A jury on Wednesday found that actor Johnny Depp was defamed by ex-wife Amber Heard, and awarded him a total of $15 million in monetary damages.
Johnny Depp/ Amber Heard verdict:
-On Title of op-ed: Depp Wins
-On claim she faced wrath as victim: Depp Wins
-On claim that institutions protect accused men: Depp Wins
Jury awards Depp $10 million in compensatory, $5 million punitive
— Ashe Short (@AsheSchow) June 1, 2022
The jury also awarded Heard $2 million in monetary damages for her defamation claim.
For Heard’s counterclaim:
-on claim people called accusations a hoax: Heard loses
-On claim that Depp’s employee claimed Heard messed up apartment: Heard wins
-On claim that her hoax was almost over: Heard loses
Heard gets $2 million in compensatory, $0 in punitive
— Ashe Short (@AsheSchow) June 1, 2022
Depp sued Heard for $50 million over an op-ed she penned about domestic violence at The Washington Post in 2018. The “Aquaman” actress then countersued for $100 million.
At around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, the jury was expected to give the verdict, but were instead sent back to add apparently missing monetary damages by the judge.
“The judge overseeing the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial just sent the jury back to the deliberation room,” reported NewsNation correspondent Markie Martin. “Saying they needed to fill out additional compensatory/punitive damages information before a verdict can be publicly read.”
JUST IN: The judge overseeing the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial just sent the jury back to the deliberation room. Saying they needed to fill out additional compensatory/punitive damages information before a verdict can be publicly read.
— Markie Martin (@MarkieMartin) June 1, 2022
Depp released a statement following the verdict, writing, “The jury gave me my life back.”
Statement from #JohnnyDepp on winning his defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, #AmberHeard @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/LcC42KgPIE
— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) June 1, 2022
Notably, Depp was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
Court TV legal correspondent Chanley Shá Painter reported Wednesday: “As a source close to Johnny Depp – ‘Due to previously scheduled work commitments made before the trial, Mr. Depp will not be physically present for today’s 3pm verdict and will be watching from the United Kingdom.'”
A spokesperson for Heard subsequently blasted Depp for his absence.
“Your presence shows where your priorities are,” the spokesperson said, CBR.com reported. “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.”
Following the verdict, Heard also released a statement expressing her heartbreak and disappointment in the trial’s outcome.
— Amber Heard (@realamberheard) June 1, 2022
During the intense trial, Heard detailed serious allegations of abuse at the hands of Depp, including a rape with a possibly broken Maker’s Mark bottle. Depp and his legal team denied all allegations and told the jury that Heard perpetrated a #MeToo hoax to take from Depp, and also to punish him for leaving her.
“I didn’t know if the bottle he had inside me was broken,” Heard said on the stand this month, recalling an alleged incident from 2015 in Australia. “I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel anything.”
“My nightgown came completely off, it was ripped off of me,” the actress told the jury, noting that Depp was allegedly repeatedly punching the wall.
“I was naked, slipping around on this tile,” she claimed. Depp was allegedly “screaming” that Heard “ruined his life” and that he “f***ing” hated her.
“I’m looking in his eyes, I don’t see him anymore,” a sobbing Heard said, breathing heavily. “It wasn’t him. It was black. I’ve never been so scared in my life. I was trying to get through to Johnny and I couldn’t see him at all.”
Depp attorney Camille Vasquez said during closing arguments last week that Heard’s accusations were part of a hoax against her client.
“She gave the performance of her life,” Vasquez said.
“She came into this courtroom prepared to give the performance of her life, and she gave it,” the attorney continued. “Ms. Heard’s acting coach, Kristina Sexton, testified that Ms. Heard has difficulty crying when she is acting. You saw it, Ms. Heard sobbing without tears while spinning elaborate, exaggerated, fantastical accounts of abuse.”
“It was a performance,” Vasquez told the jury. “She told you what she thinks you need to hear to convict this man as a domestic abuser and a rapist. She wants you to believe she was abused countless times. Countless times over the entire course of their relationship. But as Mr. [Ben] Chew and I promised you, the evidence just does not bear that out.”
In closing arguments for Heard’s team, attorney Ben Rottenborn argued that the jury had to find that Depp abused Heard just one time, in any capacity, to come to a verdict for his client.
This is a developing story, please refresh for updates