Jury rules in favor of Depp, says Amber defamed ex-husband

A Virginia jury has found that actress Amber Heard defamed Hollywood star Johnny Depp when she wrote a 2018 ‘Washington Post’ op-ed alluding to her past claims of domestic violence, reports ‘Variety’. The jury also found that Depp defamed Heard, through his attorney, in the course of fighting back against her charges.

It awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages, plus $5 million in punitive damages, which Judge Penney Azcarate reduced to $350,000 in accordance with the state’s statutory cap. Heard was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages for her counterclaim.

The jury, five men and two women, who have been deliberating on their verdict since this past Friday, also found that Heard had acted with “actual malice”, meaning that they were convinced she had made the statements knowing they were false, according to ‘Variety’.

Responding to the verdict from the United Kingdom, where he has been attending concerts, Depp said Heard’s false claims had “a seismic impact on my life and my career”. He said: “And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.”

Depp added that he was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and the colossal support and kindness from around the world,” and that the verdict left him “at peace”. Though the jury awarded damages to both sides, the outcome is a clear win for Depp, who lost a similar trial in the United Kingdom in 2020, notes Variety’.

Depp brought that lawsuit after ‘The Sun’ newspaper called him a “wife-beater”.The judge had ruled that Heard’s allegations were “substantially true”. The lingering question now, according to ‘Variety’, is whether Depp can rehabilitate his film career, which has been moribund for the last four years.

In a statement, Heard said she was “disappointed” and “heartbroken” by the outcome. “The disappointment I feel today is beyond words,” Heard said.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: hitc.com)

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