In a verdict largely in his favor, the jury awarded him $15 million in damages. The jury found Depp’s attorney had made one defamatory statement against Heard, for which, the jury awarded her $2 million. The jury had initially not filled out compensatory damages in their verdict form before the judge asked them to reconvene to fill that out.
In response to the nearly one-sided verdict, Heard, 36, wrote in a statement shared to her social media, “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,” she added. “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 U.K.,” she continued, before adding, “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.”
In a statement of his own, Depp, 58, said, “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,” he added. “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,” he said. “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,” he continued.
Depp added that his initial 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.”
Depp said he was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world,” adding that he hopes “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,” he continued, before finishing, “The best is yet to come and a new chapter has finally begun.”
Depp sued his ex-wife Heard for $50 million in a defamation lawsuit after the actress wrote an essay for the Washington Post in 2018 in which she called herself a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” In her countersuit, she asked for $100 million.
While the article never mentioned Depp by name, his attorneys argued that Heard’s op-ed was part of an “elaborate hoax” to depict him as an abuser. The attorneys also argued that Heard – who was married to Depp from 2015 until 2017 – ruined his reputation by “choosing to lie about him for her own personal benefit.”
The trial began on May 4, 2022. Both the Pirates of the Caribbean actor and Aquaman star took the stand numerous times to make claims about their relationship. “I am here because my ex-husband is suing me for an op-ed I wrote,” Heard said early on in the trial. “I struggle to find the words on how painful this is. This is horrible for me to sit here for weeks and relive everything here with people that I knew — some well, some not.”
The Edward Scissorhands star’s rep shared his reaction to Heard’s testimony on May 5. “As Mr. Depp’s counsel correctly predicted in their opening statements last month, Ms. Heard did indeed deliver ‘the performance of her life’ in her direct examination,” the statement read. “While Ms. Heard’s stories have continued to grow new and convenient details, Mr. Depp’s recollections have remained exactly the same throughout the six painful years since her first allegations were made.”
As the trial continued, Depp and Heard continued to make shocking allegations against each other. At one point, Heard claimed her ex-husband was physically abusive and she had to cover bruises inflicted by Depp with makeup. “If you want to cover up a bruise, you obviously put foundation first, concealer and then on top of that, I used like a bruise kit,” she said during her testimony. “Not a bruise kit — it’s a theater makeup kit, a color correction kit, but I called it my bruise kit.”
The actor’s attorneys then questioned Heard’s claims during a cross-examination on May 16. They presented Heard with numerous photos taken after she said the alleged attacks occurred, asking if she was able to see visible injuries. “None that you can see,” Heard responded.
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