The jury has reached a verdict in favor of internationally respected actor Johnny Depp in his defamation lawsuit against Amber Heard after a six week trial that captivated the nation’s attention.
The jury found in favor of Depp on all 7 claims against Heard, including that she acted with “actual malice” in her defamation against Depp. This means Heard knew she was spreading false lies about Depp when she made them.
The jury awarded a total of $15 million to Depp. Depp sued Heard alleging defamation and seeking $50 million over a 2018 op-ed Heard wrote for The Washington Post, wherein she alleged that she was the victim to domestic abuse and described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse,” reported CNN.
While the Pirates of the Caribbean actor was not named in the article, Depp and his attorneys allege that the article – which they describe as containing fake and defamatory information – cost him lucrative acting roles.
Heard countersued for $100 million, claiming statements made by Depp’s attorney in turn damaged her career prospects. The two met in 2009 and were married from 2015-2016. The jury found in favor two of Amber Heard’s claims that Depp or his agents defamed Heard. She was awarded $2 million by the jury. Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched the trial live via YouTube and Twitch, with the nation becoming sharply divided over whether to believe Heard or the piles of evidence provided by Depp and his attorneys.
Millions tuned in today to see the verdict. Legal pundits have frequently noted that it is very difficult to win a defamation lawsuit in the United States, as the plaintiff must prove the defendant not only published false or damaging information, but did so with the prior knowledge that the information was false, and with the intention of harming the reputation of the defendant, something courts call “actual malice.
” Some suggested the verdict represents a compromise verdict, though Depp was awarded $13 million more than Heard. Lawyers say Depp will receive around $8.3 million, due to the statutory cap on some of Depp’s claims, and the money awarded Heard.
Heard released a statement revealing that she is emotionally devastated by the verdict. Depp, meanwhile, said he was “humbled” by the support and the verdict in a statement he posted to Instagram: The verdict and live coverage of the trial from trial lawyers is available via the Rekieta Law YouTube channel: This is a breaking news story and may be updated with additional information as it becomes available.