The Washington Post added a roughly 125-word “editor’s note” late this week to the 2018 op-ed from actress Amber Heard that got her sued by ex-husband Johnny Depp.
A Virginia jury ruled this week that Heard had defamed Depp in the op-ed and awarded Depp $15 million — $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages — but the judge limited the punitive damages to $350,000 in accordance with Virginia law, The Daily Wire reported. Heard was awarded $2 million in damages from statements that were made by Depp attorney Adam Waldman.
Following the jury’s verdict, The Washington Post added the following editor’s note to Heard’s op-ed:
In 2019, Johnny Depp sued Amber Heard for defamation arising out of this 2018 op-ed. On June 1, 2022, following a trial in Fairfax County, Va. Circuit Court, a jury found Heard liable on three counts for the following statements, which Depp claimed were false and defamatory: (1) “I spoke up against sexual violence — and faced our culture’s wrath. That has to change.” (2) “Then two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out.” (3) “I had the rare vantage point of seeing, in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse.” The jury separately found that Depp, through his lawyer Adam Waldman, defamed Heard in one of three counts in her countersuit.
Legal analyst Emily D. Baker said it was a “smart move” by the Post to add the editor’s note instead of deleting the op-ed.
“Because this case is so watched and commented on, I think the op-ed is still needed for context. I appreciate that they put up the notice rather than take the op-ed down. And I appreciate that they included, with specificity, exactly the statements that were found to be defamatory,” Baker said. “It would have been easier to just take it down and say nothing. But I appreciate they’re saying, ‘Anyone who’s reading this, this is what happened.’ ”
Depp praised the jury for giving him his “life back” after he was the victim of defamatory statements from Heard.
“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,” Depp said in a statement. “It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career.”