A jury ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Depp, awarding $15 million in damages to the actor and awarding $2 million to Heard.
After a nearly two-month-long trial, a jury ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Johnny Depp in his defamation trial against Amber Heard, awarding the actor $15 million in damages. Heard’s counterclaim of defamation was largely dismissed, though the jury awarded the actress $2 million in compensatory damages over Depp’s attorney’s characterizations of her abuse allegations as a “hoax.”
The jury began deliberations last Friday, after six weeks of disturbing testimony that was turned into a mass, often crass, spectacle for the internet and the world. Depp sued Heard for $50 million for allegedly defaming him in an op-ed that the actress wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, referring to herself as a survivor of domestic violence without ever naming Depp. Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming Depp’s team defamed her in claiming her abuse allegations were manufactured.
The verdict was announced after some initial confusion, when the judge sent the jury back after reportedly failing to properly fill out the form determining damages to be awarded.
Throughout the trial, which featured dozens of witnesses and private text messages, audio and video recordings that painted harrowing accounts of chaos and violence within the couple’s marriage, both Depp and Heard claimed they were victims of abuse. If the internet is any indication, the court of public opinion has sided aggressively with Depp — undoubtedly swayed by his cultish following who have bombarded the internet with pro-Depp content — and maligned Heard in what some see as a referendum on MeToo.
Heard appeared largely stoic during the verdict reading, while Depp was not present in the courtroom. The actor was in the United Kingdom, where he had recently performed at a concert with Jeff Beck.