A jury largely ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation case against Heard.
The verdict, after six weeks of a disturbing and sensationalized trial, was dismaying but far from surprising. A jury largely ruled in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation case against his ex-wife Amber Heard, awarding him with $15 million in damages, while only ruling in favor of one part of Heard’s defamation counterclaim and awarding her $2 million.
Heard issued a statement in the wake of the verdict, gesturing toward what can be seen as an end to the MeToo movement. She believes the ruling could establish a bleak precedent that allows future abusers to weaponize not only libel suits, but also the court of public opinion against their accusers. Heard, who has been repeatedly and publicly tarred throughout the trial to an unsettling degree, offered this response below:
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 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 the 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.