Jury Rules in Favor of Jonny Depp in Amber Heard Defamation Case

Jury Rules in Favor of Jonny Depp in Amber Heard Defamation Case

After weeks of tearful testimony, scandalous headlines and an exhausting amount of Twitter discourse, a verdict has finally been reached in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation case.

According to a report from the Associated Press, a jury ruled in favor of Depp, awarding him $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The jury ruled that Depp had sufficiently proven that Amber Heard had deliberately defamed him with malice at three separate points in a 2018 WashingtonPost op-ed and an additional point from a 2020 Daily Mail article. Interestingly enough, Heard was also awarded $2 million in her countersuit related to a false statement made by one of Depp's lawyers.

Heard was in attendance at the Virginia court house whereas Depp, who's case heavily relied on claims of not being able to find work after Heard's op-ed came out, didn't show up due to “previously scheduled commitments” watched the verdict from the UK according to ABC News. The jury reached their verdict after three days of deliberation and a slight technical delay when a judge noticed that some damages-related information wasn't correctly filled out on the necessary forms. Per Virginia state law, punitive damages in civil cases are limited to $350,000 which may result in Depp ultimately only receiving a total of $10.4 million at the end of the day.

“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,” Depp said in a statement following the verdict. "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.”

Heard called the ruling a "setback" for women in a post-#MeToo world. “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,” the actress said in a statement. “I’m even more disappointed with what this verdict means for other women. 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.”

The verdict comes as the culmination of weeks of court proceedings that saw both Depp and heard air out accusations of physical, verbal abuse and fall out from their messy divorce. From fans spending thousands of dollars for a chance to attend the hearings to makeup brand Milani having to put out a statement clarifying that Heard didn't use their palettes to cover up her bruises, the trial has been nothing short of a media spectacle.

Photo via Getty/ STEVE HELBER/ POOL/ AFP