defamation against her, only one of the three statements brought forward were found to be defamation. She was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $0 punitive damages, while Depp was awarded $10 million in compensatory damages and $3.35 million in punitive damages.
As Depp shared a letter on social media celebrating his long-sought victory, Heard also shared a message on her social media conveying her disappointment in the trial verdict.
Here is her letter in its entirety:
“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.”
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
While Depp was suing for $50 million and Heard was countersuing for $100 million, the realized damages come second to the realities of the loss.
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